Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Appendix A

The following table summarizes a number of CCTV systems and the results of their evaluations. It is not an exhaustive list, as some studies may have been inadvertently omitted during the literature search for this guide. Also, a number of studies have been excluded. The main reasons for exclusion were when the evaluation report did not include sufficient information to corroborate any reported crime reduction, or where the evaluation was conducted by a party perceived to be heavily invested in the system63. This commonly occurred when a system was reported as a success in a newspaper article based solely on the comments of a city manager or local police. When some evaluations reported findings that did not appear to accurately reflect the changing pattern of crime, they were either excluded, or the language was changed to a more general tone. As a result of this last caveat, if you require further information you should refer to the original study reports. This is the best way to judge the reliability of the findings and conclusions, as the quality of studies varies considerably.

The table below emphasizes studies that have a strong quantitative component. This is not intended to negate the value of qualitative analysis, but to reflect the likely audience for the report. Most CCTV systems are implemented to tackle, at least as one aim, levels of reported crime. These are usually apparent in police recorded crime records and so the table reflects more positively on reports that demonstrate they have examined and evaluated recorded crime statistics in a robust manner. Studies are ordered by implementation date, with the most recent first.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Kabukicho, Tokyo

N/A

March 2002

Reduction in vehicle crime, slight reduction in violence, substantial reduction in larceny, within 50 meters of cameras.

N/A

N/A

(Harada et al., 2004)

Adequate. Geocoding crime events improved accuracy and better determined which crimes were within the CCTV area.

Although there have been few evaluations of CCTV in Japan, a system in the Kabukicho area of Tokyo was evaluated following system implementation in March 2002. Kabukicho is a large and popular entertainment district. Recorded offenses decreased by about 22% in the implementation area (within 50 meters of a camera), by 9% in the buffer zone (50-100 meters from a camera), and by 11% in the control area (100-150 meters from a camera).

Research design: Adequate. The system was evaluated using the weighted displacement quotient approach (Bowers & Johnson, 2003), which quantifies program impact in relation to a control area and a buffer area (used to check for immediate spatial displacement). Offenses for one year before, and one year after, implementation were geocoded and compared to buffer and control areas. Results varied by crime type with larceny exhibiting the largest decrease. Geocoding crime events provided a significant advantage over many studies that aggregate crime counts to beats that may have only partial camera coverage, though the use of 50-meter zones was not clearly explained. It is possible that a camera's deterrence effect could still be viable at 70 meters, well into the displacement (buffer) zone.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cameras sited in three city locations

Early 1999

Some reduction in calls for service and anti-social behavior in two sites (one with some diffusion), but an increase in anti-social behavior in a third location, as well as some displacement on implementation.

N/A

N/A

(Mazerolle et al., 2002)

Strong. An ARIMA time series analysis of data derived from interpretation of video footage was combined with police incident data.

Three camera sites were examined in and around Cincinnati, Ohio. The city installed its first camera in 1996 and more cameras in 1998 and 1999. One was at a strip mall in a residential neighborhood, one in a mixed neighborhood with small shops, a park, and low-income housing, and the last at a site with a popular local market surrounded by residential and commercial buildings.

Research design: Strong. Employing an unusual research design, the authors examined random samples of video footage taken from three CCTV sites in the city (three, three, and two months of video, respectively). A stratified random sample framework was used to extract and examine video footage, from which incidents were examined and coded. Five-minute snippets of video activity were coded by students. A random selection was also recoded by an independent party as a reliability check. ARIMA time series analysis techniques were applied to the coded results. In addition, police calls for service data were examined in both the CCTV areas and buffered regions within 200, 500, and 1,000 feet of cameras, for a number of months before and after camera implementation.

The results suggest that one site had a significant decline in calls for service and some diffusion of benefits. A second site had a gradual decline in anti-social behavior compared to a slight increase in calls for service in the wider police district. The public market site experienced a drop in anti-social behavior, an effect that appeared to decline after some time. Although the police data period was relatively short, the combined approach makes this an interesting and relatively strong study.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Central Train Station

Oslo, Norway

Six cameras

January 1999

Decrease in robbery/theft from person and bicycle theft.

None

Civilians working at a police station

(Winge & Knutsson, 2003)

Adequate. The data have some limitations, and the surveys are not large; however, the incident data were examined for experiment, control, and displacement areas.

