Social behavior in public space: An analysis of behavioral adaptations to CCTV

Mazerolle, Lorraine, Hurley, David and Chamlin, Mitchell (2002) Social behavior in public space: An analysis of behavioral adaptations to CCTV. Security Journal, 15 3: 59-75. doi:10.1057/

Author Mazerolle, Lorraine
Hurley, David
Chamlin, Mitchell
Title Social behavior in public space: An analysis of behavioral adaptations to CCTV
Journal name Security Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0955-1662
Publication date 2002
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1057/
Volume 15
Issue 3
Start page 59
End page 75
Total pages 17
Place of publication Alexandria, VA, United States
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Language eng
Abstract This paper explores how people behave when CCTV cameras operate in public space. We examine how behavioral patterns change over time, and assess the short-term influence of CCTV on behavior in public space. Using videotape footage of four CCTV sites, we document pro-social, anti-social, traffic and guardianship behaviors over a four-month study period. Our study of CCTV in Cincinnati found that surveillance cameras create somewhat of an initial deterrent effect in the month, perhaps two months, following implementation. We conclude that erecting signs to notify people about the cameras could possibly increase the level of deterrence of CCTV. Signs about CCTV cameras in operation would also address some of the fairness issues raised by civil libertarians. We also suggest that shifting CCTV cameras around on a frequent basis could solve two dilemmas: first, it would increase the number of hotspots under surveillance, and hence remove some of the inequities observed in CCTV deployment; second, short and periodic, as opposed to permanent, deployment of CCTV cameras would capitalize upon some of the initial deterrent effects of the cameras that are observed in our data.
Keyword CCTV
Social behavior
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
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Created: Thu, 07 Jul 2011, 15:02:17 EST by Anna Bartos on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research