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Do Video Cameras Really Reduce Crime?

Posted by Amy Hite on Jan 22, 2015

Video cameras are a major part of any security system. These cameras keep records of everything they see, and because of that they can have a big effect on crime deterrence. After all if people know they’re being watched, then they’re a lot less likely to do something illegal. That said, though reducing crime isn’t as simple as just installing some cameras and walking away… there are other factors that have to be considered as well.

What Factors Are Involved?

This report published by the Urban Institute shows that while installing security cameras is a good start there are other considerations when it comes to cutting down crime rates. In Humboldt Park in Chicago security cameras were set up with blue lights atop the units, and they were monitored regularly. This led to several crimes being interrupted in progress. The result was a 20 percent decrease in reported crimes in that area. In the nearby neighborhood of West Garfield Park cameras were also set up in conspicuous locations. The crime did not continue to rise. But it stayed fairly constant.

What led to the difference?

Part of the difference was in how the cameras were handled. In the former location the cameras were an oft-used tool, and in several occasions they were used to halt incidents in progress. That was not the case in the second neighborhood. Residents assumed that even though the cameras were present that the cops probably weren’t watching. Criminals continued on with their crimes just as if the cameras weren’t there.

Carryover Into The Private Sector

The experiment tested the effects of public cameras on the populace. These results can be carried over to private businesses and security systems as well. For cameras to be effective they have to be noticeable, they have to be monitored, and people who are going to be on the cameras need to believe they are actually being watched. Only when those circumstances are met will video cameras reduce crime and help keep people safer.

Contact Stealth Monitoring for more information on how you can use video cameras and live monitoring to reduce crime and keep your apartment complex, shopping center, car dealership or other theft-prone businesses secure.