Are CCTV Video Cameras Effective In Solving Crimes?

Barbados crime CCTVBarbados politicians and senior police officers have often been heard talking about installing Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) as as method of deterring and solving crimes. Half the time the politicians talk about CCTV though, I get the impression that they are merely offering the “crime solution idea” soup de jour.

It seems common sense that CCTVs on Bridgetown streets would deter crimes in their coverage area, but would the crimes simply be moved to other areas of the city not under the watchful lens?

And what if we disregard the deterrent effect of video cameras and just consider how many crimes are solved through video cameras…

How many crimes are solved in a year, say, per thousand installed video cameras?

London has more video cameras than any other urban area in the world so they know about this.

So what do you think… how many crimes are solved in a year per thousand CCTV video cameras?

Any guesses? A thousand video cameras on Bridgetown streets… how many crimes per year would that solve?

The answer is…

Only one.

Something to think about next time Commissioner Dottin or some politician start talking about video cameras as a cure-all for crime…

BBC: 1,000 coameras ‘solve one crime’


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police, Politics

10 responses to “Are CCTV Video Cameras Effective In Solving Crimes?

  1. 2009


    The CCTV system within the BLP Headquarters in Roebuck street have recorded the following events for posterity.

    From what we have gleaned from the CCTV tapes… Mia Mottley has resigned her position as Opposition Leader and George Payne has been installed as the NEW Opposition Leader.

    By George, he was able to secure 6 votes !

    We now AGREE……that CCTV do solve CRIMES….!

  2. PiedPiper

    “I get the impression that they are merely offering the “crime solution idea” soup de jour.”

    That is it in a nutshell. CCTV cameras can and do work but only if you have a police force that actually responds to incidents, documents them properly and enforces the law against all criminals equally.

  3. Nostradamus

    They gave us “housing solutions” so now we will get “crime solutions”. Stay tuned for other “solutions”.

  4. victor

    AIthough the UK has more CCTV than anywhere eIse in the worId, a very tiny number of crimes are soIved as a resuIt of its use. The number of cameras is hugeIy disproportionate to resuIts meanwhiIe abuse of privacy and the abuse of footage is rife where IocaI counciIs use it to prosecute those who do not bag their refuse correctIy or park in the wrong pIace for a few seconds, or Iet their dogs fouI pavements etc. It’s a money earner because it enabIes counciIs to take the CCTV as a substitute for the personneI meant to be poIicing an area, and to deIiver fines, THE Iucrative spin-off. True, terrorists and robbers can be more easiIy caught, such as the 40 miIIion jeweI theives over the Iast weeks. In my opinion, I don’t care who sees me waIking around – this happens when you step outside the door or go into town every day without CCTV – I’m more worried about about the intrusions into my personaI data, where hackers can steaI from me, using government data accrued from my heaIth, bank or insurance detaiIs. In “smaII town” worId everyone knew just what you got up to and now the whoIe pIanet has shrunk to a viIIage because of GoogIe anyway. It’s unstoppabIe. Barbados is smaII and gossip gets around in seconds! The nation is permanentIy on the phone and known as the home of tattIetaIe. Pudding and Souse. Can you keep a secret? Not. So I say yes, bombard the isIand with CCTV cameras, everyone knows everything about everybody anyway! But, the big but, who wiII view the footage and wiII there be any fiIm in the camera? on a serious IeveI, trained staff needed to spot the crimes against each other and tourists, carry that forward and prosecute when neccesary.

  5. victor

    Back with more info. 1 in every 1,000 convictions in UK is because of CCTV.

  6. HowManyArePrevented

    Another question is “How many crimes are prevented because of CCTV?”. Yes, a harder question to answer.

  7. Anonymous

    Another question is how many are solved when cameras are placed in pubs, clubs, stores, homes, etc?

    In Britain, the placement of dummy cameras was effective in curbing misbehaviour, so in fact fewer crimes were being committed.

  8. Illuminator

    Yeah , if u r a nobody they may work but anybody of influence caught doing anything illegal on these cameras …….suddenly the particular camera or cameras will be found to be conveniently temporarily out of order .

    These things cost a whole lot of money , why not spend the money finding ways to prevent crime from before the act is even committed. First telephone bugging …now cctv…what next …..the RFID chip…..hmmmmmmmmm.

    BIG BROTHER slowly creeping into our lives and we begging for it to protect us……..stupse .We need to wake up.

  9. TheNickster

    Isn’t video evidence inadmissible in our court system? similarly with recordings of threatening phone calls?

  10. Cameras have proven to reduce crime. It can even prove what is already known – such as a customer paying with a credit card for half the items and then shoplifting the rest. Rarely can it solve a crime. Sometimes images can be posted in the media and a taddletale call in and ID the criminal.
    But this is the exception.
    But cameras should be thought of as:
    1 – A deterrent. Would-be criminal sees cameras and passes up opportunity to steal car with keys inside.
    2 – Help answering “What really happened?”
    3 – Lastly, as a crime-solving device after the fact. It works on CSI and other Hollywood tech shows, but not in the real world.