Doug Bedell — July 14, 2008, 3:31 pm

Regarding Crime: Research on What CCTV Does, Doesn’t Do

The effectiveness of closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras as community protection devices in public settings is generating plenty of debate. Some people – including the city and town councils that fund the camera systems – think they deter crime. Others think CCTV has little deterrent value but can be helpful in solving crimes when they are committed in view of cameras.

John Honovich, of, has done a great service by gathering and providing key findings from 20 studies and articles on CCTV issues and summarizing their findings and recommendations. A directory of the research is included.

Some of the key findings are:

• Expectations that CCTV systems should be deployed to reduce rather than solve crime have produced “huge problems”.

• While there is doubt over CCTV’s ability to reduce crime overall, there’s a consensus on its value in reducing premeditated and property crimes.

• CCTV is treated as a singular, stable technology, which obscures radical changes in the technology in the last decade.

This is invaluable, public-spirited research. We recommend it to your attention.

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