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Home Office Research Study 252

Crime prevention effects of


closed circuit television:
a systematic review

Brandon C. Welsh and David P. Farrington

T he views expressed in this report are those of the authors, not necessarily
those of the H ome O ffice (nor do they reflect G overnment policy).

H ome O ffice R esearch, D evelopment and Statistics D irectorate


A ugust 2002
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

Home Office Research Studies

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First published 2002


A pplication for reproduction should be made to the C ommunication D evelopment U nit,
R oom 201, H ome O ffice, 50 Q ueen A nne’s G ate, L ondon S W 1H 9A T .
© C row n copyri ght 2002 ISBN 1 84082 882 X
ISSN 0072 6435
Foreword

T his review summarises the findings of previous studies from both the USA and Britain on the
effectiveness of C C T V in crime reduction. Forty six relevant studies were assessed according to
strict methodological criteria:

that CC T V was the main intervention studied;


that there was an outcome measure of crime;
that crime levels before and after the intervention were measured; that
the studies included a comparable control area.

T he authors considered only 22 of these surveys to be rigorous enough for inclusion in their
meta-analysis. T he review draws conclusions on the effectiveness of C C T V generally and on
its effectiveness in terms of specific settings (e.g. car park s, public transport or city centres).

O verall, the best current evi dence suggests that C C T V reduces cri me to a small degree.
C C T V is most effective in reducing vehicle crime in car park s, but it had little or no effect on
crime in public transport and city centre settings.

I mportantl y, the revi ew draw s attenti on to the shortcomi ngs of many of the previ ous
evaluations and highlights common methodological problems that either resulted in their
exclusion from the review or in their limited value in the debate.

T he review includes a useful summary of the k nowledge gaps in relation to the impact of
C C T V on crime and sets out the k ey elements needed in future research and evaluation if
these questions are to be addressed.

C arole F W illis
H ead of Policing and R educing C rime Unit

i
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

Acknowledgements

W e thank H ugh A rnold, L ondon Borough of Sutton; Professor T revor Bennett, U niversity of
G lamorgan; Prof essor Jason D i tton, U ni versi ty of S hef f i el d and S cotti sh C entre f or
C riminology; Professor John E. Eck , U niversity of C incinnati; Professor L orraine M azerolle,
G riffith U niversity; Professor S ara M cL afferty, H unter C ollege; D avid S k inns, D oncaster
C ollege; D r Peter Squires, U niversity of Brighton; and Professor Pierre T remblay, U niversity
of M ontreal, for providing helpful assistance in obtaining copies of evaluation studies used
in this report. A ppreciation is also extended to Professor N ick T illey, N ottingham T rent
U niversity, for comments on the proposal for this research; D eborah Friedman, University of
M assachusetts L owell, for help with the collection of reports; Jennifer W ylie, for translation
services; and Professor M artin G ill, L eicester U niversity, for helpful comments on the report.
T hank s also go to Professor R oss H omel, G riffith U niversity, A ustralia and Professor G raham
Farrell, U niversity of C incinnati, U SA , for acting as independent assessors for this report.

Brandon C . W elsh
D avid P. Farrington

Brandon C . W elsh is an A ssistant Professor in the D epartment of C riminal Justice, U niversity of


M assachusetts L owell. D avid P. Farrington is Professor of Psychological C riminology in the
Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.

ii
Contents

Foreword i
A ck nowledgements ii
List of tables iv
List of figures iv
Summary v

1. Back ground 1

2. M ethod 3
C riteria for inclusion of evaluation studies 3
Search strategies 5
K ey features of evaluations 6
Evaluations not meeting inclusion criteria 8

3. R esults 13
C ity centre or public housing 13
Public transport 27
C ar park s 34
Pooled meta-analysis results 39

4. C onclusions 41
Summary of main findings 41
Priorities for research 42
Policy implications 44

A ppendix 1: L iterature reviews consulted 47


A ppendix 2: Evaluation reports that could not be obtained 49

R eferences 51

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Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

List of Tables

2.1 C C T V evaluations not meeting inclusion criteria 9


3.1 C C T V evaluations in city centres or public housing 15
3.2 M eta-analysis of C C T V evaluations in city centres or public housing 26
3.3 C C T V evaluations in public transport 29
3.4 M eta-analysis of C C T V evaluations in public transport or car park s 34
3.5 C C T V evaluations in car park s 35

List of Figures

3.1 C C T V evaluations 40

iv
Summary

Closed circuit television serves many functions and is used in both public and private settings. T he
prevention of crime (i.e., personal and property) is among its primary objectives in public space.
T his report aims to evaluate the evidence on the effectiveness of C CT V in preventing crime.

D etermining what work s to reduce crime requires examination of the results of prior evaluation
studies. T his is better than drawing conclusions about what work s from personal experience,
from anecdotal evidence, from widespread beliefs, or from a single study which was
wellfunded or highly publicised. T his is the foundation of an evidence-based approach to preventing
crime, and the systematic review represents an innovative, scientific method for contributing to
evidence-based prevention of crime.

T his report has two main objectives: (1) to report on the findings of a systematic review -
incorporating meta-analytic techniques - of the available research evidence on the effects of
C C T V on crime, and (2) to inform public policy and practice on preventing crime through the use
of CCT V interventions.

Systematic reviews use rigorous methods for locating, appraising, and synthesising evidence
from pri or evaluati on studi es, and they are reported wi th the same level of detai l that
characterises high quality reports of original research.

Evaluations meeting the following criteria were included in this review:


(1) CCT V was the focus of the intervention
(2) there was an outcome measure of crime
(3) the evaluation design was of high methodological quality, with the minimum design
involving before-and-after measures of crime in experimental and control areas
(4) there was at least one experimental area and one comparable control area
(5) the total number of crimes in each area before the intervention was at least 20.

T he following four search strategies were carried out to identify C C T V evaluations meeting the
criteria for inclusion in this review:
(1) searches of on-line databases
(2) searches of reviews of the literature on the effectiveness of CCT V in preventing crime
(3) searches of bibliographies of CCT V reports
(4) contacts with leading researchers.

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Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

B oth published and unpublished reports were considered in the searches, and the searches
were international in scope and were not limited to the English language.

T he search strategies resulted in 22 C C T V evaluations meeting the criteria for inclusion. T he


evaluations were carried out in three main settings: (1) city centre or public housing, (2) public
transport, and (3) car park s.

O f the 22 included evaluations, half (11) found a desirable effect on crime and five found an
undesirable effect on crime. Five evaluations found a null effect on crime (i.e., clear evidence of no
effect), while the remaining one was classified as finding an uncertain effect on crime (i.e.,
unclear evidence of an effect).

R esults from a meta-analysis provide a clearer picture of the crime prevention effectiveness of
C C T V . From 18 evaluations - the other four did not provide the needed data to be included in
the meta-analysis - it was concluded that C C T V had a significant desirable effect on crime,
although the overall reduction in crime was a very small four per cent. H alf of the studies (nine
out of 18) showed evidence of a desirable effect of C C T V on crime. A ll nine of these studies
were carried out in the U K . C onversely, the other nine studies showed no evidence of any
desirable effect of CCT V on crime. A ll five N orth A merican studies were in this group.

T he meta-analysis also examined the effect of C C T V on the most frequently measured crime
types. I t was found that C C T V had no effect on violent crimes (from five studies), but had a
significant desirable effect on vehicle crimes (from eight studies).

A cross the three settings, mixed results were found for the crime prevention effectiveness of
C C T V . I n the city centre and public housing setting, there was evidence that C C T V led to a
negligible reduction in crime of about two per cent in experimental areas compared with control
areas. C C T V had a very small but significant effect on crime in the five UK evaluations in this
setting (three desirable and two undesirable), but had no effect on crime in the four N orth
A merican evaluations.

T he four evaluations of C C T V in public transportation systems present conflicting evidence of


effectiveness: two found a desirable effect, one found no effect, and one found an undesirable
effect on crime. For the two effective studies, the use of other interventions mak es it difficult to say
with certainty that C CT V produced the observed crime reductions. T he pooled effect size for all four
studies was a non-significant six per cent decrease in crime.

vi
Summary

I n car parks, there was evidence that C CT V led to a statistically significant reduction in crime of about
41 per cent in experimental areas compared with control areas. For all of the studies in this
setting other measures were in operation at the same time as C C T V .

A dvancing knowledge about the crime prevention benefits of CCT V schemes should begin with
attention to the methodological rigour of the evaluation designs. T he use of a control condition is
important in ruling out some of the major threats to internal validity, but efforts are also needed
to mak e the experimental and control conditions comparable. A ttention to methodological
problems or changes to programmes that tak e place during and after implementation is needed.
Statistical power analysis is needed in advance to determine if numbers are sufficient to detect
the strength of lik ely effects. T here is also the need for longer follow-up periods to see how far
effects persist. R esearch is needed to help identify the active ingredients and causal mechanisms
of successful C C T V programmes and future experi ments are needed whi ch attempt to
disentangle elements of effective programmes. R esearch is also needed on the financial costs
and benefits of C C T V programmes. Future evaluations need to include alternative methods of
measuring crime (surveys as well as police records).

T he studies included in the present review show that C C T V can be most effective in reducing
crime in car park s. E xactly what are the optimal circumstances for effective use of C C T V
schemes is not entirely clear at present, and needs to be established by future evaluation
research. I nterestingly, the success of the C C T V schemes in car parks was limited to a reduction
i n vehi cle crimes (the only cri me type measured) and all fi ve schemes i ncluded other
interventions, such as improved lighting and notices about C C T V cameras. C onversely, the
evaluations of C C T V schemes in city centres and public housing measured a much larger range
of crime types and the schemes did not involve, with one exception, other interventions. T hese
C C T V schemes, and those focused on public transport, had only a small effect on crime. C ould
it be that a pack age of interventions focused on a specific crime type is what made the C C T V -
led schemes in car park s effective?

O verall, it might be concluded that C C T V reduces crime to a small degree. Future C C T V


schemes should be carefully implemented in different settings and should employ high quality
evaluation designs with long follow-up periods. I n the end, an evidence-based approach to
crime prevention which uses the highest level of science available offers the strongest formula for
building a safer society.

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Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

viii
1. Background

C losed ci rcui t televi si on serves many f uncti ons and i s used i n both publi c and pri vate
setti ngs. T he preventi on of cri me (i .e., personal and property) i s among i ts pri mary
objectives in public space, and this is the focus of the present report.

A s an intervention targeted at crime, C C T V is a type of situational crime prevention (e.g.,


C lark e, 1995). A ccording to C lark e and H omel’s (1997) classi fication of situational cri me
prevention, C C T V is viewed as a technique of ” formal surveillance” . I n this regard, C C T V
cameras are seen to enhance or tak e the place of security personnel.

T he mechani sms by w hi ch C C T V may prevent cri me are numerous. T hese have been
arti cul ated by A rmi tage and her col l eagues (1999, pp. 226-27), and are as f ol l ow s:

- C aught in the act - perpetrators will be detected, and possibly removed or


deterred.

- Y ou’ve been framed - C C T V deters potential offenders who perceive an elevated


risk of apprehension.

- N osy park er - C C T V may lead more people to feel able to frequent the surveilled
places. T his will increase the extent of natural surveillance by newcomers, which
may deter potential offenders.

- Effective deployment - C C T V directs security personnel to ambiguous situations,


which may head off their translation into crime.

- Publicity - C C T V could symbolise efforts to tak e cri me seriously, and the


percepti on of those efforts may both energi se law -abidi ng ci ti zens and/or deter
cri me.

- T i me f or crime - C C T V may be percei ved as reduci ng the ti me avai lable to


commit crime, preventing those crimes that require extended time and effort.

- M emory jogging - the presence of C C T V may induce people to tak e elementary


security precautions, such as lock ing their car, by jogging their memory.

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Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

- A nti ci pated shami ng - the presence of C C T V may i nduce peopl e to tak e


elementary security precautions, for fear that they will be shamed by being shown
on CCT V .

- A ppeal to the cautious - cautious people migrate to the areas with C C T V to shop,
leave their cars, and so on. T heir caution and security-mindedness reduce the risk .