Due to drug abusers' use of the area outside the central train station in Oslo, the Oslo Police Department introduced a trial CCTV camera system in 1999. The area under surveillance was a typical city center with large numbers of people moving through, using nearby restaurants, shops, and hotels. Six cameras were installed and then monitored by trained operators based at the station. To assess the effects of the CCTV scheme, evaluators studied police incident log data from one year before, and one year after, the installation. This was supplemented by local crime data and three surveys that explored local reaction.

The research found that recorded crime increased in the study area, especially violent and narcotics offenses. However, the researchers suggest this is most likely due to increased detections by the police department as a result of proactive work directed by the cameras, as well as an increase in police patrolling the area. Most local businesses showed mainly insignificant changes in perception of crime and public order problems. Although local businesses had confidence in the system, confidence in effectiveness did decline after some time.

Research design: Adequate. Limitations of Norwegian crime data limit the ability to map crime events with precision. Business turnover also limited the value of the third survey, which had a poor response rate. However the study did examine changes in a control area and a displacement area as well as exploring public reaction in the experiment, control, and displacement areas.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

East Brighton, UK

10 cameras in a housing project

Summer 1998

Crime continued a long-term increase.

Feelings of lack of safety continued after CCTV's introduction.

N/A

(Squires, 2003)

Weak, though some factors were out of the researchers' control. There were potentially significant differences between pre- and post-survey groups, and the crime analysis does not break down the data into more meaningful offense categories.

Ten CCTV cameras were installed in a housing project with a reputation for disorderly conduct and crime problems. The area also had high levels of unemployment and negligible rates of home ownership. Various crime prevention and community building initiatives did not appear to have solved some of the underlying troubles in the community.

Pre and post surveys of 243 and 237 residents respectively found that knowledge of the CCTV cameras was high. Analysis of nearly three years of crime and incident data found the CCTV system did not significantly inhibit a long-term increase in crime and disorder that increased roughly in line with a comparable housing project that did not have CCTV.

Research design: Weak, though some factors were out of the researchers' control. The research is predominantly a report of pre and post surveys. Researchers were unable to get the 300 respondents they sought for both surveys, and there were potentially significant differences between the two survey groups, especially in terms of home ownership (which doubled from the first survey), and the age structure (more elderly people were surveyed in the second visit). Reports of the crime and incident data do not break down the data into crime and disorder offense groups that CCTV could be expected to effect.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Greater Easterhouse, Glasgow, Scotland.

Not reported

May 1998

No overall crime reduction. Drug offenses and violent crime increased, but at a lower rate than in other areas. Other crime types not reported in the paper.

N/A

Civilian operators working at a police station

(Hood, 2003)

Adequate, but not all quantitative results reported.

Greater Easterhouse is a large housing project with about 15,000 residents in northeast Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. Predominantly public housing, the area has long suffered from deprivation, depopulation, and crime. As the City of Glasgow installed CCTV in the city center (see Ditton et al., 1999) CCTV's profile was high and funding was received for Greater Easterhouse. The catalyst for the funding bid was the collection of two petitions, totaling more than 2,800 names, as a result of two gang-related homicides. The system went live in May 1998. At the time of system implementation, the Greater Easterhouse project was the largest residential-area CCTV system in Scotland.

Research design: Adequate, but not all quantitative results reported. Although the study employed crime data analysis, a pre-installation public survey (of 100 people), and key stakeholder interviews, much of the paper is given over to the qualitative elements of the evaluation and there is insufficient data presented to estimate CCTV's impact on recorded crime. A straight comparison on the year following implementation with the preceding year found that violent crime increased in three of five police beats in the CCTV area at a rate comparable with increases in violent crime across the whole police region (Strathclyde). However, these increases were less than the increases in the police district that includes Easterhouse. Drug offenses also increased but at a lower rate than in the Strathclyde area. Three other crime types were examined but the results were not reported.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Camberwell, London

17 cameras in a town center

January 1998

Street, vehicle and violent crime decreased at a faster rate than before CCTV's introduction, while the buffer and comparison areas saw an increase in crime.

Of public surveyed, who knew about the cameras, 69% felt safer.

Civilian, based at a public car park and linked to a police station

(Sarno et al., 1999)

Quite strong. Four years of crime data examined, and supported with numerous qualitative approaches.

