CCTV Systems Role in Reducing Crime Essay

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CCTV Systems Role in Reducing Crime

The general purpose of the CCTV is to prevent and reduce crime. In theory, this happens because of one or more of these reasons:

1. Deterrence: potential burglars and thieves may see the camera and decide that a store in question is too much of a risk and therefore not a good target.

2. Prosecution: thieves and shoplifters may be caught on camera and this can help catch and prosecute them.

3. Fear reduction: if everyone knows that there is a camera, they may feel safer in or around your business, thus preventing potential criminals from attacking.

4. Monitoring and intervention: if there is a security guard monitoring the area through CCTV system,
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We have to get the balance right on the use of CCTV and other surveillance equipment in public places - between protecting people's safety and protecting their privacy. The law should require clear impact assessments, so that CCTV is only used where it will work and will justify the intrusion. If CCTV is less effective than people have been led to believe, perhaps we should actually be spending more of this money on fewer cameras and more on street lighting or police officers on the street.

From the government’s perspective, CCTV has been long since seen as a useful crime prevention tool with wide ranging uses (Home Office, 1994). Amongst the many uses attributed to CCTV, public order issues are significant. For example, one particular government study highlights how a CCTV scheme in Birmingham incorporates the specific aims of ‘deterrence of public disorder, anti-social behaviour and crime’ and the ‘reduction of general levels of fear of crime within the town (sic) centre’ (Brown, 1995: 31). CCTV is therefore considered as an important tool in tackling disorder, anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime, all elements which form a major part of the government’s Crime Reduction Programme.

Also in keeping with the main aims of the Crime Reduction