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The Deterrent Effect of Surveillance Cameras on Crime

Author

Listed:
  • Santiago Gómez

    ()

  • Daniel Mejía

    ()

  • Santiago Tobón

    ()

Abstract

From the US to Colombia to China, millions of public surveillance cameras are at the core of crime prevention strategies. Yet, little is known on the effects of surveillance cameras on criminal behavior. We study an installation program in Medellín and find that quasi-random allocation of cameras led to a decrease in crimes and arrests. With no increase in monitoring capacity and no chance to use camera footage in prosecution, the results suggest offenders were deterred rather than incapacitated. We find no evidence of close range negative or positive spillovers after the installation of the cameras.

Suggested Citation

  • Santiago Gómez & Daniel Mejía & Santiago Tobón, 2019. "The Deterrent Effect of Surveillance Cameras on Crime," Documentos CEDE 015295, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:015295
    as

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    File URL: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/publicaciones/dcede2017-09.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mikael Priks, 2015. "The Effects of Surveillance Cameras on Crime: Evidence from the Stockholm Subway," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(588), pages 289-305, November.
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    12. Eric Helland & Alexander Tabarrok, 2007. "Does Three Strikes Deter?: A Nonparametric Estimation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Surveillance Cameras; Deterrence; Incapacitation; Law Enforcement; Crime;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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