The town had long suffered from street crime, the vast majority of which occurred in the town center. Short-term police crackdowns had the expected short-term effects. The local council led a local partnership and successfully bid for CCTV-system funding from the UK Home Office. The 17 cameras were installed so that they covered the main commercial areas of small shops and restaurants. As with the Peckham evaluation, the area was one of a number targeted for a street robbery reduction program by the Metropolitan (London, UK) police. The report found that although crime had decreased slightly before implementation, the rate of decrease increased after implementation. Recorded crime fell 4% before the cameras were installed and 12% afterward. Significant reductions in street, vehicle, and violent crime were recorded. By comparison, crime in the buffer and comparison areas increased.

Research design: Quite strong. A good evaluation of CCTV, employing recorded crime statistics, operator logbooks and repair invoices, interviews, a survey of town residents (200 per site), and a survey of local businesses. Target areas were deemed to be within 200 meters of a camera with the remainder of the police beat assigned as buffer zones (to test for displacement). The remainder of the police district was assigned the role of comparison area. Crimes that were not expected to be affected by CCTV's presence were excluded from the analysis. Crime analysis consisted of two years of data before, and two years after, system implementation. No evidence that seasonal trends were explored.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

East Street, London

12 cameras covering a street market

January 1998

Vehicle crime and criminal damage decreased, though street crime increased (mainly in theft from the person; robberies decreased).

Of public surveyed, who knew about the cameras, 53% felt safer.

Civilian, based at a public car park and linked to a police station

Sarno et al, 1999

Quite strong. Four years of crime data examined and supported with numerous qualitative approaches.

The East Street area is dominated by one of London's oldest street markets. The area, a mix of commercial and residential land use, had been in decline, and crime levels had risen, before the evaluation. The CCTV system was implemented by a partnership between local market traders, the local council, and the police department. The target area for the 11 cameras (one fixed and 10 moveable cameras) was the market area and some local free car parks that had been the target of car crime. The aim of the system was to deter and detect crime, reduce fear of crime, provide quality video footage for prosecutions, and restore confidence in the area. The evaluation found that car crime and criminal damage reduced substantially, and, although street crime increased, robberies decreased by half. Crime in the target area decreased by 4% in the year before implementation and 10% in the year after. However, crime in the buffer and comparison areas decreased at a quicker rate than in the target zone.

Research design: Quite strong. As a part of the previous study, this research had a good evaluation of CCTV, employing recorded crime statistics, operator logbooks and repair invoices, interviews, a survey of town residents (200 per site) and a survey of local businesses. Target areas were deemed to be within 200 meters of a camera with the remainder of the police beat assigned as buffer zones (to test for displacement). The remainder of the police district was assigned the role of comparison area. Crimes that were not expected to be affected by the presence of CCTV were excluded from the analysis. Crime analysis consisted of two years of data before, and two years after, system implementation. No evidence that seasonal trends were explored.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Five British towns

Varied

March to July 1997

Assault-related emergency room visits decreased, recorded violence increased, suggesting that police intervention due to CCTV surveillance increased arrests and reduced the escalation of violence.

N/A

N/A

(Sivarajasingam, Shepherd, & Matthews, 2003)

Fairly strong. Two years of pre-and post-intervention data were explored for five experiment and five control towns and cities.

This study focused on the nexus between recorded violent offenses and assault-related emergency room attendances across five English towns. Five control towns or cities were also selected, from locations in the general geographic proximity of the experiment sites and locations that had similar population sizes. The authors argue that the comparison of emergency room data and police data allow two hypotheses to be explored. First, if a deterrence effect for CCTV exists, then recorded assaults should decrease. Second, if CCTV increases police detections and provides the opportunity to intervene earlier in potentially violent incidents, then recorded violent incidents may increase but assault-related hospital attendances should decrease.

The study found that CCTV surveillance was associated with increased police detection of violence and reduced numbers of people treated at the emergency department for assault. However, the impact was not the same for all locations.

Research design: Fairly strong. The study collected data for the same four-year period for the control towns (May 1995 to April 1999) and a generally equivalent period for the experiment sites (all of the experiment sites installed CCTV between March and July 1997). The study employed quarterly moving average plots of emergency department and police recorded violence. Student tests were used to compare changes in the violence level before and after CCTV schemes were introduced. General trends in the data and the existence of long-term seasonality were unclear. Also, data collections areas for the intervention and control area police and hospital data were very large and not adjoining the target areas.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Ilford, Essex, UK

Town center. Number of cameras not available.

