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Open-street CCTV in Australia : a comparative study of establishment and operation

Abstract

This is a report on a project partially funded by the Criminology Research Council. The original title of the research project, in the name of Adam Sutton and Dean Wilson, was 'Public CCTV in Australia : a comparative study of establishment and operation'. The study provides an overview of the current operation of closed circuit television (CCTV) in Australian public spaces, based on interviews with 34 participants involved in the daily operation and management of open street CCTV. After reviewing research and theory concerned with open street CCTV and international developments in its use, the study describes the operation of open street CCTV in 33 local government locations in Australia. The study also discusses considerations surrounding the decision to install CCTV, including case studies of its use in crime prevention strategies; examines the issues of CCTV management, funding, accountability and publicity; and discusses CCTV operations and monitoring in practice, including its impact on policing, crime displacement and offender awareness, and anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness. The study highlights the need for legislation to regulate open street CCTV schemes and the need for greater evaluation of CCTV, sets out a model framework for such evaluation, and suggests a number of areas that may warrant further research.

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