Public close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, or public video surveillance camera, hold multiple benefits for cities. They can help reduce crimes around public areas, buildings and roads, and with the increasing deployment of smart sensors and 5G, these cameras will be able to utilize the Internet of Things (IoT) to accomplish much more in the future.
CCTV cameras’ impact on crime is documented. A 40-year systematic review of multiple CCTV surveillance-related studies, which was published in 2019 and is cited on the National Institute of Justice‘s website, found that implementing CCTV cameras within certain areas had a “statistically significant impact” on crime:
- CCTV cameras helped reduce the odds of overall crime occurring in certain areas by 14 percent.
- CCTV cameras helped reduce the odds of property-related offenses occurring in certain areas by 16 percent.
- CCTV cameras helped reduce the odds of vehicle-related offenses occurring in certain areas by 16 percent.
- However CCTV cameras “had no statistically significant effect on violent offenses.”
“The results of this systematic review—based on 40 years of evaluation research—lend support for the continued use of CCTV to prevent crime,” researchers Eric L. Piza, Brandon C. Welch, David P. Farrington and Amanda L. Thomas, note in the study.
With that said, is having a certain number of surveillance cameras within a city too much? The average U.S. city has six cameras per 1,000 people, according to consumer technology information site Comparitech. Many cities have more than that amount, and Comparitech sought to discover which of the largest 50 cities in the U.S. had the most surveillance cameras.
Comparitech pulled data from a number of sources from the past few years to determine which cities are the most surveilled in the country. Comparitech ranked 39 out of the 50 largest cities, with 11 cities omitted due to minimal amounts of available data.
We’ve included the 10 most surveilled cities here. In addition to those cities’ names, we’ve included data from Comparitech that lists the following:
- The number of public surveillance cameras in the city
- Each city’s population
- The number of public surveillance cameras in the city per 1,000 people, based on the city’s population
Is your city on the list?