May/June 1997

Reduction over five months for every crime type examined. Lesser reductions outside implementation area for a number of crime types. Crime in the CCTV area also declined compared to the same months in the previous year.

Modest improvement after CCTV implementation

N/A

(Squires, 1998)

Adequate. A longer data period would have been able to correct the apparent seasonality.

The report provides little data regarding the operation or installation of the CCTV system other than it was implemented in Ilford town center, east of London. There is no information about system ownership or the number of cameras. Pre and post surveys of about 750 people each found strong support (more than 90%) for the CCTV system before and after implementation. There was also evidence that respondents who were aware of the cameras felt safer. There were reductions in all crime types in the five months post-implementation (the second half of 1997) compared to the months immediately preceding the implementation, as well as (generally smaller) reductions compared to the same months in the preceding year.

Research design: Adequate. Used 18 months of crime data, though the combination of actual and moving average displays for the same data on some charts makes interpretation more difficult. The data suggest annual seasonality that a longer data period preceding and following the implementation would have been able to correct.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Elephant and Castle, London

34 cameras around a shopping center

January 1997

Recorded crime fell 17% in both target and buffer areas. Steep decline in street robberies attributed to CCTV.

Of public surveyed, who knew about the cameras, about 60% felt safer.

Civilian, based at a shopping center and linked to a police station

(Sarno et al., 1999)

Quite strong. Four years of crime data examined and supported with numerous qualitative approaches.

Elephant and Castle is centered around a large shopping mall and a network of arterial roads and service streets. It is also a major local public transportation hub, with bus stops, a train station, and a subway stop. The main access to the shopping area is through a pedestrian subway system that had a reputation for personal robberies. The CCTV system was introduced after an initiative by a group of local council representatives, the local police, and local businesses to reduce crime and fear of crime. The extensive camera system is focused on the shopping area and the local transport terminals. The aim of the system was to reduce opportunist street and subway crime and to eliminate drug trafficking in the area. The research found (against a background of crime reducing in the area generally) that recorded crime in both the target area and the buffer zone fell by about 17% in the two years post-implementation. A portion of the steep decline in the incidence of street robbery was attributed to the CCTV system.

Research design: Quite strong. A good evaluation of CCTV, employing recorded crime statistics, operator logbooks and repair invoices, interviews, a survey of town residents (200 per site) and a survey of local businesses. Target areas were deemed to be within 200 meters of a camera with the remainder of the police beat assigned as buffer zones (to test for displacement). The remainder of the police district was assigned the role of comparison area. Crimes that were not expected to be affected by the presence of CCTV were excluded from the analysis. Crime analysis consisted of two years of data before, and two years after, system implementation. No evidence that seasonal trends were explored.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

29 cameras, in three areas, with variable viewing hours

Early 1997 to mid-2001

General reduction in crime levels. Some displacement to other areas, though still a net reduction. Some immediate diffusion of benefits.

Slight improvement in only one area

Variable hours, with two systems operational only during peak hours

(Flight, Heerwaarden, & Soomeren, 2003)

Adequate, though the quantitative data are not fully explored.

Against the background of significant growth in the use of CCTV across The Netherlands, this study reports on an evaluation of CCTV systems in three different Amsterdam locations that were initiated at different times. Unusual for a CCTV system, the cameras were monitored only for certain hours of the day on certain days of the week. For example, the system in the area perceived to have the worst crime problem was monitored Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 10:30 PM. Images were not recorded unless an operator deemed it necessary.

Research design: Adequate, though the quantitative data are not fully explored. The systems were evaluated by means of an analysis of police records for one year before, and one year after, CCTV implementation at each site. Data were collected for the CCTV area, and, for displacement and comparison purposes, from the wider police beat and the whole city. More than 2,000 questionnaires were completed and qualitative interviews were conducted with a smaller group of the same shopkeepers in two survey sweeps a year apart in each site. In-depth interviews were also conducted with local police, camera operators, and policy-makers. Unfortunately, the paper emphasizes the qualitative aspects of the research, and the potential value of the quantitative data is not fully explored. The qualitative aspects of the study found that fear of crime improved significantly in only one of the three areas. The research found that recorded crime dropped substantially in the CCTV area while the trend in the comparison regions either remained steady (or slightly improved) or increased.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Gillingham, UK

Seven town center cameras

1997

Reduction in vehicle crime and robberies

N/A

Civilian.