- R eporting changes - people report (and/or police record) fewer of the crimes that
occur, either because they wish to show the [desirable] effects of C C T V or out of a
beli ef that ” the C ounci l i s doi ng i ts best” and nothi ng shoul d be done to
discourage it.

T he growth in the use of C C T V to prevent crime in recent years, especially in the U nited
K ingdom (N orris and A rmstrong, 1999) and, surprisingly to a much lesser extent, in the
U ni ted S tates (N i eto, 1997), and the i ncreased attenti on to research on eval uati ng i ts
effecti veness agai nst cri me (E ck , 1997, 2002; Phi llips, 1999), were important reasons for
carrying out the present research.

D etermini ng what w ork s to reduce cri me requi res us to examine the results of prior
evaluation studies. T his is better than drawing conclusions about what work s from personal
experience, from anecdotal evidence, from widespread beliefs, or from a single study which
was well-funded or highly publicised. T his is the foundation of an evidence-based approach
to preventing crime, and the systematic review (see below), which serves as the basis of this
report, represents an i nnovati ve, sci enti fi c method for contri buting to evi dence-based
prevention of crime.

T his report has two main objectives: (1) to report on the findings of a systematic review -
incorporating meta-analytic techniques - of the available research evidence on the effects of
C C T V on crime, and (2) to inform public policy and practice on preventing crime through the
use of CCT V interventions.

T hi s report i s di vided into four chapters. T he second chapter reports on the cri teri a for
inclusion of C C T V evaluations in this review and the methods used to search for, code, and
analyse evaluation reports of C C T V programmes. T he third chapter discusses the research
findings organised by the setting in which C C T V evaluations were conducted, and the final
chapter summarises the main findings and identifies priorities for future research and policy
implications.

2
2. Method

T he present report presents a systematic review of the effects of C C T V on crime and follows
closely the methodology of this review technique. Systematic reviews use rigorous methods
for locating, appraising and synthesising evidence from prior evaluation studies, and they
are reported with the same level of detail that characterises high quality reports of original
research. A ccording to Johnson et al. (2000, p. 35), systematic reviews ” essentially tak e an
epidemiological look at the methodology and results sections of a specific population of
studi es to reach a research-based consensus on a given study topi c” . T hey have expli cit
objectives, explicit criteria for including or excluding studies, extensive searches for eligible
evaluation studies from all over the world, careful extraction and coding of k ey features of
studies, and a structured and detailed report of the methods and conclusions of the review.
A ll of this contributes greatly to the ease of thei r interpretation and replication by other
researchers. I t is beyond the scope of this report to discuss all of the features of systematic
reviews, but interested readers should consult k ey reports on the topic (see e.g., Farrington
and Petrosi no, 2000; Johnson et al., 2000; Farri ngton and W elsh, 2001; Farri ngton et al.,
2001).

Criteria for inclusion of evaluation studies

I n selecting evaluations for inclusion in this review, the following criteria were used:

(1) C C T V was the focus of the intervention. For evaluations involving one or more
other interventions, only those evaluations in which C C T V was the main
intervention were included. T he determination of the main intervention was based
on the author identifying it as such or, if the author did not do this, the importance
of C C T V relati ve to the other i nterventi ons. For a small number of i ncluded
evaluations with multiple interventions, the main intervention was not identified,
but it was clear from the report that C C T V was the most important intervention. I t
is desirable to include only evaluations where C C T V was the main intervention,
because in other cases it is impossible to disentangle the effects of C C T V from the
effects of other interventions.

(2) T here was an outcome measure of crime. T he most relevant crime outcomes were
violent and property crimes (especially vehicle crimes).

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Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

(3) T he evaluation design was of high methodological quality, with the minimum design
involving before-and-after measures of crime in experimental and control areas. T he
unit of interest is the area (including car parks and underground stations).

(4) T here was at least one experimental area and one comparable control area.
S tudies involving residential, business or commercial areas (e.g., city centres),
and other public and private areas (e.g., underground stations, car park s) were
el i gi bl e f or i ncl usi on. S tudi es that compared an experi mental area w i th the
remainder of a ci ty w ere excluded, because the control area was non-
comparable.

(5) T he total number of crimes in each area before the intervention was at least 20.
T he main measure of effect size was based on changes i n cri me rates between
the before and after ti me peri ods. I t was consi dered that a measure of change
based on an N below 20 was potentially misleading. A lso, any study with fewer
than 20 crimes before would have insufficient statistical power to detect changes
in crime. T he criterion of 20 is probably too low, but we were reluctant to exclude
studies unless their numbers were clearly inadequate.

I t is worth saying a few more words about criterion 3. I deally, the ” gold standard” of the
randomised experiment, which is the most convincing method of evaluating crime prevention
programmes (Farrington, 1983), would have been used. T he k ey feature of randomised
controlled trials, which are widely used in medical evaluations, is that the experimental and
control groups are equated before the experimental intervention on all possible extraneous
variables. H ence, any subsequent differences between them must be attributable to the
intervention. T echnically, randomised experiments have the highest possible internal validity
in unambiguously attributing an effect to a cause (Shadish et al., 2002).

T he randomised experiment, however, is only the most convincing method of evaluation if a


sufficiently large number of units is randomly assigned to ensure that the experimental group
is equivalent to the control group on all possible extraneous variables (within the limits of
statistical fluctuation). A s a rule of thumb, at least 50 units in each category are needed.
T his number is relatively easy to achieve with individuals but very difficult to achieve with
larger units such as areas, as in the evaluation of C C T V schemes. For larger units such as
areas, the best and most feasi ble desi gn usually i nvolves before-and-after measures i n
experimental and control conditions together with statistical control of extraneous variables
(Farrington, 1997). T he use of a control condition that is comparable with the experimental
condition is necessary in order to exclude threats to internal validity.

4
Method

Search strategies

T he following four search strategies were carried out to identify C C T V evaluations meeting the
criteria for inclusion in this review:
(1) searches of on-line databases (see below)
(2) searches of reviews of the literature on the effectiveness of C C T V in preventing
crime (for a list of reviews consulted, see A ppendix 1)
(3) searches of bibliographies of C C T V reports
(4) contacts with leading researchers (see A ck nowledgements).

B oth published and unpublished reports were included in the searches. Furthermore, the
searches were international in scope and were not limited to the English language (one non-
E nglish language evaluation report is included in the review). S earches (1) through (3) were
completed in January 2001 and reflect material published or k nown up to 31 D ecember
2000.

T he following eight databases were searched:


(1) C riminal Justice A bstracts
(2) N ational C riminal Justice R eference Service (N C JR S) A bstracts
(3) Sociological A bstracts
(4) Social Science A bstracts (SocialSciA bs)
(5) Educational R esources I nformation Clearinghouse (ER I C )
(6) G overnment Publications O ffice M onthly Catalog (G PO M onthly)
(7) Psychology Information (PsychInfo)
(8) Public A ffairs I nformation Service (PA I S) I nternational

T hese databases w ere sel ected because they had the most comprehensi ve coverage of
criminological, criminal justice, and social science literatures. T hey are also among the top
databases recommended by the C rime and Justice G roup of the C ampbell C ollaboration, and
other systematic reviews of interventions in the field of crime and justice have used them (e.g.,
Petrosino, 2000; Petrosino et al., 2000).

T he following terms were used to search the eight databases noted above: closed circuit
televi si on, C C T V , cameras, soci al control, survei llance, and formal survei llance. W hen
appl i cabl e, ” cri me” w as then added to each of these terms (e.g., C C T V and cri me) to
narrow the search parameters.

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Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

T hese search strategies resulted in the collection of 22 C C T V evaluations meeting the criteria for
inclusion in this review. A few of the evaluations identified, which may or may not have met
the criteria for inclusion, could not be obtained. T he reports of these evaluations are listed in
A ppendix 2.

Key features of evaluations

T ables 3.1, 3.3, and 3.5 summarise k ey features of the 22 included C C T V evaluations.

● A uthor, publication date, and location. T he authors and dates of the most relevant
evaluation reports are listed here, along with the location of the programme. T he
evaluati ons have been li sted i n chronologi cal order, accordi ng to the date of
publication.

● C ontext of intervention. T his is defined as the physical setting in which the C C T V


intervention took place.

● T ype and duration of intervention. T he intervention is identified and any k ey


features are listed. T he length of time the programme was in operation is also
noted here.

● S ample size. T he number and any special features of the experimental and
control areas are identified.

● O ther interventions. I nterventions other than C C T V which were employed at the


time of the programme are identified.

● O utcome measure of i nterest and data source. A s noted above, cri me was the
outcome measure of interest to this review. H ere the specific crime types as well
as the data source of the outcome measure are identified.

● R esearch desi gn and before-after ti me peri od. A s noted above, the mi ni mum
research design for an evaluation to be included in this review involves before-
and-after measures of cri me i n comparable experi mental and control areas. I f
matchi ng or other stati sti cal anal ysi s techni ques w ere used as part of the
evaluation of programme effects, these too are noted here. T he before and after
time periods of the evaluation are also noted.

6
Method

● R esults. I n summarising results, the focus was on the most relevant crime outcomes
for this review (i.e., property and violent crime types) and comparisons between
experimental and control areas. T he results of significance tests are listed, but they
were rarely provided by researchers. S i milarly, few effect size measures were
provided. T he problem with significance tests is that they depend partly on sample
size and partly on strength of effect. A significant result in a large sample could
correspond to a rather smal l effect si ze, and conversely a large effect si ze i n a
small sample may not be statistically significant. C onsequently, this report relies on
measures of effect size (and associated confidence intervals) where possible.

Each of the evaluations were rated on their effectiveness in reducing crime. Each evaluation is
assigned to one of the following four categories:
(1) desirable effect: significant decrease in crime
(2) undesirable effect: significant increase in crime
(3) null effect: clear evidence of no effect on crime
(4) uncertain effect: unclear evidence of an effect on crime.

C ategory 4 was assigned to those evaluations in which methodological problems (i.e., small
numbers of crimes or contamination of control areas) confounded the reported results to the
point that the evaluation could not be assigned to one of the other three categories. I t was
diffi cult to rate those evaluations which reported the percentage change in cri me (from
before to after the programme was implemented), but did not provide data on the number
of crimes in the before and after periods. I nstead of giving these evaluations a rating of
” uncertai n ef fect” , they were rated subjecti vely on the basi s of the reported percentage
change in cri me.

● O ther dimensions. C C T V evaluations differ on many different dimensions, and it is


impossible to include more than a few in summary tables. T wo important issues
that are addressed, not i n the tables, but i n the accompanyi ng text, are
di splacement and di ffusi on of benefi ts. D i splacement i s often defi ned as the
uni ntended increase i n targeted cri mes i n other locations followi ng from the
i ntroduction of a cri me reduction scheme (f or a di scussi on of ” beni gn” or
desirable effects of displacement, see B arr and Pease, 1990). Five different forms
of displacement have been identified by R eppetto (1976): temporal (change in
time), tactical (change in method), target (change in victim), territorial (change in
place), and functional (change in type of crime). D iffusion of benefits is defined as
the unintended decrease in non-targeted crimes following from a crime reduction
scheme, or the ” complete reverse” of displacement (C lark e and W eisburd, 1994).

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Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

I n order to investigate territorial displacement and diffusion of benefits, the minimum design
involves one experimental area, one adjacent area, and one non-adjacent control area. I f
cri me decreased i n the experi mental area, i ncreased i n the adjacent area, and stay ed
constant in the control area, this might be evidence of displacement. I f crime decreased in
the experimental and adjacent areas and stayed constant or increased in the control area,
this might be evidence of diffusion of benefits. V ery few of the included evaluations had both
adjacent and non-adjacent but comparable control areas. M ore had an adjacent control
area and the remainder of the city as another control area, for example.

