• Center for Problem oriented policing

POP Center Responses Video Surveillance of Public Places, 2nd Ed. Page 7

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Appendix A: Systematic Reviews of Video Surveillance in Public Places 

As more research evaluating CCTV across the globe has been conducted, meta-analyses and systematic reviews have been developed to take stock of what is known about this large body of research. The table below provides the results from the meta-analyses to provide a more comprehensive understanding of what is currently known about CCTV. Studies are ordered with the most recent evaluations first.


Settings included

Years covered

Number of studies included

Inclusion criteria

Effects on crime

Welch, Piza, Thomas, & Farrington, 2020

Car park, city/town center, housing, residential, public transport, and other


76 studies

CCTV was the main focus of the intervention. A crime outcome measure was included. Research involved before and after measures for treatment and control areas which experienced at least 20 crimes pre-intervention.

CCTV programs operated by security personnel had the biggest reduction in crime

Piza, Welsh, Farrington, & Thomas, 2019

Car park, city/town center, housing, residential, public transport, and other


76 studies

CCTV was the main intervention. A crime outcome measure was used. Included before and after measures in treatment and control areas where at least 20 crimes were experienced pre-intervention.

CCTV is associated with a modest statistically significant reduction in crime. Displacement was not a common result (6 out of 50 studies) and in 15 studies there was evidence of diffusion benefits. The largest and most consistent effects were found in car parks. CCTV in residential areas was also associated with significant reductions in crime. Actively monitored CCTV systems were associated with significant reductions and passive systems were not associated with reduction in crime.

Alexandrie, 2017

Parking facilities, supermarkets/mass merchant stores, soccer stadiums, subway stations, and public street settings


7 studies

Studies were either a randomized or natural experiments. The main outcome variable was a measure of crime. The main intervention method was video surveillance.

Overall crime reductions ranged from 24-28% in public streets and urban subway stations but no effects in parking facilities or subway stations. Most of the crime reduction was found for property crimes. Most of the studies found no effects of displacement or diffusion.

Welsh & Farrington, 2009

City/town centers, public housing, public transportation, car parks, and residential areas


44 studies

CCTV was the main intervention. There was an outcome measure for crime. All studies had, at a minimum, before and after measures in experimental and control areas.

CCTV caused a modest (16%) yet statistically significant decline in crime in experimental areas compared with control areas. CCTV in car parks resulted in a 51% decrease in crime. Other settings had small nonsignificant effects from CCTV. CCTV is more effective in the UK than in other countries.

Farrington, Gill, Waples, & Argomaniz, 2007

Deprived housing estates, borough of mixed affluence, town/city center, hospital, car parks

Programs funded in 2001

14 studies

CCTV was one of the interventions used in all studies. Included a target area, buffer area, and control area with similar socio-demographic features and crime problems.

CCTV was only effective in reducing crime in car parks. CCTV was most effective in reducing vehicle crime. CCTV was particularly effective when also combined with improved lighting.

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