Do CCTV Cameras Reduce Crime

The use of CCTV cameras in commercial and residential houses has increased substantially, since their invention in the 1980’s. They have become a necessity for business and homeowners as a way of reducing crime and helping in monitoring the premises efficiently even when not around. These cameras have been used by crime investigators to solve some of the most mysterious crimes, and hence, the role they play in providing security cannot be ignored. CCTV cameras have also become very affordable with the emergence of various competitor brands.

How Well Do CCTV Cameras Work to Reduce Crime?
There have been various studies conducted regarding the psychological impact of CCTV cameras in the reduction of crime. Research conducted by Campbell Collaboration, for example, shows that theft in car parts reduced by 51% due to the installation of CCTV cameras. For CCTV cameras to attain their full potential, additional safety measures, like installing alarm systems and improved street lighting need to be integrated into the initial plan. Crime rates have significantly reduced in areas with proper CCTV installation for various reasons.

Busted in Crime
The worst nightmare for an offender is the thought of getting caught while in the act. While many criminals have managed to evade public or police interception and managed to win court cases for lack of enough evidence, CCTV cameras have changed the entire rules of the game. With a camera recording every move and storing the information in an undisclosed area, crimes have significantly reduced in locations with CCTV cameras. Some cameras can connect to the owner’s smartphone where he can have a real-time monitoring without the need of having to be physically present at the area. With this advanced technology, criminals are cautious not to assume that they can rob a house just because they saw the owner leave the premises, and this has reduced a large percentage of crime.

Reduce Prying
Various studies have shown that many crimes are committed impromptu, and are influenced by the surrounding. In different social experiments conducted on unsuspecting people, many people showed signs of falling into the trap of committing a crime which they hadn’t planned in the first place. Leaving an expensive phone, for example, in an unlocked car, many people who had no initial plan of stealing it may end up being influenced to take it without a second thought. People of prying nature may not necessarily have the intention of stealing, but the moment they see a loophole in security, they may end up committing a crime. With CCTV camera’s installed, prying is significantly reduced as the potential offenders feel that they are being watched. The consciousness of realising that there could be someone watching you reduces induced crimes which result from unmanned surroundings.

Public Safety
When a crowd gathers in an open space for a specific reason, there is a possibility that there are undetected criminals among them. These people may take advantage of the commotion in the crowd to commit crimes, either by stealing or interfering with the peaceful mission of the gathering. Such crimes are more likely to happen when the offenders feel that they can get away with it without being noticed. With CCTV cameras, however, offenders are aware that someone is monitoring every movement and activities of the crowd and that any criminal act will be recorded to be used to track them down or as evidence in the court of law.

CCTV Camera Signs
The presence of CCTV cameras plays a big psychological role in changing the behaviour of a potential offender from committing a crime. Premises which display CCTV camera signs on their doors, fence or gates are less likely to experience any atrocities going on around or inside the premises, as compared to those which have CCTV cameras without signs. Some cameras are hidden from the public eye and crimes are likely to happen if the offender does see any signs of their presence. Apparently, it is possible for a building to display a CCTV sign and keep criminals away even when there is no camera surveillance on the premises. Having clearly and strategically displayed CCTV camera signals tends to scare away offenders and they do not take the risk of looking around to ascertain that there are actual cameras in the surrounding. They are aware that they could be the first suspects if a crime happened based on their spying behaviours around the premises.