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Making Public Places SaferSurveillance and Crime Prevention$
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Brandon C. Welsh and David P. Farrington

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326215.001.0001

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How Might Surveillance Measures Reduce Crime?

How Might Surveillance Measures Reduce Crime?

(p.33) 3 How Might Surveillance Measures Reduce Crime?
Making Public Places Safer

Brandon C. Welsh

David P. Farrington

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates how surveillance measures can reduce crime. It explains that public-area surveillance falls under the category of situational-crime prevention, which stands apart from these other strategies by its singular focus on the setting or place in which criminal acts take place, as well as its crime-specific focus. The chapter discusses the core assumption of both opportunity and informal social-control models of prevention that criminal opportunities and risks are influenced by environmental conditions in interaction with resident and offender characteristics. Thus, though street lighting, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, and some physical design changes to buildings and parks do not constitute a physical barrier to crime, they can act as a catalyst to stimulate crime reduction through a change in the perceptions, attitudes, and behavior of residents and potential offenders.

Keywords:   surveillance measures, public-area surveillance, situational-crime prevention, criminal opportunities, street lighting, CCTV cameras, crime reduction

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