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Argument: Crime cameras have not had a significant impact on crime rates

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Ben Leapman. "CCTV 'does not stop crime'". February 24, 2005 - Closed circuit TV systems are of little use in the fight against crime, a surprise government report claims today.

Home Office researchers who studied 14 schemes across Britain found that only one had brought a clear fall in the local crime rate.


Jason Bennetto. "Half CCTV schemes do not reduce crime rates". Independent. June 29, 2002 - More than half the closed-circuit television schemes in city centres, housing estates and on public transport have no effect on the crime rate, findings from a Home Office study suggest.

In some cases where CCTV has been installed the number of crimes has increased while city-centre cameras also have little effect on cutting violent assaults, the official report says. The results from the review of CCTV schemes, which is to be published next month, were seized upon by a rehabilitation group as evidence that the Government was wasting money on so many cameras and exaggerating their effectiveness.


Own Bowcott. "CCTV boom has failed to slash crime, say police". Guardian. May 6, 2008 - Massive investment in CCTV cameras to prevent crime in the UK has failed to have a significant impact, despite billions of pounds spent on the new technology, a senior police officer piloting a new database has warned. Only 3% of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images, despite the fact that Britain has more security cameras than any other country in Europe.


Theodore Dalrymple. "Cameras, Crooks, and Deterrence". City Journal. October 16, 2007 - After the North Koreans, the British are probably the most highly surveyed people in the world. Around 10,000 publicly funded closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras—to say nothing of the private ones—watch London every day. The average Briton, you often hear, winds up photographed 300 times a day as he goes about his business, even if his business is crime.

Whenever a brutal murder is committed in a public place, the police announce that they are examining the video evidence: no such murder ever seems to occur off camera. Yet the number of CCTV cameras in place seems to have no effect on the number of crimes solved—the police in the London boroughs with many cameras, for instance, clear up no larger a proportion of crimes than those in boroughs with few.


Richard Ford. "Eight out of ten CCTV images offer no help in solving crimes". The Times (London). October 20, 2007 - Eight images out of ten supplied to the police from closed-circuit television do not help to identify criminals, according to a Home Office report published yesterday.

The report also says that the majority of cameras are not placed where they can help to detect or prevent serious crimes or terrorist attacks.

Some cameras are now being positioned to catch motorists in bus lanes and record vehicle numberplates. And many cameras in public places such as shopping centres and pubs and clubs are designed to "monitor crowds, slips, trips and falls" rather than criminal behaviour.


"Surveillance Cameras Do Little To Deter Bay Area Crime". Associated Press. January 12, 2009 - SAN FRANCISCO - A study on the use of surveillance cameras in some of San Francisco's high-crime areas is giving low marks on the program's effectiveness in cutting down on crime.

The study conducted by the UC Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society says cameras installed around the city in 2005 have failed to reduce homicide and other violent crimes.

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