Evaluation of Camera Use to Prevent Crime in Commuter Parking Facilities: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Research Report

Evaluation of Camera Use to Prevent Crime in Commuter Parking Facilities: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

This report evaluates the use of cameras to reduce car-related crimes in Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) commuter parking facilities. Using a randomized controlled trial design, digital motion-activated cameras (akin to red light cameras) were installed at the exits of 25 Metro parking facilities, which were matched with 25 parking facilities serving as controls. Findings suggest that the cameras were not effective in reducing crime, and no evidence of displacement was found. Researchers concluded that cameras might have yielded their intended crime control impact if they had real-time surveillance capabilities and were fully employed for investigative purposes.

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