Evaluations not meeting inclusion criteria

W hen coding C C T V evaluations, many did not meet the criteria for inclusion and thus have not
been included in the present review. A ltogether, 24 C C T V evaluations were excluded. T able
2.1 lists these evaluations, summarises their k ey features, and identifies the reasons for
exclusion. T he reasons for discussing these evaluations here are two-fold: first, it conforms
with the widely-held practice in systematic reviews of listing excluded studies and second, it
al low s readers to judge f or themselves the strength of observed ef f ects i n excl uded
evaluations compared with those included.

A s shown i n T able 2.1, 17 of the 24 evaluati ons were excluded because no control area
was used i n evaluati ng the i mpact of the intervention. A nother four evaluations were
excluded because no comparable control area was used. T he remaining three evaluations
(K i ng’s L ynn, i n B rown, 1995; S qui res, 1998b, d) were excluded because they di d not
report crime data. M issing information on the few k ey features listed in T able 2.1 was not
much of a problem with the 24 evaluations, although three failed to specify the length of the
follow-up period. For the 21 evaluations that did provide information on the follow-up
peri od, ni ne i nvol ved f ol l ow -ups of less than one year. M any of the C C T V schemes
appeared to be successf ul i n reduci ng a range of cri mes, i ncl udi ng robbery, assaul t,
burglary, motor vehicle theft and vandalism. H owever, a number of the evaluations of these
schemes were limited by small numbers of crimes. Because of methodological problems it is
difficult to give much credence to the results of these evaluations.

8
Table 2.1: CCTV evaluations not meeting inclusion criteria
A uthor, publication R eason for not Other Sample Follow-up and
date, and location including programme interventions size results
Burrows (1991) N o control area Changes in store 1 store (T esco -- n.a.;
design and large retailer) “ unk nown losses” :
procedures approx. £12,000 to £5,000 per
week ; cash losses (from tills):
approx. £500 to £20 per week
N ational A ssociation of N o control area n.a. 189 2 years;
C onvenience S tores, convenience robbery: -15.2% (1.58 to 1.34
multiple sites, (1991), U S A stores per store per year, N S )
Poyner (1992), N o control area M edia publicity 5 buses 8 months;
N orth Shields and school visits vandalism: -52.9% (51 to 24)
C arr and S pri ng (1993), N o control area M ultiple (e.g., T rain, tram, and 2 years;
V ictoria, A ustralia improved lighting, bus systems of crimes against persons: -42.2%
police) Public T ransport (57.3 to 33.1 per month);
System vandal i sm: -83.6% (700 to 115
brok en windows, week ly average)
T illey (1993a), S alford N o control area N one 3 businesses 12 months;
total crimes: -14.3% (35 to 30)
1. T illey (1993b), N o control area M edia publicity 1 station car park 4 months;
L ewisham and notices vehicle crimes: -75.0% (24 to 6)
of C C T V
2. T illey (1993b), H ull N o comparable control N one E=1 car park , 8 months;
area C =city centre as E vs C : theft of vehicles: -88.9% (27
a whole to 3) vs -5.6% (430 to 406); theft
from vehicles: -76.3% (38 to 9) vs
+2.8% (961 to 988)
A uthor, publication R eason for not O ther Sample Follow-up and
date, and location including programme interventions size results
3. T illey (1993b), N o comparable control N otices of C C T V E =1 car park , 13 months;
W olverhampton area C=subdivision as E vs C : theft of vehicles: -18.2% (11
a whole to 9) vs +3% (data n.a.); theft from
vehicles: -46.4% (28 to 15) vs -3%
(data n.a.)
C hatterton and Frenz N o control area N otices of C C T V 15 housing 5-10 months;
(1994), M erseyside schemes (“ sheltered burglary (completions and attempts):
accommodation“ ) -78.8% (4.25 to 0.9 per month) a
D avidson and Farr N o control area M ultiple (e.g., 5 housing block s 15 months;
(1994), M itchelhill E state, target hardening, total crimeb: -63.1% (28.7 to 10.6
G lasgow local management) average per quarter year)
B rown (1995), N o crime data for N one E =car park s and 32 months;
K ing’s L ynn experimental or control adjacent streets, E vs C : theft of vehicles: decline
areas C =rest of police (data n.a.) vs ? (data n.a.); theft
division from vehicles: decline (data n.a.) vs
decline (data n.a.); burglary (data
n.a.) vs ? (data n.a.)
S quires and M easor N o comparable control N one E =police beats 1-4, 12 months;
(1996), B righton area C =rest of B righton E vs C : total crimes: “ under“ -10%
(data n.a.) vs -1% (data n.a.)
B romley and T homas N o control area M ultiple (e.g., D ifferent types of n.a. (no before measures);
(1997), C ardiff and staff at exits, car park s vehicle crimes: C ardiff (8.3/100
S wansea painting) spaces) vs. S wansea (13.7/100
spaces)
G ill and T urbin (1998, N o control area N one 2 retail stores n.a.;
1999), L eeds and stock losses from theft (before-during
Sheffield phases and L eeds store only): £600
to £200 per w eek
S quires (1998b), N o crime data for N one E =town centre 8 months; E vs C : total crime:
B urgess H ill control area (beat 1), C =beat 1 -37.2% (data n.a.) vs ? (data n.a.)
excluding
surveillance area
S quires (1998c), N o comparable control N one E 1=town centre 6 months;
C rawley area (beat 1), E 2=E 1 + E 1 vs C : total crimes: -12% (data
3 shopping parades; n.a.) vs -3% (data n.a.)
C =rest of C rawley
S quires (1998d), N o crime data for N one E =town centre 8 months;
E ast G rinstead control area (beat 1), C =beat 1 E vs C : total crime: -25.6% (data
excluding n.a.) vs ? (data n.a.)
surveillance area
B eck and W illis (1999), N o control area N one 15 stores: E 1=3 6 months;
multiple sites high level system; theft (by staff and customers):c
E 2=6 medi um l evel, E 1=+37.8% (1.96% to 2.70%),
E 3= 6 low level E 2=-17.9% (2.40% to 1.97% )
E 3=-26.6% (2.63% to 1.93% )
D itton and S hort (1999) N o control area N one 28 police beats in 12 months;
and D itton et al. (1999), city centre total crimes: +9% (data n.a.)
G lasgow
1. S ivarajasingam and N o control area N one 1 city centre or 2 years;
S hepherd (1999), town area A & E recorded assault: -11.5%
C ardiff (7,066 to 6,251); police-recorded
assault: +20.8% (677 to 818)
2. S ivarajasingam and N o control area N one 1 city centre or 2 years;
S hepherd (1999), town area A & E recorded assault: +3.0%
S wansea (3,967 to 4,086); police-recorded
assault: -34.0% (486 to 321)
A uthor, publication R eason for not O ther S ample Follow-up and
date, and location including programme interventions size results
3. Sivarajasingam and N o control area N one 1 city centre or 2 years;
S hepherd (1999), R hyl town area A & E recorded assault: +46.0%
( 1 ,249 to 1 ,823 ) ; police -recorded
assault: -24.0% (526 to 400)
1. T aylor (1999), N o control area M ultiple (e.g., 154 businesses 11 months;
L eicester (W est E nd) silent alarm) commercial burglary: decline
(data n.a.)
2. T aylor (1999), N o control area M ultiple (e.g., n.a. 24 months;
L eicester (Belgrave) silent alarm) commercial burglary: decline
(data n.a.)
a T he total number of offences were 51 in the before period and 9 in the after period. “ I n 13 of the 15 schemes, no offenses of burglary were recorded for the
peri od af ter C C T V was i nstalled. O ne scheme had no burgl ari es i n ei ther peri od, and i n another, there was a sl i ght i ncrease after camera installation“
(C hatterton and Frenz, 1994, p. 136).
b T he individual crimes and their before-after comparisons (average per quarter year) were as follows: burglary (19.0 to 5.4), theft of and from vehicles (4.7 to
1.4), theft other (2.0 to 2.2), vandali sm (2.3 to 0.8), and cri mes agai nst the person (0.67 to 0.8). T he before and after periods consi sted of si x quarters or 18
months and 5 quarters or 15 months, respectively.
c T he figures in parentheses reflect the “ value of goods lost expressed as a percentage of all goods sold“ (B eck and W illis, 1999, p. 257).
N otes: L ocations were i n the U K unless otherwi se speci fi ed; E = experi mental area; C = control area; n.a. = not avail abl e; A & E = acci dent and emergency
department; N S = non-significant.
3. Results

T his chapter discusses the results of the 22 included C C T V evaluations. I t also summarises
k ey features of the evaluations which are important in the assessment of programme effects
(e.g., other i nterventi ons, sample si ze, follow -up peri ods). T he evaluati ons have been
organised according to the setting in which the intervention took place. T hree main settings
were delineated: (1) city centre or public housing, (2) public transport, and (3) car park s.

City centre or public housing

T hirteen evaluations were identified that met the methodological criteria for inclusion in this
review and assessed the impact of C C T V on crime in the setting of a city centre (N =11) or
public housing (N =2). T hree of the evaluations are reported in M azerolle et al. (2000). O f
the three settings, this contains the largest number of evaluations. Selected evaluations are
discussed below and see T able 3.1 for summary information on each of the 13 evaluations.

S even of the 13 evaluations were carri ed out i n E ngland, f i ve i n the U .S ., and one i n
S cotland. O n average, the duration of the follow-up evaluations was 10.9 months, ranging
from a low of three months i n the evaluati on by M usheno et al. (1978) to a hi gh of 24
months in the evaluations by S hort and D itton (1995) and S k inns (1998b). O nly one of the
evaluations (Sk inns, 1998a) included other interventions in addition to the main intervention of
C C T V . M any of the evaluations used multiple experi mental areas (e.g., police beats,
apartment bui ldi ngs), meani ng that the coverage of the C C T V i nterventi on was qui te
extensi ve i n the ci ty or town centre. M ulti ple control areas (e.g., adjacent poli ce beats,
remainder of city) were also used by some of the evaluations.

A s shown in T able 3.1, the city centre or public housing C C T V evaluations showed mixed
results in their effectiveness in reducing crime. Five of the 13 evaluations were considered to
have a desirable effect on crime, while three were considered to have an undesirable effect
(increased crime). T he remaining five evaluations were considered to have a null (clear
evi dence of no effect; N =4) or uncertain (unclear evi dence of an effect; N =1) effect on
crime.

13
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

T wo evaluations of city centre C C T V schemes were conducted by B rown (1995). T he first


evaluation took place in N ewcastle-upon-T yne and involved the installation of 14 C C T V
cameras i n four poli ce beats i n the ci ty centre (the experi mental area). T he control area
compri sed the seven remai ni ng pol i ce beats of the ci ty centre, w hi ch surrounded the
experimental area. I t is important to note that two cameras were i nstalled in police beats
which were part of the control area.

Fifteen months after the start of the programme, the monthly average of total crimes was
reduced by 21.6 per cent (f rom 343 to 269) i n the experi mental area and 29.7 per cent
(from 676 to 475) in the control area, which overall was an undesirable effect of C C T V . T he
measure of total cri mes includes burglary, criminal damage, theft of vehicles, theft from
vehicles, theft other, and juvenile disorder. T able 3.1 presents the results of the intervention
for a number of these crimes. R eductions were observed in burglary, theft of vehicles, and
theft from vehicles in both the experimental and control areas, with the reductions in the
experimental area outpacing those in the control area. H owever, the number of these crimes
in the experimental area was small. For example, burglary was reduced by 57.5 per cent in
the experi mental area (from 40 to 17) and 38.7 per cent i n the control area (from 75 to
46). B rown (1995) found little evidence of territorial or functional (change in type of crime)
displacement, but did find some evidence of diffusion of benefits, particularly for the crimes
of burglary and criminal damage.

T he second evaluation by B rown (1995) was carried out in B irmingham. I n this programme, 14
C C T V cameras were installed in the centre of the city, with the cameras covering for the most
part “ shoppi ng streets and parti al l y open mark et areas“ , as w el l as some of the financial
district. T hree control areas were established, with streets in control area 1 (C 1) receiving
partial coverage by the C C T V system (see T able 3.1). T herefore, the experimental area was
compared with control areas 2 and 3 combined.

