News

CCTV can be effective but it has significant drawbacks



21 August 2013

The best-available evidence suggests that CCTV systems are not very good at preventing crime in public places, but can assist with police investigations, writes Garner Clancey.

In an opinion piece for the Newcastle Herald, he asserts that many assumptions are made about public-space CCTV systems that often are not reflected in reality.

"These systems have to contend with a number of conditions that compromise their effectiveness in preventing crime.

"Motivated offenders will conceal themselves or offend outside of the camera range. "Intoxicated offenders care little about the presence of cameras.

"Some offences, such as drug dealing, can be difficult to detect on camera.

"Illegal activities conducted in view of unmonitored cameras do not result in police intervention and busy police cannot attend any more incidents detected by the cameras.

"Given these and other factors, the best available international research suggests that public-space CCTV systems have a modest crime-prevention benefit."

View the entire article - Costs are high for the unblinking eye - Newcastle Herald

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