(Griffiths, n.d.) [Full text]

Adequate. The evaluation compared crime rates in the target area with a comparison site in a similar town with five years of aggregated data.

This undergraduate dissertation evaluates the CCTV system in the town center of Gillingham, a town approximately 30 miles south of London. The town is described as a combination of market town and suburban center. A local partnership of police, borough council, local businesses, and community services successfully implemented seven city center cameras in early 1997. Comparison with a neighboring town (with no CCTV system) shows that recorded crime initially fell in Gillingham at a significantly faster rate than in the comparison town: a 44% reduction in recorded crime, compared to a 22% reduction in the comparison town. In later years, the comparison town returned to the pre-implementation crime levels, while Gillingham's crime rate remained at the new post-CCTV lower level.

Research design: Adequate. The evaluation compared crime rates in the target area with a comparison site in a similar town. Crime data were gathered for police reported crime figures for one year before, and four years after, CCTV implementation. The quantitative work was supported by some qualitative findings. As expected changes in crime differed by crime type; substantial reductions occurred in thefts, vehicle thefts, and robberies. The study did not explore more micro-level interactions, such as displacement to local areas close to the CCTV cameras, and did not explore longer seasonal trends in the data.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Peckham, London

14 cameras in a public retail area

October 1995

Inconclusive, due to limitations in access to recorded crime data

Of public surveyed, who knew about the cameras, about 60% felt safer.

Civilian, based at a public car park and linked to a police station

(Sarno, Hough, & Bulos, 1999)

Weak, but due only to limitations in crime data outside the researchers' control.

The town center area had declined, becoming a hot spot for drug dealing and street robbery, which lead to the introduction of CCTV. The 14 new cameras were added to an existing system of 27 static car park surveillance cameras. The surveilled area consisted of a number of small businesses and larger retail chains. The evaluation of the CCTV system in Peckham is complicated by two factors. First, during the evaluation period, the area was one of a number targeted for a street robbery reduction program by the Metropolitan (London, UK) police. Second, the area also received major urban regeneration funding. Report authors are cautious in their findings; however, their research suggests that crime did fall in the target area, though in line with the same level of decline in the comparison area.

Research design: Weak, but due only to limitations on crime data outside the researchers' control. There was a thorough evaluation of the qualitative aspects of the CCTV implementation. This included examining operator logbooks and repair invoices, interviews, a survey of town residents (200 per site), and a survey of local businesses. Target areas were deemed to be within 200 meters of a camera with the remainder of the police beat assigned as buffer zones (to test for displacement). The remainder of the police district was assigned the role of comparison area. Crimes that were not expected to be affected by the presence of CCTV were excluded from the analysis. Crime analysis was complicated by limited access to crime data due to the introduction date of a crime recording system. Researchers did manually gather data for a pre- and post-implementation period. No evidence that seasonal trends were explored.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Burnley, UK

N/A

1995

Substantial decline in most crime types. Some diffusion effect for most crime types.

N/A

N/A

(Armitage, Smyth, & Pease, 1999) [Full text]

Fairly strong. The study used a long-time series of data and also explored hourly temporal patterns.

Police beats were categorized as focal (with CCTV cameras), displacement (adjoining areas to CCTV beats), and other beats in the city (as a baseline comparison area). Data were collected for the year before CCTV installation, the year of CCTV implementation, and the two years following. The data showed crime reductions of 25% and 16% respectively in the two years following implementation. There was no evidence of displacement and some suggestion of diffusion of benefits.

Research design. Fairly strong. The research used a long-time series of data post-implementation, though there does not appear to have been any correction for seasonal trends. The paper also reports a temporal analysis by hour of day, which is not conducted in other studies to the same degree.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Glasgow, Scotland

32 city center cameras

November 1994

Marginal, though the system has helped with some major crime investigations.

Marginal

Civilian

(Ditton et al., 1999)

Strong. Three years of crime data had seasonal variation removed before trend analysis, and pre and post surveys were conducted in control areas.

The Glasgow CCTV system started with a public survey that suggested strong support for the introduction of CCTV. Glasgow had, for many years, a reputation within the UK for higher levels of violence than other cities. CCTV was perceived as a potential solution. Although an autonomous body was set up to fund and manage the system, when the 32 city center cameras went live there were insufficient funds to support the system. Funding differences between who should pay (the public or the private sector) were never resolved. Eighteen months after implementation, three CCTV staff members were let go.