A fter 12 months, total cri mes, accordi ng to vi cti m survey reports, were reduced i n the
experi mental area, w hi l e total cri mes increased i n each of the three control areas. T he
actual number of cri mes w as much greater i n the experi mental area than in any of the
control areas. S ome evidence of what appears to be functional displacement (change in
type of crime) was found, with offenders switching from robbery and theft from the person to
theft from vehicles.

I n the programme evaluated by S arno (1995), 11 C C T V cameras were installed in the town
centre of the L ondon Borough of Sutton as part of the Safer Sutton I nitiative launched in the
early 1990s. T he remaining part of the police sector in the town centre, which did not

14
Table 3.1: CCTV Evaluations in City Centres or Public Housing
A uthor, Publication Context of T ype and Sample Other Outcome R esearch D esign R esults
D ate, and Location Intervention D uration of Size Interventions M easure of and Before- A fter
Intervention Interest and T ime Period
D ata Source
M usheno, Levine, Public CCT V E=3 N one Crime Before-after, E vs C: total
and Palumbo housing monitoring buildings, (multiple experimental- crimes: -9.4% (32
(1978), Bronxdale system C=3 offences); control to 29) vs -19.2%
H ouses, N ew York (cameras in buildings victim survey (26 to 21)
City, USA lobby and N ote: project Before=3 months; (uncertain effect)
elevators; had 26 A fter=3 months
monitors in high-rises;
apartments); 53
3 months apartments
in each
1. Brown (1995), City or town CCT V ; 15 E=4 beats of N one Crime Before-after, E vs C (monthly
N ewcastle-upon-T yne centre months central area, (multiple experimental average): total
C =7 N ote: 14 of offences); control crimes: -21.6%
remaining 16 cameras police (343 to 269) vs
beats of city are in E; records B efore=26 months; -29.7% (676 to
centre remaining 2 A fter=15 months 475); burglary:
N ote: T here are in C -57.5% (40 to 17,
are 2 other p <.05) vs -38.7%
C , but each (75 to 46, p<.05);
is less theft of vehicles:
comparable 47.1% (17 to 9,
to E p<.05) vs -40.5%
(168 to 100,
p<.05); theft from
vehicles: -50.0%
(18 to 9, p<.05) vs
-38.9% (106 to
65, p<.05)
(undesirable effect)
2. Brown (1995), City or town CC T V ; 12 E=A rea 1 N one C rime (total Before-after, E vs C1: total
Birmingham centre months (streets with and most experimental crimes: -4.3%
good serious control (163 to 156) vs +
coverage), offences); 131.6% (19 to 44)
C 1=A rea 2 victim survey Before=12 months; E vs C 2: total
(streets with A fter=12 months crimes: -4.3% vs +
partial 130.8% (26 to 60)
coverage), E vs C 3: total
C 2=A rea 4 crimes: -4.3% vs +
(other streets 45.5% (33 to 48)
in Zone A of (desirable effect)
D iv. F), C 3=
A rea 5
(streets in
Zones B-G
of D iv. F)
Sarno (1995, T own centre CCT V ; 12 E=part of N one Crime (total Before-after, E vs C1: total
1996), London months Sutton town and selected experimental crimes (not
Borough of Sutton centre, offences); control including vehicle
C 1=rest of police crime): -12.8%
Sutton town records Before=12 months; (1,655 to 1,443)
centre, A fter=12 months vs -18% (data n.a.)
C 2=all of E vs C 2: total
Borough of crimes: -12.8% vs
Sutton -30% (data n.a.)
(undesirable effect)
Short and D itton T own centre C C T V ; E=6 police N one C rime (total Before-after, E vs C 3: total
(1995, 1996) and 24 months beats, C 1= and multiple experimental crimes: -35% (data
D itton and Short rest of 6 categories); control n.a.) vs -12%
(1998, 1999), police beats police (data n.a.)
A irdrie (not in records Before=24 months; (desirable effect)
camera A fter=24 months
vision), C 2= N ote: D ata not
rest of police provided to allow
sub-division, for comparisons of
C3= rest of E with C1 or C 2
police
division

Sk inns (1998a, b), T own centre CC T V ; E=all or parts ‘H elp points’ C rime (total Before-after, E vs C: total
D oncaster 12 months of streets in for public to and selected experimental police-recorded
vision of contact C C T V offences); control crimes: -21.3%
cameras in control police (5,832 to 4,591)
commercial rooms records Before=24 months; vs +11.9% (1,789
areas, A fter=24 months to 2,002)
C =comm- (desirable effect)
ercial areas N ote: T here were
of 4 adjacent 2 Es and 6 C s used.
townships T he C used here is
because the author
says it was the most
comparable to E
N ote: T his E has
been used because
it includes the
other E
Squires (1998a), T own centre CCT V ; 7 E=town N one Crime (total, Before-after, E vs C: total crimes:
Ilford months centre, violent, and experimental- -17% (data n.a.)
C=areas selected control vs +9% (data n.a.)
adjacent to offences); (desirable effect)
town centre police Before=6 months;
records A fter=7 months
N ote: 2 other C s
used, but less
likely to be
comparable to E
A rmitage, Smyth, T own centre CC T V ; 20 E=police N one C rime (total Before-after, E vs C1: total
and Pease (1999), months beats with and multiple experimental- crimes: -28%
Burnley CC T V , offences); control (1,805 to 1,410)
C 1=beats police vs -1% (6,242 to
having a records Before=12 months; 6,180); violence:
common A fter=12 monthsa -35% (117 to 87)
boundary vs -20% (267 to
with C C T V 223); vehicle
beats, crimes: -48% (375
C 2=other to 253) vs -8%
beats in (1,842 to 1,706);
police burglary: -41%
division (143 to 101) vs
+9% (2,208 to
2,426)
E vs C2: total
crimes: -28% vs
+9% (1,069 to
1,175); violence:
-35% vs 0% (32 to
32); vehicle crimes:
-48% vs -8% (309
to 285); burglary:
-41% vs +34%
(366 to 555)
(desirable effect)
1. M azerolle, City centre CC T V ; 3 E=1 site with N one Calls for Before-after, E vs C (week ly
H urley, and months CC T V , C= service experimental- average): +1.8%
Chamlin (2000), 1,000 foot (week ly control (901 to 917) vs
Cincinnati radius BZ average); 0% (36 to 36)
(N orthside), USA police Before=23 months; (null effect)
records A fter=6 months
N ote: 2 other C s
of 200 and 500
foot radii were
used and are
included in the
1,000 foot radius C
2. M azerolle, City CC T V ; 3 E=1 site with N one Calls for Before-after, E vs C (week ly
H urley, and centre/park months CC T V , C= service experimental- average): +9.8%
Chamlin (2000), 1,000 foot (week ly control (1,062 to 1,166)
Cincinnati (H opk ins radius BZ average); (vs 0% (22 to 22)
Park ), USA police Before=23 months; (null effect)
records A fter=4 months
N ote: 2 other C s
of 200 and 500
foot radii were
used and are
included in the
1,000 foot radius C
3. M azerolle, C ity centre CCTV ; 2 E=1 site with N one C alls for Before-after, E vs C (week ly
H urley, and months CCTV , C= service experimental- average): +16.9%
C hamlin (2000), 1,000 foot (week ly control (1,005 to 1,175)
C incinnati (Findlay radius BZ average); vs +17.1% (111
M ark et), USA police Before=24.5 months; to 130)
records A fter=3.5 months (null effect)
N ote: 2 other C s of
200 and 500 foot
radii were used
and are included
in the 1,000 foot
radius C
W illiamson and Public CCT V ; 18 E=9 buildings N one Crime (total Before-after, E vs C: change in
M cLafferty (2000), housing months (1,220 apart- and multiple experimental- total crimes inside
Brooklyn, N ew ments; A lbany categories) control with projects: 0% vs
York, USA project), inside housing matching -5.3%; change in
C=no. of projects and total crimes inside
buildings n.a. inside zones Before=18 months; 0.1 mile BZ: 0%
(R oosevelt of 0.1 to 0.5 A fter=18 months vs -4.0%; change
project) miles radii in major felonies
around inside projects:
projects; -22.8% vs -14.5%;
police records change in
major felonies
inside 0.1 mile BZ:
-6.4% vs -8.6%
(data n.a.)
(null effect)
Farrington, Bennett, C ity centre C C T V ; 11 E=city centre, N one C rime (total Before-after, E vs C : total crimes:
and W elsh (2002), months C = secondary and multiple experimental- -13.8% (2,600 to
C ambridge centre categories); control 2,242) vs -26.9%
police records (1,324 to 968);
A lso victim Before=11 months; violent crimes:
survey data A fter=11 months -6.0% (151 to 142)
on crime and vs -33.8% (77 to
disorder 51); vehicle crimes:
-53.1% (224 to
105) vs -54.0%
(250 to 115);
percentage
victimized: +8.0%
(26.4% to 28.5%)
vs +19.3% (11.4%
to 13.6%)
(undesirable effect)
a T here was an additional eight months of follow-up, but the authors reported crime data as percentage changes relative to the 12-month before period, so it was
not possible accurately to calculate the number of incidents for the additional eight months.
N otes: L ocations were in the UK unless otherwise specified; BZ = buffer zone (area surrounding experimental area); E = experimental area; C = control area; n.a. = not
available.
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

receive any C C T V coverage, served as the control area. (O ne other control area was used, but
it was not comparable to the experimental area.) T welve months after the programme began,
total police-recorded crime (not including vehicle crime) had decreased by 12.8 per cent i n
the experi mental area but by 18 per cent i n the control area. S arno di d not investigate
the possibility of displacement or diffusion of benefits.

S hort and D itton (1995) evaluated a C C T V scheme in A irdrie town centre, which involved
12 cameras spread over si x poli ce beats; thi s compri sed the experi mental area, and the
comparable control area w as the remai nder of the si x poli ce beats not i n camera vi si on.
(T wo other control areas were used, but the only data supplied was for the rest of the police
division.) A fter 24 months, total police-recorded crime had decreased by 35 per cent in the
experi mental area compared w i th a 12 per cent decl i ne i n the control area. S hort and
D itton found some evidence of diffusion of crime prevention benefits from the experimental
area to the control area.

T he programme evaluated by S k inns was a “ multi-agency, police-led, town centre system,


consisting of 63 cameras located in the commercial centre, multi-storey car park s and main
town centre arteri al roads“ (1998a, p. 176). T he programme has been i ncluded here, as
opposed to in the setting of car park s, because the main focus of the intervention was the
town centre. A s noted above, another intervention was used: “ help points“ were established
within the experimental area to aid the public in contacting the main C C T V control room.
T he experimental area included all or parts of streets in vision of the cameras. (A nother
experimental area was used but it is included in this experimental area.) T he control area
includes commercial areas of four adjacent townships. Five other control areas were used,
but S k inns noted that these control areas were less comparable with the experimental area
than the one used in this present report for experimental-control comparisons.

T wenty-four months after the start of the programme, total police-recorded cri me had
reduced in the experimental area by 21.3 per cent, but it had increased in the control area by
11.9 per cent. T he author found no evidence that total crimes were displaced from the
experimental area to the control area. T he increase in crime in the control area was judged by
the author to be due to pre-existing trends.

I n the programme evaluated by S quires (1998a), an unk nown number of C C T V cameras


were installed in I lford town centre to address a range of crime problems; areas adjacent to
the town centre served as the control condition. (T wo other control areas were used, but
thei r comparabi l i ty w i th the experi mental area i s less l i k el y.) S even months af ter the
programme began, total pol i ce-recorded cri me had f al l en by 17 per cent i n the

22
Results

experimental area, but had increased by 9 per cent in the control area. S quires found some
evidence that cri mes, particularly robbery and residential burglary, had been displaced from
the town centre to adjacent areas (the control area).

I n the programme evaluated by A rmitage and her colleagues (1999), an unk nown number of
cameras were installed in the town centre of B urnley. T he experimental area consisted of police
beats in the town centre with C C T V coverage. T wo control areas were used. T he first comprised
those police beats which shared a common boundary with the beats covered by C C T V . T he
second control area consisted of other police beats in the police division. T he first control area
was more comparable to the experimental area.

