Program Goal/Target Site
The public spaces in Gillingham, England’s High Street and the town center car parks were selected for closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) installation in order to reduce criminal activity in public spaces and increase feelings of safety for members of the community.
At the time of the study, Gillingham was a combination of a market town and a suburban center and thus represented a slightly different venue than the metropolitan city areas often selected for CCTV installation.
In 1997, seven CCTV cameras were installed along High Street, much of which is a pedestrian zone, and in the adjacent car parks. The cameras could be used to identify individuals, groups, and car plate numbers in the majority of High Street and the car parks. Security staff monitored the cameras 24 hours each day, one operator per shift.
Crime prevention theory suggests that CCTV can reduce crime rates by increasing the probability that offenders will be caught; by increasing the perceived risk of offending; by increasing usage of space, which can, in turn, increase natural surveillance; and by increasing the effective deployment of police and security personnel.