The Role of CCTV Surveillance Systems in Reducing Crime in Town Centres
The use of closed – circuit television (CCTV) surveillance systems to curtail burgeoning crime rates in the United Kingdom has resulted in the rapid proliferation of such systems in almost all town centres in the country, making it practically ubiquitous. This system was first established in Bournemouth town centre in 1985 and according to Armstrong and Norris (1999), following that 300000 cameras where installed annually (cited by Davies & Thasen, 2000). Consequently, “…the citizenry of the UK have become the most watched, catalogued and categorized people in the advanced world” (Coleman, 2004, p. 3).
The rapid proliferation of CCTV is largely on account of the faith reposed in its ability to reduce crime by the government and the majority of its citizens. In the words of Alun Michael, Minister of State:
“The advantages of CCTV, properly managed, speak for themselves: crime prevention, the deterrent effect of knowing that there is observation, the alerting of police at an early stage to stop dangerous situations escalating, the operational assistance to the police in sizing up a situation, the safer convictions that can be obtained… …