A fter 12 months, the experi mental area, compared wi th the two control areas, showed
substantial reductions in violent crime, burglary, vehicle crime, and total crime (see T able
3.1). For example, total inci dents of cri me fell by 28 per cent (from 1,805 to 1,410) i n the
experimental area compared with a slight decline of one per cent (from 6,242 to 6,180) i n
control area 1 and an i ncrease of ni ne per cent (f rom 1,069 to 1,175) i n control area 2. T he
authors found evidence of diffusion of benefits for the categories of total crime, violent crime,
and vehicle crime, and evidence of territorial displacement for burglary.

I n the three C incinnati programmes by M azerolle et al. (2000) the outcome measure used to
evaluate the i mpact on cri me w as (w eek ly average) cal ls f or pol i ce servi ce, and the
evaluati on i ncluded one experi mental and three control areas, the latter bei ng “ buffer
zones“ of varyi ng di stances around the experi mental area. T he outcome measure w as
limited to total calls for police service. T he authors also reported on police calls for disorder
(disorderly persons, curfew violation, neighbour trouble, noise complaints, and suspicious
persons or vehicles) and drugs for the three buffer zones, but not for the experimental site;
therefore, compari sons could not be made between experi mental and control si tes for
disorder and drug offences.

T he impact of C C T V on calls for police service was fairly consistent across the three locations:
calls for service increased in the experimental site and increased or remained the same in the
three control sites or buffer zones. For the Findlay M arket programme, crime also increased in the
two farthest buffer zones (500 and 1,000 feet away). O verall, C C T V did not have a desirable
effect on calls for service in the experimental sites of the three locations. A ll of these schemes had
a null effect on crime. T he authors investigated the possibility of displacement in the N orthside
and Findlay M ark et programmes. I n N orthside, the authors found little or no evidence of
displacement, while in Findlay M ark et, the authors concluded that the “ results tend to suggest
some displacement of activity as reflected in calls for service“ (M azerolle et al., 2000, p. 24).

23
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

I n the programme eval uated by Farri ngton et al . (2002), 30 cameras w ere i nstal l ed i n
C ambridge C ity centre. T he control area was a secondary city centre shopping area (the
G rafton centre) where there were no cameras on the streets. C omparing 11 months after the
cameras were i nstalled with the comparable 11 month peri od before, poli ce-recorded
cri mes had decreased by 13.9 per cent in the experimental area (from 2,600 to 2,242) but
by 26.9 per cent in the control area (from 1,324 to 968). H ence, there was an undesi rable
ef f ect of C C T V on pol i ce-recorded cri mes. V i ol ent cri mes (assaul t and robbery) al so
decreased more i n the control area, w hi l e vehi cl e crimes (thef t of and f rom vehi cl es)
decreased equally in the experimental and control areas. I nterviews were also carried out
with quota samples of persons in the areas before and after the C C T V installation, ask ing
them about their victimization (insulted or bothered, threatened, assaulted, or mugged) in
the previ ous 12 months. T he percentage vi cti mi zed i ncreased from 26.4 per cent to 28.5
per cent i n the experi mental area and f rom 11.4 per cent to 13.6 per cent i n the control
area, suggesting that the installation of C C T V had no effect on victimization. T hese results
suggested that C C T V may have had no effect on crime but may have caused increased
reporting to and/or recording by the police.

O nly two evaluati ons (M usheno et al., 1978; W i lli amson and M cL afferty, 2000) were
identified that met the methodological criteria for inclusion in this review and assessed the
impact of C C T V on crime in the setting of public housing. Both of the schemes took place in
N ew York C ity, but were implemented many years apart: the former in 1976 and the latter in
1998. T he research desi gn of the evaluati on by W i lliamson and M cL af ferty (2000) was
particularly rigorous, employing matching techniques to control for pre-existing differences
(i.e., size of the housing communities, demographics, and neighbourhood location) between
the experimental and control areas. C oncerning the research design of the other programme,
M usheno et al. (1978) took efforts to mak e the respondents of the victim survey comparable in
the experimental and control areas; for example, half of the residents of the three experimental
(all apartments received the intervention) and three control buildings were randomly selected to
participate in the survey, which was administered before and after the C C T V intervention.

B oth of the programmes di d not i nvolve i nterventi ons other than C C T V , although the
application of C C T V differed somewhat between the two evaluations. I n the programme by
W illiamson and M cL afferty, cameras were installed at various locations in the experimental
project (e.g., all elevators, lobbies, and roofs of buildings, and common areas and building
water tank s) and were monitored - from a remote location - 24 hours a day, seven days a
week , by uniformed officers of the N ew York C ity Police D epartment. I n the other programme,
cameras were installed in all of the lobbies and elevators of the experimental buildings, but
were monitored by the residents themselves: the cameras “ transmit pictures continuously to

24
Results

every resident’s television receiver ... T he top half of the screen telecasts the lobby and the
bottom half shows the inside of the elevator viewed from above. S ounds emitted in these
locations are also communicated to tenants’ sets“ (M usheno et al., 1978, p. 648).

A nother difference between the two evaluations is the scale of the intervention, for both the
number of C C T V cameras i nstalled and the number of experi mental si tes used. I n the
evaluation by W illiamson and M cL afferty, a total of 105 cameras were installed at nine
buildings (the experimental project), comprising a total of more than 1,200 apartments; in the
eval uati on by M usheno et al ., three bui l di ngs, compri si ng a total of just over 150
apartments, were used as the experimental site (see T able 3.1). T he authors did not report the
number of cameras used, but considering that cameras were only installed in the lobbies and
elevators, it is lik ely that the numbers were quite low.

T he evaluation by M usheno et al. showed that, three months after the cameras were installed,
total incidents of crime were reduced in both the experimental and control sites: -9.4 per cent
and -19.2 per cent, respectively. H owever, as illustrated in T able 3.1, the number of crimes
recorded was very low. T his has the effect of inflating the before-after percentage changes
and limiting the examination of programme results to total crimes (the numbers for individual
cri me types are even smal ler). B ecause of smal l numbers, i t w as concl uded that thi s
programme had an uncertain effect on crime. T he authors did not investigate the possibility of
displacement or diffusion of benefits, but it is lik ely that neither occurred.

W illiamson and M cL afferty evaluated the impact of the C C T V intervention 18 months after
the start of the programme and focused on crime inside the public housing projects and
inside “ buffer zones“ of 0.1 to 0.5 miles radii around the projects. (For the buffer zones,
only results insi de 0.1 mile are reported here, as the i nterventi on i s less li k ely to affect
behaviour beyond this point.) T he housing project that received the intervention did not
show any change in the total number of police-recorded crimes, either inside the project or
inside the 0.1 mile buffer zone, while total crime in the control project dropped by 5.3 per
cent inside the project and 4.0 per cent inside the 0.1 mile buffer zone. W hen total crime is
di saggregated, a desi rabl e programme ef f ect i s observed f or major f el oni es i n both
experimental and control projects (see T able 3.1). H owever, the authors noted that “ the
substantial decrease in major felonies around both public housing projects seems to be part
of a larger downward trend that was occurring not only in B rook lyn but across N ew Y ork
C ity in the late 1990s“ (W i lliamson and M cL afferty, 2000, p. 7). T he authors investigated
the possibility of displacement and diffusion of benefits and concluded that there is “ no clear
evidence“ of either, “ as the change in crime around the two housing projects does not vary
predictably with distance“ (ibid., p. 7).

25
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

T able 3.2 presents the results of a meta-analysis of the C C T V evaluations in city centres or
public housing. I n order to carry out a meta-analysis, a comparable measure of effect size is
needed in each project. T his has to be based on the number of crimes in the experimental
and control areas before and after the C C T V intervention, because this is the only information
that is regularly provided in these evaluations. H ere, the odds ratio is used as the measure of
effect size. For example, in D oncaster, the odds of a crime after given a crime before in the
control area w ere 2,002/1,780 or 1.12. T he odds of a cri me af ter given a cri me bef ore i n
the experimental area were 4,591/5,832 or 0.79. T he odds rati o theref ore was 1.12/0.79
or 1.42. T his was statistically highly significant (z = 9.24, p<.0001).

T he odds ratio has a very simple and meaningful interpretation. I t indicates the proportional
change in crime in the control area compared with the experimental area. I n this example, the
odds rati o of 1.42 indi cates that cri me i ncreased by 42 per cent in the control area
compared with the experimental area. A n odds ratio of 1.42 could also indicate the crime
decreased by 30 per cent i n the experi mental area compared wi th the control area, si nce the
change in the experi mental area compared with the control area is the inverse of the odds
ratio, or 1/1.42 here.

T he odds ratio could only be calculated for nine evaluations, because numbers of crimes
were not reported in the A irdrie, I lford, Brook lyn, or (for the control area) Sutton evaluations.
I t shows that C C T V had a significant effect on cri me i n five evaluations: three desirabl e
(B irmingham, D oncaster, and B urnley) and two undesirable (N ewcastle and C ambridge).
C C T V had no effect on crime in the four N orth A merican evaluations (see T able 3.2).

Table 3.2: Meta-Analysis of CCTV Evaluations in City Centres or Public Housing


E valuation O dds R atio
1. M usheno et al. (1978), N ew Y ork C ity 0.89
2. B rown (1995), N ewcastle-upon-T yne 0.90 *
3. B rown (1995), B irmingham 1.91 *
4. Sk inns (1998a), D oncaster 1.42 *
5. A rmitage et al. (1999), B urnley 1.27 *
6. M azerolle et al. (2000), C incinnati (N orthside) 0.98
7. M azerolle et al. (2000), C incinnati (H opk ins Park ) 0.91
8. M azerolle et al. (2000), C incinnati (Findlay M ark et) 1.00
9. Farrington et al. (2002), C ambridge 0.85 *
A LL 9 ST UD IES 1.02 *
5 U K S T U D I ES 1.04 *
4 USA ST UD IES 0.98
*p<.05.

26
Results

I n order to produce a summary effect size in a meta-analysis, each effect size has to have a
standard error. T his w as one reason for choosing the odds rati o, which has a k nown
standard error. T he average effect size (weighted according to the standard error of each
study) was an odds ratio of 1.02, which was not statistically significant (z = 1.40, n.s.).
T hus, pooling the data from the nine studies, there was no evidence that C C T V led to a
reduction in crime.

T he ni ne effect si zes were si gni fi cantly vari able (Q = 164.9, 8 df, p<.0001). T hi s means that
they were not randomly distributed about the average effect size. T he four A merican studi es
show ed a nul l ef f ect on cri me (O R = 0.98, z = 0.79, n.s.), and they w ere
homogeneous (Q = 0.62, 3 df, n.s.). T he five U K studies showed a small but significant
effect on cri me (O R = 1.04, z = 2.51, p = .012), but they were significantly heterogeneous (Q =
157.5, 4 df, p<.0001).

Public transport

Four evaluations were identified that met the methodological criteria for inclusion in this
review and assessed the impact of C C T V on crime in public transportation systems. A ll of the
evaluati ons were conducted i n subway systems: three i n the L ondon U nderground
(B urrow s, 1979; tw o by W ebb and L aycock , 1992) and one i n the M ontreal M etro
(G randmaison and T remblay, 1997).

W i th the excepti on of the programme by G randmai son and T remblay, all of the
programmes involved interventions in addition to C C T V . I n the programme by B urrows
(1979), notices were posted to alert people to the presence of C C T V cameras and special
police patrols were in operation prior to the installation of C C T V . (I n the evaluation of this
programme, B urrows controlled for the effect of the police patrols by using as the before
period the 12 months prior to the patrols coming into operation. T he police patrols were
discontinued at the time the C C T V was implemented, so there was no direct influence of the
patrols during the after period.) For the two other L ondon U nderground programmes, some
of the other interventions that were used included: passenger alarms, k iosk s to monitor
C C T V , and mirrors (see T able 3.3). I t is important to note that, in the two evaluations by
W ebb and L aycock , both involved the expansion rather than the introduction of C C T V . For
each of these three U nderground programmes, C C T V was, however, the main intervention.

