Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Wells, Helene. A., Allard, Troy, Wilson, Paul. (2006) Crime and CCTV in Australia: Understanding the Relationship. Centre for Applied Psychology and Criminology: Bond University, Australia.

Copyright ©Helene Wells, Troy Allard, Paul Wilson, Centre for Applied Psychology and Criminology 2006. All Rights Reserved.

This report was prepared for the Australian Research Council (ARC)


[Extract from Executive Summary]: This report explores the use and effectiveness of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) as a crime prevention tool in Gold Coast public spaces and on the Queensland Rail (QR) Citytrain network. Aims of the research The three major aims associated with this research were to: i) identify important factors relating to implementation and operation of CCTV surveillance, ii) evaluate whether increased implementation and use of CCTV has influenced public perceptions relating to privacy and civil liberties and iii) examine whether CCTV makes a significant and effective contribution to reducing crime and detecting offenders in both public spaces and on public rail transport. Methodology The first aim was explored by assessing the operation and management of the Gold Coast Safety Camera Network (GCSCN) and QR Citytrain network. This involved obtaining records and conducting site visits and interviews. An overview of the applicable geographic areas was presented as were the different CCTV system designs and operational options that had been adopted by GCSCN and QR Citytrain network. Findings from interviews with key users of the GCSCN and QR Citytrain network were presented to examine adequacy of training, how suspicious behaviours are identified and the monitoring strategies employed, the quality of working relationships with external agencies and the evidentiary value of CCTV surveillance. The second aim explored a range of issues associated with camera surveillance through a 100 hour observational study of the GCSCN control room and surveys of the general public, business traders and rail commuters. The observational study of the GCSCN investigated the general control room operational practices, the monitoring strategies adopted, why monitoring was initiated, the types of incidents surveilled and the targets of CCTV surveillance. The survey research was undertaken to ascertain the impact that CCTV has on the wider public and to gain information regarding peoples’ experiences with CCTV and their perceptions relating to privacy. The final aim of the research was explored via the impact of CCTV on recorded crime data. Time-series analyses were used to evaluate reported offending in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach (areas with public space CCTV) and nine train stations with CCTV surveillance (Beenleigh, Bethania, Brunswick Street, Indooroopilly, Ipswich, Morayfield, Nundah, Southbank/Vulture St and Strathpine Stations).



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