The UK may have deployed 14 CCTV cameras per red blood cell, but a meta-review of 44 studies on crime and CCTV find that ubiquitous surveillance is useful in late night parking lots, and that's about it.
The authors, who include Cambridge University criminologist, David Farrington, say while their results lend support for the continued use of CCTV, schemes should be far more narrowly targeted at reducing vehicle crime in car parks.
CCTV schemes in city and town centres have little effect on crime, says report
Results from a 2007 study in Cambridge which looked at the impact of 30 cameras in the city centre showed that they had no effect on crime but led to an increase in the reporting of assault, robbery and other violent crimes to the police...
The Campbell Collaboration report says that CCTV is now the single most heavily-funded crime prevention measure operating outside the criminal justice system and its rapid growth has come with a huge price tag. It adds that £170m was spent on CCTV schemes in town and city centres, car parks and residential areas between 1999 and 2001 alone. "Over the last decade, CCTV accounted for more than threequarters of total spending on crime prevention by the British Home Office," the report says.
The Lords report said that £500 million was spent in Britain on CCTV in the decade up to 2006, money which in the past would have gone on street lighting or neighbourhood crime prevention initiatives.
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