27
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

I n the first U nderground C C T V experiment (Burrows, 1979), C C T V cameras were installed in


four stations in the southern sector (the experimental area). T wo control areas, which did not
receive the C C T V intervention, were used: (1) the remaining 15 stations in the southern sector
and (2) the other 228 U nderground stations. Burrows noted that the first control area was the
most comparable to the experimental area, because “ [t]he risk of the robbery and to a lesser
extent theft [from the person] was disproportionately high in the southern sector of the system“
(1979, p. 23). T able 3.3 presents comparisons of the experimental area with both control areas
and for both offences. A s noted above, efforts were made to control for the influence of special
police patrols that were in operation in the experimental area prior to the introduction of CCT V .

A fter 12 months, the programme showed a desirable effect on crime. C ompared with the
two control areas, the experi mental area showed substanti al reducti ons in robbery and
theft. B ut as illustrated in T able 3.3, the number of incidents of robbery recorded by the
B ritish T ransport Police (B T P) in the experi mental and first control area were very low.
R eductions in theft, on the other hand, appear to be more robust. T heft declined by 72.8 per
cent (from 243 to 66) in the experi mental area, compared wi th decli nes of 26.5 per cent
(f rom 535 to 393) and 39.4 per cent (f rom 4,884 to 2,962) i n the f i rst and second control
areas, respectively. B urrows investigated whether the intervention displaced thefts to other
ti mes (temporal di splacement) and to other no-treatment area stati ons (terri tori al
displacement). H e ruled out temporal displacement, because the C C T V system “ operated at
all times“ , but he did find some evidence of territorial displacement: “ comparison of crime
levels between stations subject to C C T V and other nearby stations in the southern sector
provides evidence that is consistent with (though not proof of) some displacement of theft
offences“ (Burrows, 1979, p. 27).

T he two other U nderground C C T V programmes evaluated by W ebb and L aycock showed


mixed results. I n the first programme, C C T V cameras were installed in six stations on the
south end of the northern line (experimental area). A gain, two no-treatment control areas
were used: (1) si x stati ons on the north end of the northern li ne and (2) the 236 other
U nderground stations. (T he total number of U nderground stations was 248 here and 247
for Burrows.) I t is important to note that the authors mak e no mention of the comparability of
the experimental with the control areas, although, as in the evaluation by Burrows, it is lik ely
that the experimental area is more comparable with the first control area than the second.
H owever, a comparison with other stations in the southern sector would have been better.

T he programme lasted for 26 months and at thi s ti me i t was evaluated for its effect on
robbery. T he programme was effective. R obberies (BT P-recorded incidents per month) were
reduced by 62.3 per cent in the experimental area (from 5.3 to 2.0), compared with

28
Table 3.3: CCTV Evaluations in Public Transport
A uthor, Publication Context of T ype and Sample Other Outcome R esearch D esign R esults
D ate, and Location I ntervention D uration of Size I nterventions M easure of and Before- A fter
Intervention Interest and T ime Period
D ata Source
Burrows (1979, Public C C T V ; 12 E=4 stations N otices of Personal theft Before-after, E vs C 1: robbery:
1980), transport months on southern C C T V (also and robbery; experimental- -22.2% (9 to 7) vs
“ U nderground“ , (subway) sector, special police BT P records control +23.1% (13 to
L ondon C 1=15 other patrols 16); theft: -72.8%
stations on preceded Before=12 months;(243 to 66) vs
southern CCTV ) A fter=12 months -26.5% (535 to
sector, 393)
C 2=228 other E vs C 2: robbery:
U nderground -22.2% vs +116.3%
stations (43 to 93); theft:
-72.8% vs -39.4%
(4,884 to 2,962)
(desirable effect)
1. W ebb and Public CC T V E=6 stations Passenger R obbery; BT P Before-after, E vs C1 (monthly
Laycock (1992), transport (expansion of); on south end alarms, records experimental-control average): -62.3%
“ Underground“ , (subway) 26 months of N orthern visible k iosk to (5.3 to 2.0) vs
London line, C 1=6 monitor C C T V , Before=46 months; -50.0% (7.8 to 3.9)
stations on mirrors, and A fter=26 months E vs C2: -62.3% vs
north end of improved -12.2% (69.6 to
line, C2=236 lighting N ote: special 61.1)
other Under- policing used in E (desirable effect)
ground stations during first
stations 3 years (1985-87) N ote: for C2,
of before period G uardian A ngels
(i.e., first 36 of patrols began in
46 months of M ay 1989 (7 months
before period); in into 26 months of
1988 (remaining after period)
10 months of
before period),
policing activity
reduced in E stations
2. W ebb and Public CC T V E=1 station, Passenger Personal theft, Before-after, E vs C (monthly
Laycock (1992), transport (expansion of); C=1 station alarms, visible robbery, and experimental- average): robbery:
O xford Circus (subway) 32 months k iosk to assault; BT P control +47.1% (1.7 to
station, monitor C C T V , records 2.5) vs +21.4%
“ Underground“ , and BT P Before= 28 months; (1.4 to 1.7); theft:
London patrols A fter=32 months +11.0% (31.0 to
34.4) vs -1.9%
(20.8 to 20.4);
assault: +29.4%
(1.7 to 2.2) vs
+36.4% (1.1 to 1.5)
(undesirable effect)
G randmaison and Public CC T V ; E=13 stations, N one C rime (total Before-after, E vs C: total crimes:
T remblay (1997), transport 18 months C=52 stations and multiple experimental- -20.0% (905 to
“ M etro“ , M ontreal, (subway) offences); control with 724) vs -18.3%
Canada police records statistical analyses
(1,376 to 1,124);
robbery: -27.0%
Before=18 months; (141 to 103) vs
A fter=18 months -30.8% (312 to
216); assault:
-27.5% (178 to
129) vs +5.6%
(233 to 246); total
theft and fraud:
-15.5% (388 to
328) vs -16.0%
(507 to 426)
(null effect)
N otes: L ocations were in the U K unless otherwise specified; BT P = British T ransport Police; E = experimental area; C = control area.
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

reducti ons of 50.0 per cent (f rom 7.8 to 3.9) and 12.2 per cent (f rom 69.6 to 61.1) i n
control areas 1 and 2, respecti vely. T he authors found no evidence of robberi es bei ng
displaced to the two groupings of control stations or a third grouping (nine other stations at
the south end of the N orthern and V i ctori a li nes) that did not recei ve the interventi on.
A lthough not stated by the authors in such terms, evidence of diffusion of benefits is apparent.

T he multiple interventions that were implemented in the experimental and control stations
both before and after the start of the programme, including special police and G uardian
A ngels patrols (see T able 3.3), mak e it diffi cult to isolate the effect of C C T V , i f any, on
robbery. O n this matter, the words of the authors are instructive:

i t seems li k ely that robbery has been k ept down by i mproved management and
staffing of the system, including more revenue protection as well as station staff. T he
policing changes may also have been helpful. I t is also possible that the substantial
physical work involved in station modernisation and the introduction of automatic
tick et barriers in central area stations contributed by creating the impression of a
more controlled and safer environment. (W ebb and L aycock , 1992, p. 11)

T he second U nderground C C T V scheme evaluated by W ebb and L aycock (1992) took place in
O xford C ircus station located in central L ondon. A s noted above, this scheme did not just
involve the expansion of C C T V , but also included other interventions: passenger alarms,
visible k iosk s to monitor C C T V operations, and patrols by the BT P. O ne station (T ottenham
C ourt R oad) that did not receive C C T V cameras was used as the control station. T he scheme
was evaluated after it had been in operation for 32 months.

D isappointing results were reported for the programme’s effects on passenger robbery, theft
(from the person), and assault. T he authors noted that the robbery data were more reliable
than the data on theft; no mention was made of the reliability of the assault data. T able 3.3
presents the results for before-after comparisons between the experi mental and control
stations for all three offences. A fter 32 months, the monthly incidence of robberies increased
by almost half (47.1 per cent; from 1.7 to 2.5) in the experi mental station, compared with
an increase of more than one-fifth (21.4 per cent; from 1.4 to 1.7) in the control station. T he
programme’s i mpact on theft was also undesi rable. T he authors di d not i nvesti gate the
possibility of displacement.

I n the M ontreal subway programme (G randmaison and T remblay, 1997), C C T V cameras


were installed in 13 stations (approximately ten cameras per station) over the course of 18
months in the early 1990s. Fifty-two stations served as the control group. T he programme

32
Results

was evaluated after 18 months of operati on, and stati sti cal analyses were conducted to
control for past crime trends in the experimental and control stations.

G randmaison and T remblay found an equal reduction in (police-recorded) crime in both the
experimental and control subway (M ontreal M etro) stati ons: -20.0 per cent and -18.3 per cent,
respectively. H ence, there was little evidence of any effect of the C C T V intervention. T he
measure of total crime included robbery, assault, purse snatching, other theft and fraud,
vandalism, and other offences. From 18 months before the start of the intervention to 18
months afterwards, all categories of crimes were down in the experimental stations, while al l
categori es except assaul t decreased i n the control stati ons. T he authors di d not
investigate the possibility of displacement or diffusion of benefits.

O verall, C C T V programmes in public transportation systems present conflicting evidence of


effectiveness: two had a desirable effect, one had no effect, and one had an undesirable
effect on crime. H owever, for the two effective programmes in the L ondon U nderground, the
use of other interventions mak es it difficult to say with certainty that C C T V produced the
observed crime reductions, although in the programme by B urrows (1979) C C T V was more
than lik ely the cause.

T able 3.4 shows the results of a meta-analysis of the C C T V evaluations in public transport
setti ngs. I n al l cases, the most comparabl e control area i s used. T he odds rati o w as
si gni f i cant onl y i n one case: the eval uati on by B urrow s (O R = 2.58, z = 6.39, p<.0001).
W hen all four odds ratios were combined, the overall odds ratio was 1.06 (z = 1.37, n.s.),
corresponding to a six per cent reduction in crimes in experimental areas compared with
control areas.

33
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

Table 3.4: Meta-Analysis of CCTV Evaluations in Public Transport or Car Parks


E valuation O dds R atio
Public T ransport
1. B urrows (1979), U nderground 2.58 *
2. W ebb and L aycock (1992), U nderground 1.32
3. W ebb and L aycock (1992), U nderground (O xford C ircus) 0.89
4. G randmaison and T remblay (1997), M ontreal 1.02
A LL 4 ST UD IES 1.06
C ar Park s
1. Poyner (1991), G uildford 0.23
2. T illey (1993b), H artlepool 1.78 *
3. T illey (1993b), B radford 2.67 *
4. T illey (1993b), C oventry 1.95 *
5. S arno (1995), S utton 1.49 *
A LL 5 ST UD IES 1.70 *
A L L 18 S T U D I E S 1.04 *
*p<.05.

A ll four of these evaluations provided information about the effects of C C T V on violent


crimes, but the numbers of violent crimes afterwards were very small in the evaluation by
B urrow s (1979). T he C ambri dge and B urnl ey eval uati ons i n T abl e 3.1 al so provi ded
information on violent crimes. C ombining these five evaluations (excluding the B urrows
study), the overall odds ratio for the effect of C C T V on violent crimes was 0.96 (z = 0.59,
n.s.), meaning that C C T V had no effect on violent crimes.

Car parks

W e identified five C C T V evaluations that met the criteria for inclusion and were conducted in
car park s or park ing lots. A ll of the programmes were implemented in E ngland between the
early 1980s and the mid-1990s. T he duration of the programmes ranged from a low of ten
months to a high of 24 months (see T able 3.5). A ll of the programmes supplemented C C T V
wi th other i nterventi ons, such as i mproved li ghting, pai nti ng, fencing, payment schemes,
notices about C C T V , and security personnel. I n each programme, however, C C T V was the
main intervention.