Three public awareness and perception surveys (one pre and two post) were conducted in both CCTV and control locations. The surveys found that fear of crime did not improve after CCTV's introduction and that the city center was still perceived to be relatively unsafe. Concerns about being a crime victim in the city center did improve slightly, but still remain higher than control areas outside the CCTV area. Support for CCTV was still strong, but not as strong as found in other research: some civil liberty concerns were voiced to researchers. Three years of crime data were examined. Seasonally corrected crime series indicated that recorded crime increased slightly, though some crime categories fell. The introduction of CCTV when crime rates were already low suggests that the slight increase in the adjusted rate may be a leveling or regression to the mean.

Research design: Strong. Surveys included control areas, and the crime data had seasonal fluctuation removed before the application of smoothing techniques to examine trends. Furthermore, two years of pre-implementation data enabled the estimation of seasonal variation, and a one year post-implementation data set gave a better indication of longer effects.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

16 city center cameras

December 1992

Reduction in burglary (57%), theft from vehicle (50%), vehicle theft (47%), and criminal damage (34%). Reductions occurred in areas outside the CCTV area, but not to the same level.

N/A

Police and civilians in a police station

(Brown, 1995)

Adequate. Crime data examined for 26 months before, and 15 months after, implementation.

The Newcastle Upon Tyne evaluation explored the impact of 16 CCTV cameras in the center of a large city in northeast England. The city center area is a major entertainment district. Although the system's funding originally came from the City Centre Partnership Security Initiative, the system is effectively under police control. Operators (both civilian and police) are housed in a police station, the civilian operators' wages and other ongoing costs are met by the local police authority, and the camera positions were determined through crime pattern analysis. Camera operators have direct radio contact with patrolling police officers.

Research design: Adequate. Incident data were examined for 20 different crime types across four areas: the CCTV area, other parts of the city center not covered by CCTV, a nearby residential area (no CCTV), and the whole police region. Data were collected for 26 months before, and 15 months after, system implementation. Burglary, criminal damage, theft from vehicle, and vehicle theft all demonstrated greater reductions than in the other areas. Charts of monthly incident counts suggest a strong initial deterrence benefit that may fade over time. There was no evidence of displacement, but some suggestion of a diffusion of benefits.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Airdrie, Scotland

12 town center cameras

November 1992

Overall 21% reduction, especially crimes of dishonesty and vandalism. Some crime types increased, but this may be due to increased detections.

N/A

Civilian operators working at a police station

(Short & Ditton, 1996)

Strong. Researchers controlled for seasonality and used a long-time series before and after CCTV implementation.

CCTV was introduced to Airdrie, a town of about 35,000 people in central Scotland (about 15 miles east of Glasgow), as the result of a local initiative. Members of a local youth club suggested the idea, which was championed by a sub-divisional officer at the local police station. Funds were raised from local councils and businesses, and 12 CCTV cameras became operational in November 1992. The monitors are based in the local police station and monitored by civilian employees.

Research design: Strong. This study used 24 months of data before and after CCTV's introduction. Seasonality was controlled for using trend analysis software, to elicit a clearer indication of the real underlying trend in the crime level. Furthermore, the research design was able to control for general trends across the country and the region, as well as test for displacement at the local level. General crime levels fell by 21% in the CCTV area for the two years after CCTV installation. Some crime types (such as dishonesty) fell by 50%. Although some crime types increased, it appears likely this was due to the increase in detections following the cameras' introduction. Overall this study provides significant support for CCTV as a crime prevention measure, and the strong research design suggests the findings are robust.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

Birmingham, UK

Nine city center cameras initially

1991-1992

Apparent crime control benefits (in robbery, burglary, and theft from person) Possible displacement of robbery and theft from person out of the area, as well as displacement of offending from vehicle theft to theft from vehicles. Some evidence of reduced personal victimization in CCTV area.

A positive change only in people who were aware the cameras had been installed

Civilian staff employed by the police

(Brown, 1995)

Adequate. Nearly four years of data were used for the study, but the data were aggregated only to monthly beat counts.

