A recently published statistical study out of New York University says they do not deter it much, if at all, based on five years of evidence from Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan.
However, those ubiquitous camera eyes have been put to use for certain other purposes, making an idle cam look indeed like the devil's workshop. I'm referring to the recent crackdowns on squirrel feeders. Last week I was informed that they have been watching me on camera, and that I have to stop feeding squirrels for the simple reason that "They don't like it" (referring to Management, not the squirrels).
It's funny that they didn't bother us throughout the winter, when we were saving the lives of many squirrels. The risk of a squirrel of freezing to death is much greater when it doesn't have enough calories to burn for heat and energy. There seems to be a myth going around that squirrels don't need to be fed, and that nature's bounty provides all they need. I wish that were true, but it's not the case at a place like PCV, which is a park, not a forest. But now, like fair weather enemies, they are going after those who cared for the squirrels through the winter.
Although I guess the Almighty NSA already knows all about my squirrel feeding habit, it still makes me uncomfortable to know that my every move was being tracked when I'm hanging out in a park with a bunch of squirrels. It's odd isn't it, that the one who was always catching squirrels on camera, is now being caught on camera herself.