[Editor's note: John Honovich publishes this and other information on network video at IPVideoMarket.info.]
While we continue to spend more on public CCTV systems, the debate on CCTV effectiveness has reached a polarizing and inconclusive standoff. On the one side, you have a number of studies and leading thinkers who cleary contend that CCTV systems are ineffective. On the other, you have numerous municipalities who are weekly green-lighting new CCTV projects.
This report offers key findings from the 20 top studies/articles in the field and offers practical recommendations on how to optimize the use of public CCTV systems.
A directory of the 20 top papers in the field are included at the end of this document. This report is based on those papers.
Key Findings Summary
- The expectation that CCTV systems should be deployed to reduce crime rather than solve crime has created huge problems.
- While the studies show serious doubt on CCTV's ability to reduce crime generally, a strong consensus exists in CCTV's ability to reduce premeditative/property crime
- CCTV is consistently treated as a singular, stable technology, obscuring radical technological changes that have occurred in the last 10 years
- Differences in per camera costs are largely ignored, preventing policy makers from finding ways to reduce costs
- Routine comparison of police vs cameras is counterproductive
Practical Recommendations Summary
- Stop claiming that CCTV can generally reduce crime
- Optimize future public CCTV projects around crime solving rather than crime reduction
- Optimize future public CCTV projects around material and premeditative crimes
- Target technologies that support crime solving and material/premeditative crimes
- Focus on minimizing cost per camera