Social Behavior in Public Space: An Analysis of Behavioral Adaptations to CCTV
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This paper explores how people behave when CCTV cameras operate in public space. We examine how behavioral patterns change over time, and assess the short-term influence of CCTV on behavior in public space. Using videotape footage of four CCTV sites, we document pro-social, anti-social, traffic and guardianship behaviors over a four-month study period. Our study of CCTV in Cincinnati found that surveillance cameras create somewhat of an initial deterrent effect in the month, perhaps two months, following implementation. We conclude that erecting signs to notify people about the cameras could possibly increase the level of deterrence of CCTV. Signs about CCTV cameras in operation would also address some of the fairness issues raised by civil libertarians. We also suggest that shifting CCTV cameras around on a frequent basis could solve two dilemmas: first, it would increase the number of hotspots under surveillance, and hence remove some of the inequities observed in CCTV deployment; second, short and periodic, as opposed to permanent, deployment of CCTV cameras would capitalize upon some of the initial deterrent effects of the cameras that are observed in our data.
KeywordsCCTV social behavior hotspots deterrence
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