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Lots of people would have us believe that CCTV is the magic wand that can effectively deter crime in all its many and varied forms. Now Doktor Jon doesn't want to put you off (pun intended), but there is much more to Closed Circuit TV than meets the eye.
In a practical sense, it isn't so much the type of CCTV that provides the deterrence, but more a belief in the mind of an individual, that if they do something that they really shouldn't be doing, they will be caught and identified as a result of the surveillance cameras.
In other words, deterrence has more to do with perception, rather than simply suggestion.
To demonstrate the theory behind deterrence, have a look at the photograph above.
Three cameras, all identical ..... but not quite!
One unit is a very high resolution colour camera,
(cost excluding lens about £ 175.00, $ 250 or Euro 185)
One unit is a high resolution Black and White camera,
(cost excluding lens about £ 125.00, $ 175 or Euro 135)
and the third is ..... a Dummy.
(cost excluding lens about £ 40.00, $ 56 or Euro 44)
So which is which, and which provides the stronger deterrent effect?.
The answer of course is that apart from the more impressive looking lenses, they all demonstrate precisely the same visual presence, and so by appearance alone, will effectively deter to more or less exactly the same degree.
As to the correct order , well ..... the answer is .....
Colour = right, Monochrome = middle, and Dummy = left.
Well, how did you do ...? Doktor Jon was a little bit sneaky putting a forty year old secondhand lens (worth next to nothing) on the dummy, just to make it look that little bit more impressive.
Aside from the assumption that deterrence is purely a product of visible presence, the reality with most systems is that as time goes by, the deterrent factor actually decreases, a classic case of complacency through habituation.
It's only by demonstrating that a video surveillance system is actually working and fulfilling it's operational objectives, that deterrence then becomes significantly enhanced through an approach which DJ describes as "Deterrence through Detection" or "DtD".
If a camera system is seen to work well, and widely publicised as such, the effect can be similar to a fire blanket, in smothering most (but not all) forms of criminality, whilst still providing a valuable tool for investigating those crimes that cannot be deterred ... provided of course the system is correctly profiled, designed, installed and operated.
If you have any comments or suggestions, why not drop the Dok. a line,
e-mail to:- info[at]doktorjon.co.uk
CCTV and the Deterrence effect
Doktor Jon takes a sideways look at the use of CCTV as a technique to deter crime.
What type of camera do you think is best suited to providing an effective visual deterrent?