Crime Prevention and Community Safety

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 21–33 | Cite as

Evidence-based Crime Prevention: The Effectiveness of CCTV

  • Brandon C Welsh
  • David P Farrington
Research Article


An evidence-based approach to preventing crime calls for the use of the highest-quality available evidence on the efficacy of a crime prevention program type and the use of the most rigorous methods to analyze this evidence. This article reports on the findings of a systematic review—incorporating meta-analytic techniques—of the highest-quality available research evidence on the effects of CCTV on crime in public space. CCTV had a significant desirable effect on crime, with an overall reduction in crime of 21 per cent in experimental compared to comparable control areas. CCTV was most effective in reducing crime in car parks, most effective when combined with improved street lighting and targeted at vehicle crimes, and more effective in reducing crime in the UK than in North America.


CCTV surveillance evidence-based crime prevention systematic review meta-analysis situational crime prevention 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon C Welsh
    • 1
  • David P Farrington
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts LowellAssistant Professor
  2. 2.Professor, Psychological Criminology at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge

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