U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Effects of Merging Proactive CCTV Monitoring With Directed Police Patrol: A Randomized Controlled Trial

NCJ Number
249380
Date Published
March 2015
Length
27 pages
Author(s)
Eric L. Piza, Joel M. Caplan, Leslie W. Kennedy, Andrew M. Gilchrist
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Annotation
This study was designed to test the effect of increased certainty of punishment on reported crime levels in CCTV target areas of Newark, NJ.
Abstract
The program’s intent was to overcome specific surveillance barriers that minimize the effectiveness of CCTV, namely high camera-to-operator ratios and the differential response policy of police dispatch. An additional camera operator was deployed to monitor specific CCTV cameras, with two patrol cars dedicated to exclusively responding to incidents of concern detected on the experimental cameras. Overall, the study findings support the hypothesis that the integration of CCTV with proactive police activity generates a crime control benefit greater than what research suggests is achievable via “stand-alone” camera deployment, particularly in the case of street-level crime. The experimental strategy was associated with significant reductions in violent crime and social disorder in the treatment areas compared to the control areas. Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) and Total Net Effect (TNE) values suggest that the number of crime incidents prevented was sizable in numerous instances. The experiment had much less of an effect on narcotics activity, however. A randomized controlled trial was implemented in the analysis. A randomized block design was used to assign each of the 38 CCTV schemes to either a treatment or control group. Schemes were grouped into pairs based upon their levels of three types of calls for service: violent crime, social disorder, and narcotics activity. Negative binomial regression models tested the effect that assignment to the treatment group had on levels of the aforementioned crime categories. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: July 12, 2016