A 2013 Chicago Tribune opinion piece quoted a city spokesman as saying that surveillance cameras helped solve 4,500 crimes over four years, but the writer notes that more than a million are estimated to have taken place over that time period — meaning that the cameras’ contribution was 0.05% at best.
CCTV cameras also have the potential of creating unintended effects, good and bad.
Strategically placed cameras were not any different from randomly placed cameras at deterring crime within their viewsheds; there were statistically significant reductions in auto thefts within viewsheds after camera installations; there were significant improvements to location quotient values for shootings and auto thefts after camera installations. Using a quasi-experimental design with a pre/post test, we collected data from interviews with CCTV operators, police officers and local authority officials and from surveys of pedestrians and shopkeepers. Results concur with current literature in that spatial displacement of crime does occur, but it was only detected infrequently.
There was no significant displacement and there was a small diffusion of benefits, which was greater for auto thefts than shootings. The team also examined police crime data and CCTV incident data. Spatial displacement is found not to occur uniformly across offence type or space, notably the most evident spatial displacement was actually found to be occurring within target areas themselves.” “Measuring the Crime Displacement and Diffusion of Benefit Effects of Open-street CCTV in South Korea” Park, Hyeon Ho; Oh, Gyeong Seok; Paek, Seung Yeop. Abstract: “Along with CCTV’s perceived high expectations as crime deterrent, there is also a growing controversy over CCTV’s potentially unexpected limitations.
A 2013 New York Times/CBS poll found that 78% of respondents supported the use of surveillance cameras in public places, and authorities tend to point to spectacular successes — for example, crucial images cameras provided of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects or the identification of those responsible for the 2005 London attacks.
Still, concerns remain about systems’ potential to violate personal privacy as well as their overall cost-effectiveness.We conclude by discussing the implications of the findings and discuss the questions to which future research should be directed. J.: A Quasi-experimental Test of Crime Deterrence” Caplan, Joel M.; Kennedy, Leslie W.; Petrossian, Gohar. Abstract: “Using camera installation sites and randomly selected control sites, [we] assessed the impact of CCTV on the crimes of shootings, auto thefts, and thefts from autos in Newark, N. A national evaluation of closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) has provided an interesting test-bed for displacement research.Journal of Experimental Criminology, September 2011, Vol. J., for 13 months before and after camera installation dates. Abstract: “The installation of CCTV cameras in the historic centre of Malaga [Spain] in March 2007 was the main crime prevention initiative implemented in the city during the past few years. A number of methods have been used to investigate displacement, in particular visualization techniques making use of geographical information systems (GIS) have been introduced to the identification of spatial displacement.Second, CCTV-generated enforcement was related to the reduction of overall crime, violent crime and theft-from-auto.Third, obstructions to CCTV line-of-sight caused by immovable objects were related to increased levels of auto theft and decreased levels of violent crime, theft from auto and robbery. Summary: This meta-analysis examined 93 studies on surveillance systems to see how effective they are at reducing crime and deemed 44 to be sufficiently rigorous for inclusion. The analysis found that surveillance systems were most effective in parking lots, where their use resulted in a 51% decrease in crime.The term “viewshed” is used in many of the studies, and refers to the area visible to cameras from their fixed locations.——————- “Analyzing the Influence of Micro-Level Factors on CCTV Camera Effect” Piza, Eric L.; Caplan, Joel M.; Kennedy, Leslie W, June 2014, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp. Abstract: “Objectives: Despite the popularity of closed circuit television (CCTV), evidence of its crime prevention capabilities is inconclusive.We further estimated camera effects on counts of only incidents in public locations — street crimes.Our study suggests that cameras have had effects on crime, even more consistent effects on disorder, and that the visibility of cameras is associated with its impact on crime and disorder. Abstract: “Crime displacement is a concern often raised regarding situational crime prevention measures.Research has largely reported CCTV effect as “mixed” without explaining this variance.The current study contributes to the literature by testing the influence of several micro-level factors on changes in crime levels within CCTV areas of Newark, NJ.