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  1. CCTV in Gillingham, England

CCTV in Gillingham, England

Program Goal/Target Site

The public spaces in Gillingham, England’s High Street and the town center car parks were selected for closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) installation in order to reduce criminal activity in public spaces and increase feelings of safety for members of the community.


 

Program Components

At the time of the study, Gillingham was a combination of a market town and a suburban center and thus represented a slightly different venue than the metropolitan city areas often selected for CCTV installation.


 

In 1997, seven CCTV cameras were installed along High Street, much of which is a pedestrian zone, and in the adjacent car parks. The cameras could be used to identify individuals, groups, and car plate numbers in the majority of High Street and the car parks. Security staff monitored the cameras 24 hours each day, one operator per shift.


 

Program Theory

Crime prevention theory suggests that CCTV can reduce crime rates by increasing the probability that offenders will be caught; by increasing the perceived risk of offending; by increasing usage of space, which can, in turn, increase natural surveillance; and by increasing the effective deployment of police and security personnel.


 

Intervention ID
153
Ages

No Data.

Rating
Promising
Outcomes

Crime Rates

Griffiths (2003) found that the treatment area of Gillingham, England, where the closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) were installed, experienced a 35 percent reduction in crime over a 5-year period, while the comparison area had a minimal .05 percent reduction. The treatment area experienced a 44 percent reduction in crime the 1st year, and then a 32 percent decrease across years 1 through 5. This reduction was driven by declines in property crime. The comparison area seemed to benefit initially from the introduction of CCTV in Gillingham in the 1st year of operation, but then crime rates rose and leveled off at the higher level. An analysis estimated that, due to the installation, 2,104 crimes were prevented in Gillingham over the course of the 5 years.


 

Violent Crime

Overall, violent crime was not reduced, but actually increased by 32 percent in Gillingham.  Violent crime rose by 37 percent in the comparison area.  These increases were statistically significant.


 

Property Crime

Property crime was reduced in the treatment area, particularly thefts from vehicles (reduced by 33 percent), other thefts (reduced by 36 percent), and criminal damage (reduced by 22 percent). In the comparison area, thefts from vehicles dropped by 4 percent, other thefts rose by 14 percent, and criminal damage rose by 29 percent.  Both areas experienced drops in shoplifting rates (49 percent in Gillingham and 58 percent in the comparison area). All changes were statistically significant.

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