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The Value of CCTV Surveillance Cameras as an Investigative Tool: An Empirical Analysis

Ashby, MPJ; (2017) The Value of CCTV Surveillance Cameras as an Investigative Tool: An Empirical Analysis. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research , 23 (3) pp. 441-459. 10.1007/s10610-017-9341-6. Green open access

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Abstract

There has been extensive research on the value of closed-circuit television (CCTV) for preventing crime, but little on its value as an investigative tool. This study sought to establish how often CCTV provides useful evidence and how this is affected by circumstances, analysing 251,195 crimes recorded by British Transport Police that occurred on the British railway network between 2011 and 2015. CCTV was available to investigators in 45% of cases and judged to be useful in 29% (65% of cases in which it was available). Useful CCTV was associated with significantly increased chances of crimes being solved for all crime types except drugs/weapons possession and fraud. Images were more likely to be available for more-serious crimes, and less likely to be available for cases occurring at unknown times or in certain types of locations. Although this research was limited to offences on railways, it appears that CCTV is a powerful investigative tool for many types of crime. The usefulness of CCTV is limited by several factors, most notably the number of public areas not covered. Several recommendations for increasing the usefulness of CCTV are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: The Value of CCTV Surveillance Cameras as an Investigative Tool: An Empirical Analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10610-017-9341-6
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10610-017-9341-6
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Closed-circuit television, Surveillance camera, Criminal investigation, Policing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076724
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