skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


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 Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. 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: NCJ 236740   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
  Title: Evaluation of Camera Use to Prevent Crime in Commuter Parking Facilities: A Randomized Controlled Trial
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
  Author(s): Nancy G. La Vigne ; Samantha S. Lowry
  Corporate Author: The Urban Institute
United States of America
  Date Published: 2011
  Page Count: 82
  Annotation: This evaluation assessed the effectiveness of digital surveillance cameras in reducing car-related crime in parking facilities that serve riders of Washington, DC’s commuter rail system.
  Abstract: Along with the installation of the cameras at the exits of half of the Washington Metro’s commuter parking lots, signs were installed to alert drivers and potential criminals that license-plate numbers and exit times were being recoded and monitored; however, only one-third of the cameras were actually live due to budget constraints. The expectation was that the perception of greater surveillance would convince potential criminals that they were at high risk of getting caught if they committed car theft or theft from cars. The evaluation found overall that after the cameras were installed, car-related crimes and crime in general in the parking commuter parking areas remained at the same level as before the cameras were installed. Researchers also found no evidence of displacement or diffusion of crime to areas surrounding the Metro stations. These findings are consistent with recent research that suggests video surveillance cameras are more likely to have an impact on crime when they are highly concentrated, actively monitored, and integrated into a broader law enforcement strategy. In the current project, the Metro Transportation Police did not use the cameras to aid in investigations or inform patrol allocations. Also, the picture produced could not be monitored from a central location, an option that might have enabled police to interrupt crimes in progress. Still, a cost- effectiveness analysis of this project found that a reduction of only a few crimes per month would make this system cost-effective, which suggests that an enhanced version of this type of intervention, i.e., cameras with surveillance capabilities, merits consideration in a low-cost strategy for reducing car-related crimes in parking facilities. Tables, figures, and references
  Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
  Index Term(s): Motor Vehicle Theft ; Electronic surveillance ; Surveillance equipment ; Theft offenses ; Security surveillance systems ; Surveillance ; Crime specific countermeasures ; Visual electronic surveillance ; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs ; District of Columbia ; NIJ final report
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 2005-IJ-CX-0034
  Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Program/Project Evaluation
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  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.