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Public Surveillance Cameras and Crime

surveillance camerasBetween 2007 and 2010, researchers from the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center studied public surveillance systems in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., to measure the extent of their use, their effects on crime, their other benefits, and their costs. While results varied by area, surveillance systems in Baltimore and Chicago produced more than enough benefits to justify their costs. No cost-benefit analysis was conducted in Washington, D.C., because the cameras didn’t show a statistically significant impact on crime there.



Reports

Evaluating the Use of Public Surveillance Cameras for Crime Control and Prevention
Nancy G. La Vigne, Samantha S. Lowry, Joshua Markman, Allison Dwyer

This report summarizes the results of an evaluation of public surveillance systems in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., examining how systems in each of these jurisdictions were selected and implemented and assessing the degree to which they achieved their intended crime prevention impact. The study also explored whether surveillance cameras displaced crime or yielded a diffusion of benefits to areas just beyond the cameras reach, and included a cost-benefit analysis component in two of the three study sites. Findings indicate that in places where cameras were sufficiently concentrated and routinely monitored by trained staff, the impact on crime was significant and cost-beneficial, with no evidence of crime displacement. Read more

Evaluating the Use of Public Surveillance Cameras for Crime Control and Prevention - A Summary
Nancy G. La Vigne, Samantha S. Lowry, Joshua Markman, Allison Dwyer

A growing number of cities are using surveillance cameras to reduce crime, but little research exists to determine whether they’re worth the cost. With jurisdictions across the country tightening their belts, public safety resources are scarce—and policymakers need to know which potential investments are likely to bear fruit. This research brief summarizes the Urban Institute’s series documenting three cities use of public surveillance cameras and how they impacted crime in their neighborhoods. Read more

Using Public Surveillance Systems for Crime Control and Prevention: A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement and Their Municipal Partners
Nancy G. La Vigne, Samantha S. Lowry, Allison Dwyer, Joshua Markman

This publication is designed to guide city administrators, law enforcement agencies, and their municipal partners in implementing and employing public surveillance systems in a manner that will have the greatest impact on public safety. It details the various aspects of a system that are integral in yielding a cost-beneficial impact on crime, including budgetary considerations, camera types and locations, how best to monitor cameras, and the role that video footage plays in investigations and prosecutions. It also highlights the most prominent lessons learned in an effort to guide city administrators and jurisdictions that are currently investing in cameras for public safety purposes, as well as to inform those that are contemplating doing so. Read more


Blog Post

How Surveillance Cameras Can Help Prevent and Solve Crime
Nancy G. La Vigne

The potential value of public surveillance technology took on new meaning when investigators identified the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing after sifting through video images captured by the city’s cameras. The successful use of this technology in such a high-profile investigation is likely to prompt other major cities to reaffirm – and even expand – their investment in and use of surveillance cameras. Civil liberties advocates fear this would create an undue invasion of privacy. Read more


Press Release

Surveillance Cameras Cost-Effective Tools for Cutting Crime, 3-Year Study Concludes
Urban Institute

Between 2007 and 2010, researchers from the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center studied public surveillance systems in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., to measure the extent of their use, their effects on crime, their other benefits, and their costs. While results varied by area, surveillance systems in Baltimore and Chicago produced more than enough benefits to justify their costs. No cost-benefit analysis was conducted in Washington, D.C., because the cameras didn’t show a statistically significant impact on crime there. Read more



 
 
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