At the suggestion of local police, the Birmingham City Centre Association created a trust to fund a CCTV program in the city center of England's second largest city. This region of low population is a significant business and entertainment area. It is also popular for demonstrations and public meetings that require police to perform a public order function in an area of heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic. At the time of the evaluation, nine cameras were installed (the number has since increased significantly). The city center's high number of obstacles and complicated street layout make cameras generally less effective than in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Civilian operators, employed by the local police authority, monitor the cameras from a central location in the police station.

Research design: Adequate. Monthly (aggregated to beats) crime data were gathered for one year before, and nearly three years after, system implementation. The evaluation is complicated by two factors. The target CCTV police beat had areas that were not covered by CCTV, and, although there were nine cameras in the initial period, two more cameras were added within a year. Robbery, burglary, and theft from person trends remained stable, comparably better than the increase that took place in the rest of the police division. Criminal damage patterns were unchanged, and vehicle crime pattern changes may be more attributable to traffic calming measures introduced to the city center than CCTV.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

London, UK

Four different drug markets. Camera organization changed by site.

1990s

Effective in dispersing drug markets in two areas. In a third, users appear to have adapted to the cameras' presence.

N/A

N/A

(Edmunds et al., 1996)

Not able to assess from the information provided.

This report is not a strict CCTV evaluation, but it is interesting as it reports on drug dealers' techniques to avoid detection by CCTV in some areas. The report authors mainly examined six London drug markets and explored ways to tackle these markets. Of the six, four (B, D, E, and F) employed CCTV at some point in the study. CCTV was discussed in and around markets B and E.

Market B was in a deprived inner-city area of public housing and high unemployment, known for crime, drugs, and prostitution. At the time of the study, the drug market had evolved to a round-the-clock market split between two main areas and operated by about six main dealers with 20-30 runners. In Market B, some dealing took place in sight of the CCTV cameras. Dealers adapted by ensuring they were either dealing on the move or that the cameras could not get a good view of them. As the report states, "CCTV was thought to have helped increase the speed and ingenuity of the drug transaction" (p.16-17).

Market E, centered at a train station, was a well-established and accessible drug market in an area with high pedestrian traffic. Local authorities employed CCTV and covert surveillance (using video evidence where necessary) in the area. The impact of CCTV is difficult to gauge as these situational measures were introduced along with a local arrest strategy: targeting hotels known for drug selling, litter and debris removal, restrictions on licenses for fast food outlets, and other measures.

The report focused on site assessments, interviews with drug market users (about 30 interviews per site), and interviews with local drug workers and police. The findings are therefore anecdotal rather than quantitative. The authors report that in Market D, an inner-city area of shops, fast food outlets, and mixed private/public housing, the introduction of a single camera caused the drug market to disperse and client contact for local outreach workers to drop to 20% of former levels. In Market B, dealing disappeared from the CCTV surveillance area.

Location

Camera org.

Date

Effect on crime

Effect on fear of crime

Operation

Evaluation

Research design

King's Lynn, UK

60 cameras around the town

1987-1994

Vehicle crime continued ongoing reduction, and reduced at a more significant rate compared to the surrounding police division. Burglary reduced in the evaluated CCTV area. Within two years, vehicle crime in the camera areas declined to nearly zero.

N/A

Civilian

(Brown, 1995)

Weak. The evaluation was limited to cameras overlooking car parks only. The number of crime events is low, limiting the application of any statistical measures.

King's Lynn is a market town about 90 miles north of London (UK). Initial public area cameras were installed as early as 1987, and the system is well-developed and extensive. System funding has come from a variety of sources, including a tariff on area parking charges and increases in rent for public housing tenants and charges at a local sports center. At the time of the report, the cameras were monitored by civilian operators based at a local council office. These operators were in telephone contact with the local police station.

Research design: Weak. Although the city center area had 60 cameras at the time of the report, the evaluation examined the impact of only 19 cameras in and around public car parks. These locations are likely to be non-contiguous and may also be surveilled by other cameras. Crime data were gathered for about one year before, and about two years after, system implementation. The number of crime events is low, limiting the application of any statistical measures. Different scales used on many charts make comparisons between the limited CCTV areas and the wider police division and police force area impractical. The evidence suggests that vehicle crime continued to decline at a more significant rate compared to the surrounding police division. Burglary also reduced in the evaluated CCTV area. Within two years, vehicle crime in the camera areas declined to nearly zero.