skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 236795 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evaluating the Use of Public Surveillance Cameras for Crime Control and Prevention
Author(s): Nancy G. La Vigne; Samantha S. Lowry; Joshua A. Markman; Allison M. Dwyer
Corporate Author: The Urban Institute
United States of America
Date Published: September 2011
Page Count: 152
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Washington, DC 20530
The Urban Institute
Washington, DC 20037
Grant Number: 2007-CK-WX-K006
Sale Source: The Urban Institute
2100 M Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report from the Urban Institute evaluated the implementation and use of public surveillance cameras for crime control purposes in three U.S. cities: Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; and Washington, DC.
Abstract: With regard to the three cities, impact analysis in Baltimore, MD, found that camera implementation, maintenance, and monitoring were beginning to pay off in the form of reduced crime rates in the city; impact analysis in Chicago, IL, found that the use of surveillance cameras in one area of the city yielded significant reductions in crime, while camera use in the other area showed little to no changes; and impact analysis in Washington, DC, found that the use of surveillance cameras alone did not have a significant impact on the decrease in crime rates in the city. This evaluation, conducted by the Urban Institute, examined the impact of the implementation and use of public surveillance cameras for crime control purposes in three major U.S. cities. The evaluation looked at four specific issues: the decisionmaking processes involved in camera implementation and use in each of the cities; the degree to which camera implementation coincided with a reduction in crime, and whether there was a coinciding displacement of crime to nearby areas; the costs associated with camera implementation and use; and how the costs associated with the use of public surveillance systems compared to the monetized societal benefits associated with reductions in crime rates following implementation of the surveillance systems. The major findings from the evaluation indicate that while public surveillance systems are generally viewed as useful tools for preventing crime, aiding in arrests, and supporting investigations, they do have their limitations, and in some cases the crime reduction benefits are not realized by the communities using the systems. Tables, figures, appendixes, and bibliography
Main Term(s): Electronic surveillance
Index Term(s): Camera technology; Community crime prevention programs; Crime prevention measures; District of Columbia; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Illinois; Maryland; Surveillance; Visual electronic surveillance
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.