A Brief Note On Closed Circuit Television ( Cctv ) Essay

A Brief Note On Closed Circuit Television ( Cctv ) Essay

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Closed circuit television (CCTV) is a method of situational crime prevention, primarily focussing on the criminal offence, as opposed to the offender. CCTV is based upon the principles of the classicist theory of rational offenders. Before committing a crime a rational offender is thought to question themselves about whether they will succeed and whether they will get caught. If an offender believes they are likely to be caught, they are less likely to follow through with committing the crime. CCTV intends to create a higher risk of offenders being caught and therefore reduce the opportunity for offences to occur (Coleman & Norris, 2000). The British Security Industry Authority (BSIA) estimated that there are as many as 5.9 million CCTV cameras throughout the UK, although stated the most likely figure is 4.9 million, working out at 1 camera per every 14 people (Barret, 2013). This essay will cover factors involved in the growth of CCTV as a crime prevention strategy that have led to these figures. It will also cover how effective CCTV is, including current knowledge of its effectiveness and problems that arise in researching its efficiency.

Early sociological positivist theories explained crime due to poverty and deprivation. Introducing the welfare state was therefore forecast to eliminate the causes of crime and eradicate criminal offences. When this failed, rehabilitation programmes became the prime preventative, to counteract flawed socialisation at that time thought to be the cause. Moreover politics was undergoing changes during this time, the New Right, backed by Margaret Thatcher, promoted economic liberalism, reduced public spending and emphasised moral responsibility of individuals. Individual moral weakness and rationa...


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...a large city whereas Airdrie is a small town; two completely different contexts are being compared. Success will depend on what the purpose of the CCTV was intended for. If the purpose is to watch where there is no police presence and to detect crimes, then it would be thought that crime rates would rise. Therefore CCTV would have been successful as previously undetected crimes are now detected. In contrast, if CCTV aims to deter offenders from offending out of fear of being caught, then crimes rates should fall. Although it seems that both are the case for Airdrie and neither are the case for Glasgow, CCTV has still been successful in Glasgow. Famously CCTV images caught 2 men attacking another man and operators were able to spot this on CCTV and notify emergency services. Either way CCTV has been beneficial to both areas in different ways (Ditton & Short, 1998).

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