Journal of Experimental Criminology

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 21–38 | Cite as

The effects of closed-circuit television on crime: meta-analysis of an English national quasi-experimental multi-site evaluation

  • David P. Farrington
  • Martin Gill
  • Sam J. Waples
  • Javier Argomaniz
Article

Abstract

This article reports results obtained in an English national quasi-experimental multi-site evaluation of 14 closed-circuit television (CCTV) projects in residential areas, town and city centers, a city hospital, and car parks (parking lots). Both police and victimization data were collected before and after the installation of CCTV in target, control and buffer areas, and police Divisions. The results showed that CCTV was effective in reducing crimes in train station car parks but not in city centers or residential areas, seemed to be effective in reducing vehicle crimes (but not other types of crimes), and was most effective when the degree of coverage by CCTV was high and when CCTV was combined with other interventions such as improved lighting. Implications for situational crime prevention theory are drawn. There was no evidence of displacement or diffusion of benefits. It is concluded that CCTV needs to be implemented more effectively, based on an analysis of the crime problem and its causes, and needs to be evaluated using a randomized experimental design.

Key words

CCTV crime evaluation meta-analysis quasi-experimental design situational crime prevention surveillance 

References

  1. Armitage, R. (2002). To CCTV or not? A review of current research into the effectiveness of CCTV systems in reducing crime. London: National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders.Google Scholar
  2. Armitage, R., Smyth, G., & Pease, K. (1999). Burnley CCTV evaluation. In K. A. Painter & N. Tilley (Eds.), Surveillance of public space: CCTV, street lighting and crime prevention (pp. 225–249). Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  3. Blumstein, A., Cohen, J., Roth, J. A., & Visher, C. A. (Eds.) (1986). Criminal careers and “career criminals”, Vol. 1. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  4. Clarke, R. V. (1997). Introduction. In R. V. Clarke (Ed.), Situational crime prevention: Successful case studies (2nd ed., pp. 1–43). Guilderland, NY: Harrow and Heston.Google Scholar
  5. Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (1979). Quasi-experimentation: Design and analysis issues for field settings. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  6. Farrington, D. P., Bennett, T. H., & Welsh, B. C. (2007). The Cambridge evaluation of the effects of CCTV on crime. In G. Farrell, K. Bowers, S. Johnson, & M. Townsley (Eds.), Imagination for crime prevention: Essays in honor of Ken Pease. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  7. Farrington, D. P., & Painter, K. A. (2003). How to evaluate the impact of CCTV on crime. Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 5, 7–16.Google Scholar
  8. Farrington, D. P., & Petrosino, A. (2000). Systematic reviews of criminological interventions: The Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Group. International Annals of Criminology, 38,49–66.Google Scholar
  9. Gill, M., & Spriggs, A. (2005). Assessing the impact of CCTV. London: Home Office (Research Study No. 292).Google Scholar
  10. Gill, M., Spriggs, A., Allen, J., Hemming, M., Jessiman, P., Kara, D., et al. (2005). Control room operation: Findings from control room observations. London: Home Office (Online Report 14/05; http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/rdsolr1405.pdf).
  11. Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Painter, K. A., & Farrington, D. P. (1997). The crime reducing effect of improved street lighting. In R. V. Clarke (Ed.), Situational crime prevention: Successful case studies (2nd ed., pp. 209–226). Guilderland, NY: Harrow and Heston.Google Scholar
  13. Piquero, A. R., Farrington, D. P., & Blumstein, A. (2003). The criminal career paradigm. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and Justice (Vol. 30, pp. 359–506). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Sherman, L. W., Farrington, D. P., Welsh, B. C., & MacKenzie, D. L. (Eds.) (2006). Evidence-based crime prevention (revised ed.) London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Smith, M. J., Clarke, R. V., & Pease, K. (2002). Anticipatory benefits in crime prevention. In N. Tilley (Ed.), Analysis for crime prevention (pp. 71–88). Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  16. Weisburd, D., Wyckoff, L. A., Ready, J., Eck, J. E., Hinkle, J. C., & Gajewski, F. (2006). Does crime just move around the corner? A controlled study of spatial displacement and diffusion of crime control benefits. Criminology, 44, 549–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Welsh, B. C., & Farrington, D. P. (2002). Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: A systematic review. London: Home Office (Research Study No. 252).Google Scholar
  18. Welsh, B. C., & Farrington, D. P. (2004). Surveillance for crime prevention in public space: Results and policy choices in Britain and America. Criminology and Public Policy, 3, 497–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Welsh, B. C., & Farrington, D. P. (2006). Closed-circuit television surveillance. In B. C. Welsh & D. P. Farrington (Eds.), Preventing crime: What works for children, offenders, victims, and places (pp. 193–208). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David P. Farrington
    • 1
  • Martin Gill
    • 2
  • Sam J. Waples
    • 2
  • Javier Argomaniz
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of CriminologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of CriminologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations