Essay on Criminology - Advanced Surveillance

3236 WordsJul 18, 201213 Pages
How effective are CCTV cameras as a proven crime control and prevention measure? Describe the crime control literature which attempts to assess their efficacy and evaluate the impact such studies have had on overall proliferation of these systems. Illustrate your answer by reference to both official reports and academic and NGO studies supporting or contradicting such claims. This essay will aim to critically discuss CCTV cameras as a proven method of crime control and prevention tool. In order to analyse academic, official and Non Government Organisation (NGO) studies, it is important to consider the rise of CCTV. CCTV is the one of the fastest growing forms of surveillance and crime control in the UK. CCTV was gradually diffused…show more content…
(Privacy International; 1992) The government believes that CCTV deters opportunistic crime such as , vehicle crime, burglaries and robbery. Research assessing the effectiveness of CCTV; confirms that it is effective in reducing property crime such as burglary and robbery. The ‘rational choice theory’ can be used to explain this belief. This theory suggests that, delinquent individuals seek to maximise their profits and reduce their losses. This is dependent on the information that is available to them at the time of committing the offence. (Cornish and Clark 1985) CCTV then, reduces the opportunistic gain and increases the risk of being caught. (Armitage 2002; 3) However Jason Dutton, Director of the Scottish centre of Criminology stated that glowing reductions in criminogenic behaviour since implementation of CCTV systems, is a fantasy (Privacy International; 1992) Dutton’s statement could be rationalised when reflecting upon crimes such as public disorder. Reflecting back to the rational choice theory: Crimes that have involved alcohol consumption appear to reduce the perpetrators ‘rationality’, and thus the risk of being caught in CCTV is reduced. (Armitage 2002; 3) CCTV cameras are creating high levels of conviction. According to privacy International, nearly everyone who recorded by CCTV committing a crime pleaded guilty. For example, In Newcastle, the installation of 16 camera system resulted in a 100% increase of guilty pleas. Privacy International also found
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