Security Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 137–152 | Cite as

The Ipswich (Queensland) safe city program: an evaluation

  • Tim PrenzlerEmail author
  • Eric Wilson
Original Article


This paper reviews three decades of data associated with a large-scale open street CCTV program introduced in the City of Ipswich, in the state of Queensland, Australia, in 1994. In 2018, there were over 300 cameras in operation with live monitoring and relays to police and security officers on the beat. Over the years a number of dramatic claims have been made about the impact of the program, including an overall reduction in crime of 80% and high rates of crimes being solved. However, the Ipswich City Council, which operates the program, was unable to provide data to support these claims. In response, the researchers accessed all available police data for the area and comparable areas. No evidence could be found for any specific benefits from the program. The findings that add to those from the literature are that CCTV programs often lack a scientifically grounded implementation and evaluation process, and are vulnerable to misuse for political purposes. The paper concludes by reiterating best-practice standards in crime prevention programs, including accountability and transparency, and the use of standard evaluation protocols.


CCTV Crime prevention Local government Police Partnerships 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

Research Ethics Approval Reference Number: CCJ/18/09/HREC.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of the Sunshine CoastSunshine CoastAustralia

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