34
Table 3.5: CCTV Evaluations in Car Parks
A uthor, Publication Context of T ype and Sample Other Outcome R esearch D esign R esults
D ate, and Location I ntervention D uration of Size I nterventions M easure of and Before- A fter
Intervention Interest and T ime Period
D ata Source
Poyner (1991), Parking lot CCT V ; E=1 parking Improved T heft from Before-after, E vs C (monthly
University of Surrey, 10 months lot (no. 4), lighting and vehicles; experimental- average): theft from
G uildford C=1 parking foliage cut private control vehicles: -73.3%
lot (no. 1) back (for both security (3.0 to 0.8) vs -93.8%
E and C; only records Before=24 months; (1.6 to 0.1)
E received A fter=10 months (undesirable effect)
CCT V )
1. T illey (1993b), Car park CCT V ; E=CCT V Security T heft of and Before-after, E vs C: theft of
H artlepool 24 months covered car officers, from vehicles; experimental- vehicles: -59.0%
parks, C= notices of police control (21.2 to 8.7 per
non-CCT V CCT V , and records quarter year) vs
covered car payment Before=15 months; -16.3% (16.0 to
parks scheme A fter=30 months 13.4 per quarter
N ote: no. of E year); theft from
and C car vehicles: -9.4%
parks or (6.4 to 5.8 per
spaces n.a. quarter year) vs
+3.1% (16.0 to
16.5 per quarter
year)
(desirable effect)
2. T illey (1993b), Car park CCT V ; E=1 car park, N otices of T heft of and Before-after, E vs C1: theft of
Bradford 12 months C1=2 CCT V , from vehicles; experimental vehicles: -43.5%
adjacent car improved police records control (23 to 13) vs
parks, C2= lighting, and +5.9% (17 to 18);
adjacent painting Before=12 months; theft from vehicles:
street parking A fter=12 months -68.8% (32 to 10)
N ote: C1 vs +4.5% (22 to
received some N ote: a third C 23)
CCT V is used, but is less E vs C2: theft of
coverage for comparable than vehicles: -43.5% vs
last 4 months C1 or C2 +31.8% (22 to
29); theft from
vehicles: -68.8% vs
+6.1% (33 to 35)
(desirable effect)
3. T illey (1993b), Car park CCT V ; E=3 car parks Lighting, T heft of and Before-after, E vs C: theft of
Coventry various (BA R , BON , painting, and from vehicles; experimental- vehicles: -50.5%
W H I ), C =2 fencing police control (91 to 45) vs
car park s records -53.6% (56 to 26);
(FA I , G R E) Before and after = theft from vehicles:
8 months (E) and -64.4% (276 to
16 months (C ) 101) vs -10.7%
(150 to 134)
(desirable effect)
Sarno (1995, Car park CC T V ; E=3 car park s M ultiple (e.g., V ehicle crime; Before-after, E vs C1: -57.3%
1996), London 12 months in part of lock ing police experimental- (349 to 149) vs
Borough of Sutton Sutton police overnight, records control -36.5% (2,367 to
sector, C1=rest lighting) 1,504)
of Sutton sector, Before=12 months; E vs C2: -57.3% vs
C2=all of A fter=12 months -40.2% (6,346 to
Borough of 3,798)
Sutton (desirable effect)
N otes: A ll locations were in the U K ; E = experimental area; C = control area; n.a. = not available.
Results

Four of the programmes had a desirable eff ect and one had an undesirable effect on
vehicle crimes, which was the exclusive focus of each of the impact evaluati ons. Poyner
(1991) evaluated a multi-component scheme at the U niversity of S urrey in G uildford in
which both the experimental and control park ing lots (one in each condition) received up-
graded lighting and foliage was cut back , but only the experimental park ing lot received
C C T V . T en months after the programme started, Poyner found that thefts from vehicles were
substantially reduced in both the experimental and control park ing lots. I n the experimental
site, the monthly average of incidents declined by almost three-quarters (73.3 per cent; from
3.0 to 0.8), while in the control site, they were almost eli minated (a drop of 93.8 per cent; from
1.6 to 0.1). A lthough the numbers are small, these results suggest that C C T V had
undesirable effects on cri me. H owever, the author concluded that there was evidence of
diffusion of benefits.

T illey (1993b) eval uated three C C T V programmes i n car park s i n the f ol l ow i ng ci ti es:
H artlepool, B radford, and C oventry. E ach scheme was part of the S afer C ities Programme.
I n H artlepool, C C T V cameras were installed in an unk nown number of covered car park s
and the control area included an unk nown number of non-C C T V covered car park s. Security
personnel, noti ces of C C T V , and payment schemes w ere also part of the pack age of
measures employed to reduce vehicle cri mes. T wenty-four months after the programme
began, thefts of and from vehi cles had been substanti ally reduced i n the experi mental
compared wi th the control car park s (see T able 3.5). T i lley (1993b, p. 9) concluded that,
“ T he mark ed relative advantage of C C T V covered park s in relation to theft of cars clearly
declines over time and there are signs that the underlying local trends [an increase in car
thefts] begin to be resumed“ . T he author suggests that the displacement of vehicle thefts from
covered to non-covered car park s may be partly responsible for this.

I n B radford, C C T V cameras were installed in one multi-story car park in the city centre.
N otices of C C T V , improved lighting, and general improvements in the form of painting were
al so i mpl emented i n the car park . T w o adjacent car park s and adjacent street park i ng
served as the control areas. A third control area - a city centre sub-division - was also used
by T i l l ey, but i t i s consi dered here to be l ess comparabl e than the other tw o w i th the
experimental area, and thus has not been used in experimental-control comparisons. I t is
important to note that the first control area - two adjacent car park s - also received some
C C T V coverage, for the last four months of the 12-month follow-up period. T welve months
i nto the programme, thefts of and from vehi cles showed substanti al reductions i n the
experimental area, while both crimes showed increases in the two control areas (see T able
3.5). A gain, displacement was not measured, and numbers of crimes were small.

37
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

I n the third car park C C T V scheme evaluated by T illey (1993b), in C oventry, cameras were
installed at different times in five car park s, and not in a sixth. Y early data for thefts of and
from vehicles (for January to A ugust) were presented for si x years (1987-1992). T hree car
park s (B arrack s, B ond S treet, W hitefri ars) were desi gnated as experi mental car park s,
because cri me data w ere avai labl e f or at l east one year bef ore and one year af ter the
installation of cameras. T wo car park s were designated as control car park s, either because
cameras w ere not i nstal l ed i n them (Fai rf ax S treet) or because the cameras w ere onl y
installed in the last year (G reyfriars). For the control car park s, crime data in the two years
before the average year of C C T V installation (1989) were compared with crime data in the
two years afterwards. T he si xth car park (C ox S treet) was not i ncluded i n the analyses
because cameras were installed in it in the first year. T here were other (lighting, painting
and fencing) improvements in these car park s during this time period. I t was found that theft
from vehicles decreased more in the experimental car park s, but theft of vehicles did not.

T he most recent evaluation of the impact of CCT V on vehicle crime was carried out in the London
Borough of Sutton (Sarno, 1995). C C T V cameras were installed in three car park s (experimental
area) in one part of the Sutton police sector at high risk of vehicle crimes, and two control areas
were established: (1) the remainder of the S utton police sector and (2) all of the Borough of
Sutton. T he first control area was considered to be comparable to the experimental area.

T he programme was evaluated after its first 12 months of operation. T otal vehicle crimes (“ theft of, theft
from, criminal damage to, unauthorised taking of vehicles and vehicle interference“ ; Sarno, 1995, p.
22) were reduced by 57.3 per cent (from 349 to 149) in the experi mental area, but there were
also lesser reductions in control areas 1 (36.5 per cent; from 2,367 to 1,504) and 2 (40.2 per cent;
6,346 to 3,798). T he author did not measure diffusion of benefits.

T illey (1993b) attempted to investigate mechanisms that may or may not have played a role in
the success of C C T V in preventing vehicle crimes in car park s. H owever, his conclusions
about mechani sms were almost all negati ve. For example, the true probabi li ty of bei ng
caught did not increase, offenders were not removed by being caught, C C T V images were
insufficiently clear to identify offenders, there was little increase in car park usage following the
installation of C C T V (so no convincing evidence of increased natural surveillance or of
cautious drivers being attracted to these car park s), and rarely any effective deployment of
security staff. So why did C C T V allegedly have any effect? T illey’s main suggestion was that
C C T V had an effect when it was combined with other crime prevention measures, but this
fails to address the problem of determining whether the effect was caused by C C T V or by
these other measures. T illey made little attempt to address threats to internal validity (C ook and
C ampbell, 1979; Shadish et al., 2002).

38
Results

T able 3.4 shows the results of a meta-analysis of the five C C T V evaluations in car park s. I n four
cases, the odds ratios showed a significant and desirable effect of C C T V . I n the other case
(Poyner, 1991), the effect was undesirable, but the small numbers meant that the odds ratio
was not signi ficant (z = 1.35). W hen all five odds ratios were combi ned, the overall odds
rati o w as 1.70 (z = 7.45, p<.0001). T hus, cri me i ncreased by 70 per cent i n control areas
compared with experimental areas, or conversely crime decreased by 41 per cent in
experimental areas compared with control areas.

A ll five evaluations provided information about the effects of C C T V on vehicle crimes, as did
the C ambridge, N ew castle and B urnley studies in T able 3.1. C ombini ng these ei ght
evaluati ons, the overall odds rati o for the effect of C C T V on vehicle crimes w as 1.38 (z =
7.63, p<.0001). T hus, C C T V i ncreased vehi cle cri mes by about 38 per cent i n control
areas compared with experimental areas, or conversely decreased vehicle crimes by about 28
per cent in experimental areas compared with control areas.

Pooled meta-analysis results

Figure 3.1 summarises the results of 17 studies in a “ Forest“ graph. (T he G uildford results of
Poyner 1991 could not be shown.) T his shows the odds ratio for total cri me measured in
each study plus its 95 per cent confidence interval. T he 17 studies are ordered according to
magnitudes of their odds ratios. I t can immediately be seen that just over half of the studies
(9 out of 17) showed evidence of a desirable effect of C C T V on crime, with odds ratios of
1.27 or greater (from B urnley upwards). A ll nine studies were carried out in the U nited
K ingdom. C onversely, the other nine studies (including G uildford) showed no evidence of any
desi rable effect of C C T V on cri me, wi th odds rati os of 1.02 or less. A ll fi ve N orth A merican
studies were in this group. T he overall odds ratio of 1.04 (95 per cent confidence interval
1.01-1.06, z = 2.97, p = .003) indicates a significant but small overall reduction of four per cent
in the crime rate in these 18 studies.

T he 18 C C T V evaluation studies were significantly heterogeneous in their effect sizes (Q =


267.9, df = 17, p<.0001). T he five N orth A merican studies were homogeneous in showing no
desi rabl e ef f ect (O R = 0.99, Q = 0.33, df = 4, n.s.). T he 13 U K studi es show ed a
desi rabl e ef f ect (O R = 1.07, 95 per cent conf i dence i nterval 1.04-1.11, z = 4.42,
p<.0001), but they w ere si gni f i cantl y heterogeneous even w i thi n the three context
categories of city centres/public housing, public transport, and car park s.

39
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

Figure 3.1: CCTV evaluations


1.0

Bradford

Underground S

C oventry

Birmingham

H artlepool

Sutton

D oncaster

Underground N

Burnley

M ontreal

Cincinnati F

C incinnati N

Cincinnati H

N ewcastle

Underground C

N ew York

C ambridge

M ean

N ote: O dds ratios and confidence intervals on logarithmic scale

40
4. Conclusions

Summary of main findings

A number of targeted and comprehensi ve searches of the publi shed and unpubli shed
literature and contacts with leading researchers produced 22 C C T V evaluations which met our
criteria for inclusion in this review; 24 evaluations did not meet the inclusion criteria (mainly
because they had no comparable control condition) and were excluded. T he criteria for
inclusion called for C C T V programmes which employed rigorous evaluation designs to assess
effects on crime, with the minimum design involving before-and-after measures of crime in
experimental and comparable control areas.

