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During the writing of this report, a large UK Home Office study was published (Gill & Spriggs, 2005 [Full text]). This study evaluated 13 CCTV projects comprising 14 separate systems. The systems were implemented in a variety of ways, including at public car parks, in town centers, in residential areas and housing estates, and in hospital areas. Furthermore the systems varied in type. Some were fixed, others redeployable. Some were digital, others analogue. Some were monitored full time, others for less than 24 hours a day. The variations in the system therefore had an impact on the success of the system. The table below aims to concisely summarize the ten systems relevant to this report.
Research design: Strong. Police recorded crime statistics were examined in both the target area and the comparison areas. Some projects were also evaluated for displacement effects. Where possible (as was the case in nearly all studies) at least one to two years of pre-and post-intervention crime data were gathered. Time-series techniques were used to control for seasonal fluctuations. In 12 of the areas, public attitude surveys explored the public's perceptions of the CCTV systems and fear of crime. Researchers also identified other crime prevention measures taking place in the evaluation areas so the individual contribution of CCTV could be explored. Please note that in the original report the names of the locations were changed to preserve anonymity.
Effect on crime
Effect on fear of crime
47 cameras installed in a deprived area of residential, park, hospital, and light industrial land use.
Significant reduction in crime.
14% fewer respondents reported being worried about crime after CCTV installation. Other measures less clear.
51 cameras added to an existing system in a mixed affluent/deprived city center area in southern England.
10% reduction in crime, though there was a 12% reduction in the control area with no CCTV. Increased public order.
About 7% fewer respondents reported being worried about crime after CCTV installation.
12 cameras installed in the town center of a Midlands former mining town.
Crime reduced 4% in the town, while it increased 3% in the control site.
12% fewer respondents at night and 4% during the day reported being worried about crime after CCTV installation. Greater reduction at night in control area.
Nine evaluated cameras. two new cameras, with further cameras added to an existing system, in the center of an affluent market town.
Crime increased 18% in the town, while only increasing 3% in the comparison site.
No information available.
40 new cameras installed in a small town center aiming to reduce retail crime, alcohol problems, and criminal damage.
No change in crime in the town center, while crime increased 14% in the comparison area.
Fear of crime reduced.
11 new cameras introduced to a deprived public housing project in northern England.
Crime decreased by 10% in the target area (especially burglary). Crime in the comparison area increased by 21%.
3% fewer respondents reported being worried about crime after CCTV installation. Similar reductions in control area.
12 new cameras (10 evaluated) implemented into a deprived public housing project in southeast England.
Crime increased in the target area, but only by 2% compared to a 5% increase in the control site. Some displacement within the target area.
3% increase in feelings of safety, matched with a similar level in control areas.
14 cameras (10 evaluated) installed to three areas of a deprived public housing project in southeast England.
Crime increased 4% in the target area, and decreased 19% in the control area, suggesting a statistically significant difference.
About 9-10% fewer respondents reported being worried about crime after CCTV installation. Significantly better findings than in control area.
Eight new cameras used in a redeployable system which could be attached to any lamp post across a mixed/affluent residential area of southeast England.
Crime increased by 73% in the target area, a statistically significant difference from the more modest 12% increase in the control area.
No information available.
11 new redeployable cameras implemented to different areas of a deprived public housing project.
A 21% increase in crime recorded in the housing estate, compared to only a 3% increase in the control area.
A slight improvement in those worried about crime in one area of the project compared to the comparison area. No change in the other area.
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