1. CCTV in Five English Cities

CCTV in Five English Cities

Program Goals/Components

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were installed in five urban center entertainment districts that attract economic activity at night and relatively high pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The towns and cities were Ashford, Eastbourne, Lincoln, Newport (Isle of Wight), and Peterborough. Cameras were installed to reduce crime and ran 24 hours a day.


In all but Eastbourne—where the police installed the cameras—the cameras were installed by the local council. These systems were linked with the police through dedicated telephone lines in the CCTV control rooms. Any actions taken as a result of information on assaults or precursors to violence were taken by the police.


Program Theory

The use of CCTV cameras is thought to reduce crime through various mechanisms. For instance, by increasing the perceived risk of offending, potential offenders may choose not to offend. By increasing actual detection through surveillance, early intervention may be possible to avert a crime or violence, and offenders may be removed. If surveillance leads to the early detection of precursors to violence, injuries may decrease.

Intervention ID

No Data.


Study 1

Assault-Related Emergency Department Visits

Sivarajasingam and colleagues (2003) found that visits to emergency departments (EDs) for assault-related injuries decreased by 3 percent in the intervention sites and increased by 11 percent in the control sites. This difference was statistically significant. There was variation across the sites. For instance, in the control sites only Poole’s assault-related ED visits did not change significantly over the 4 years. In the intervention sites, there was a significant reduction in assault-related ED visits in Eastbourne, Newport, and Peterborough, but a significant increase in Lincoln.


Police-Recorded Violence

Police-recorded violence increased in both the intervention and control sites. Although it increased more in the intervention sites (11 percent) than in the control sites (5 percent), the difference was not statistically significant. There was variation across the sites. For instance, in only one of the five control centers (Chelmsford) were there significantly more violent offenses recorded by police in the last 2 years (1997–99) compared with the first 2 years (1995–97). In the intervention centers, there were significant increases in police-detected violence in Eastbourne and Peterborough, but no change in rates in the other three centers.

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