S etting the threshold any higher - for example, requiring randomised experimental designs
- was impractical, because no C C T V programme has been evaluated with this degree of
sci enti f i c ri gour. T heref ore, the methodol ogi cal cri teri a used here sought to achi eve a
balance between weak (e.g., simple one group, no control group, before-after designs) and
strong sci ence. Faced wi th a si mi lar di lemma, S herman and hi s colleagues adopted the
same approach: “ T he report [Preventing C rime] tak es the middle road between reaching
very few conclusions with great certainty and reaching very many conclusions with very little
certainty“ (1998, p. 6).

T he 22 included evaluations were carried out in three main settings: (1) city centres and
publi c housing, (2) public transport, and (3) car park s. E valuati ons w ere not evenly
di stri buted across the three setti ngs. T he largest number of eval uati ons was in the ci ty
centre/public housing setting (N =13).

O f the 22 included evaluations, half (11) found a desirable effect on crime and five found an
undesi rable effect on cri me. Fi ve evaluati ons found a null effect on cri me (i.e., clear
evidence of no effect), while the remaining one was classified as finding an uncertain effect on
crime (i.e., unclear evidence of an effect).

R esults from a meta-analysis provide a clearer picture of the crime prevention effectiveness
of C C T V . From 18 eval uati ons - the other f our di d not provi de the needed data to be
included in the meta-analysis - it was concluded that C C T V had a significant desirable
effect on cri me, although the overall reduction in cri me was a rather small four per cent.
H alf of the studies (nine out of 18) showed evidence of a desi rable effect of C C T V on cri me.

41
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

A ll ni ne of these studi es were carri ed out i n the U K . C onversely, the other ni ne studi es
showed no evidence of any desirable effect of C C T V on cri me. A ll five N orth A meri can
studies were in this group.

T he meta-analysis also examined the effect of C C T V on the most frequently measured crime
types. I t was found that C C T V had no effect on violent crimes (from five studies), but had a
significant desirable effect on vehicle crimes (from eight studies).

A cross the three settings, mixed results were found for the crime prevention effectiveness of
C C T V . I n the city centre and public housing setting, there was evidence that C C T V led to a
negligible reduction in crime of about two per cent in experimental areas compared with
control areas. C C T V had a very smal l but si gni f i cant ef f ect on cri me i n the f i ve U K
evaluations in this setting (three desirable and two undesirable), but had no effect on crime in
the four N orth A meri can evaluations. M ore schemes showed evi dence of di ffusion of
benefits than displacement.

T he four evaluations of C C T V in public transportation systems present conflicting evidence of


ef f ecti veness: tw o f ound a desi rabl e ef f ect, one f ound no ef f ect, and one f ound an
undesirable effect on cri me. For the two effective studies, the use of other interventions
mak es it difficult to say with certainty that C C T V produced the observed crime reductions.
T he pooled ef f ect si ze f or al l f our studi es w as desi rable (a si x per cent reducti on i n
experi mental areas compared wi th control areas), but non-si gni fi cant. O nly two of the
studies measured diffusion of benefits or displacement and evidence was found for each.

I n car park s, there was evidence that C C T V led to a statistically significant reduction in
cri me of about 41 per cent in experi mental areas compared with control areas. H owever, for
all of the studies in this setting other measures were in operation at the same ti me as C C T V .
M ost studies did not measure either diffusion of benefits or displacement.

Priorities for research

A dvancing k nowledge about the crime prevention benefits of C C T V programmes should


begin with attention to the methodological rigour of the evaluation designs. T he use of a
comparable control area by all of the 22 included evaluations went a long way towards
ruling out some of the major threats to internal validity, such as selection, maturation, history,
and instrumentation (see C ook and C ampbell, 1979; S hadish et al., 2002). T he effect of
C C T V on crime can also be investigated after controlling (e.g., in a regression equation) not

42
Conclusions

only for prior crime but also for other community-level factors that influence crime, such as
neighbourhood poverty and poor housing. A nother possible research design is to match two
areas and then to choose one at random to be the experi mental area. O f course, several pairs
of areas would be better than only one pair.

A lso important in advancing k nowledge about the effectiveness of C C T V in preventing crime


is attention to methodological problems or changes to programmes that tak e place during
and after implementation. Some of these implementation issues include: statistical conclusion
validity (adequacy of statistical analyses), construct validity (fidelity), and statistical power
(to detect change). For some of the included evaluations, small numbers of crimes made it
difficult to determine whether or not the programme had an effect on crime. I t is essential to
carry out statistical power analyses before embark ing on evaluation studies (C ohen, 1977).
Few studi es attempted to control f or regressi on to the mean, w hi ch happens i f an
intervention is implemented just after an unusually high crime rate period. A long time series
of observations is needed to investigate this. T he contamination of control areas (i.e., by the
C C T V intervention) was another, albeit less common, problem that faced the evaluations.

B eyond evaluati on desi gn and i mplementati on i ssues, there i s also the need for longer
follow-up periods to see how far the effects persist. O f the 22 included schemes, four were
i n operati on for si x months or less pri or to being evaluated. T hi s i s a very short ti me to
assess a programme’s i mpact on cri me or any other outcome measure, and f or these
programmes the questi on can be ask ed: W as the i nterventi on i n place long enough to
provide an accurate picture of its observed effects on crime? I deally, time series designs are
needed with a long series of crime rates in experimental and control conditions before and
after the introduction of C C T V . I n the situational crime prevention literature, brief follow-up
periods are the norm, but “ it is now recognized that more information is needed about the
longer-term effects of situational prevention“ (C lark e, 2001, p. 29). I deally, the same time
periods should be used in before and after measures of crime.

R esearch is also needed to help identify the active ingredients of effecti ve C C T V


programmes. O ne-third of the included programmes involved interventions in addition to
C C T V , and thi s mak es i t di f f i cult to i solate the i ndependent ef f ects of the di f f erent
components, and interactional effects of C C T V in combination with other measures. Future
experiments are needed which attempt to disentangle elements of effective programmes.
A lso, future experiments need to measure the intensity of the C C T V dose and the dose-
response relationship, and need to include alternative methods of measuring crime (surveys
as well as police records).

43
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

R esearch is also needed on the financial costs and benefits of C C T V programmes. W e had
hoped to be able to examine this issue, but it was not possible, because only one (S k inns,
1998a) of the 22 programmes presented data on financial costs and benefits or conducted
a cost-benefit analysis. Sk inns (1998b) found that the criminal justice costs saved from fewer
prosecutions and sentences (the benefits) were greater than the costs of running the C C T V
programme by more than three times, or a benefit-cost ratio of 3.5:1. Previous work (W elsh
and Farrington, 1999, 2000) has shown that situational cri me prevention generally is an
economi cally effi ci ent strategy i n preventi ng cri me. I t i s i mportant to measure the cost-
ef f ectiveness of C C T V i n preventi ng cri me compared w i th other al ternati ves such as
improved street lighting.

Policy implications

I n B ritain, C C T V is the single most heavily funded non-criminal justice crime prevention
measure. O ver the three year peri od of 1999 through 2001, the B ri ti sh government has
made available £170 million for “ C C T V schemes in town and city centres, car park s, crime
hot-spots and residential areas“ (H ome O ffice Policing and R educing C rime U nit, 2001, p.
8). I n previous years (1996 through 1998), C C T V accounted for more than three-quarters of
total spending on crime prevention by the H ome O ffice (K och, 1998, p. 49).

D uring this time there has been much debate about the effectiveness of C C T V in preventing
cri me and, hence, on the wi sdom of devoti ng such large sums of money to one type of
intervention. A k ey issue is how far funding for C C T V in B ritain has been based on high
quality scientific evidence demonstrating its efficacy in preventing crime. T here is a concern
that this funding has been based partly on a handful of apparently effective schemes that
were usually evaluated using simple one group (no control group) before-after designs.
T hese evaluations were conducted with varying degrees of competence (A rmitage et al.,
1999, p. 226) and varyi ng degrees of professi onal i ndependence from the H ome O ffi ce
(D i tton and S hort, 1999, p. 202). Future fundi ng of C C T V schemes should be based on
high quality scientific evidence that shows the efficacy of C C T V in preventing crime.

T his report’s findings of the highest quality British C C T V evaluations provide some support,
albeit with the advantage of hindsight, for government expenditure on C C T V initiatives.
H owever, it was noteworthy that the poorly controlled (excluded) studies produced more
desirable results than the better controlled (included) studies.

44
Conclusions

T he studies included in the present review show that C C T V can be most effective in reducing
crime in car park s. E xactly what the optimal circumstances are for effective use of C C T V
schemes is not entirely clear at present, and needs to be established by future evaluation
research. But it is interesting to note that the success of the C C T V schemes in car park s was
limited to a reduction in vehicle crimes (the only crime type measured) and all five schemes
included other interventions, such as improved lighting and notices about C C T V cameras.
C onversely, the evaluations of C C T V schemes in city centres and public housing measured a
much larger range of crime types and the schemes did not involve, with one exception, other
interventions. T hese C C T V schemes, and those focused on public transport, had only a small
effect on crime. C ould it be that a pack age of interventions focused on a specific crime type
is what made the C C T V -led schemes in car park s effective? T he research evidence on the
effectiveness of situational crime prevention in general is ripe with such examples (e.g., for
the prevention of convenience store robbery, see H unter and Jeffery, 1992).

O verall, it might be concluded that C C T V reduces crime to a small degree. I n light of the
successful results, future C C T V schemes should be carefully implemented in different settings
and should employ high quality evaluation designs with long follow-up periods. T hey should
also attempt to establish the causal mechanisms by which C C T V has any effect on crime, by
i ntervi ew i ng potenti al of f enders. I n the end, an evi dence-based approach to cri me
prevention which uses the highest level of science available offers the strongest formula for
building a safer society.

45
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

46
Appendix 1: Literature reviews consulted

T he following five literature reviews were consulted as part of the search strategies used to
identify evaluation reports on the effects of C C T V on crime.

Eck, J.E. (1997). Preventi ng cri me at pl aces. I n L .W . S herman, D .C . G ottf redson, D .L .


M acK enzie, J.E . E ck , P. R euter, and S .D . B ushway, Preventing C rime: W hat W ork s, W hat
D oesn’t, W hat’s Promising (chapter 7). W ashington, D C : N ational I nstitute of Justice, U S
D epartment of Justice.

Eck, J.E. (2002). Preventing crime at places. I n L .W . S herman, D .P. Farrington, B .C . W elsh,
and D .L . M acK enzie (eds.), E vidence-B ased C rime Prevention (241-94). L ondon: R outledge.

Nieto, M. (1997). Publi c V i deo S urveillance: I s I t an E ffecti ve C ri me Preventi on T ool?


Sacramento, C alifornia: C alifornia R esearch Bureau, C alifornia State L ibrary.

Phillips, C. (1999). A revi ew of C C T V evaluations: C ri me reduction effects and attitudes


towards its use. I n K . Painter and N . T illey (eds.), Surveillance of Public Space: C C T V , Street
L ighting and C rime Prevention: V ol. 10. C rime Prevention S tudies (pp. 123-55). M onsey, N Y:
C riminal Justice Press.

Poyner, B. (1993). W hat work s in crime prevention: A n overview of evaluations. I n R .V .


C lark e (ed.), C rime Prevention S tudies: V ol. 1 (pp. 7-34). M onsey, N Y : C riminal Justice
Press.

47
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

48
Appendix 2: Evaluation reports that could not be obtained

T he followi ng three evaluati on reports were i denti fi ed, but we were not successful i n
obtaining copies. I t is not k nown if these evaluations would meet the inclusion criteria.

Berkowitz, M. (1975). E valuation of M erchant S ecurity Program: A C ase S tudy A ssessing the
I mpact of E lectronic Protection D evices on S afety in R etail S tores in N ew Y ork C ity. N ew York :
N ew York City Police D epartment.

James, S. and Wynne, R. (1985). T enant Perceptions of C rime and Security on M elbourne’s
H igh-R ise H ousing E states. M elbourne, A ustralia: C riminology D epartment, U niversity of
M elbourne.

Northumbria Police (no date). C ar C ri me - L et’s C rack I t C ampai gn. Force eval uati on,
1988. N orthumbria: A uthor.

49
Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

50
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Crime prevention effects of closed circuit television: a systematic review

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