The effects of closed-circuit television on crime: meta-analysis of an English national quasi-experimental multi-site evaluation
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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 wordsCCTV crime evaluation meta-analysis quasi-experimental design situational crime prevention surveillance
The authors are very grateful to the Home Office for supporting the National Evaluation, to Kate Painter for overseeing it, to Chris Kershaw for support and guidance, to Patricia Altham and Peter Grove for statistical advice, and to Darrick Jolliffe for statistical assistance. Angela Spriggs, Jenna Allen, Jane Bryan, Martin Hemming, Patricia Jessiman, Deena Kara, Jonathan Kilworth, Ross Little, Polly Smith and Daniel Swain worked on and made important contributions to the National Evaluation.
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