From The Campbell Collaboration

CCTV has modest impact on crime

Posted in: News, Crime and Justice updates, Review News
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The popularity of CCTV has grown markedly in the Western world in recent years. In the UK, CCTV is the single most heavily funded crime prevention measure operating outside the criminal justice system. However, doubt has been cast on the quality and independence of research evidence touting its success. This review examines the most rigorous research from around the world to assess the effects of CCTV and the conditions under which it is most effective.

Review findings

The review finds that CCTV has had a modest but significant impact on crime rates. In particular, CCTV has been most effective in reducing vehicle crimes in parking lots - crime has decreased by half in car parks with CCTV surveillance. CCTV surveillance also appears to have led to greater reductions in crime rates in the United Kingdom, compared to other countries. The findings also suggest that CCTV seems to work best when combined with other interventions, such as improved street lighting.

The reviewers conclude that CCTV is an effective crime prevention measure, but explain that in contrast to its current broad application, should be
focused only on the specific targets against which it is shown to be most effective. The authors also call for more high-quality research on the topic.

Full review: Effects of Closed Circuit Television Surveillance on Crime

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