Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were installed in five urban center entertainment districts that attract economic activity at night and relatively high pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The towns and cities were Ashford, Eastbourne, Lincoln, Newport (Isle of Wight), and Peterborough. Cameras were installed to reduce crime and ran 24 hours a day.
In all but Eastbourne—where the police installed the cameras—the cameras were installed by the local council. These systems were linked with the police through dedicated telephone lines in the CCTV control rooms. Any actions taken as a result of information on assaults or precursors to violence were taken by the police.
The use of CCTV cameras is thought to reduce crime through various mechanisms. For instance, by increasing the perceived risk of offending, potential offenders may choose not to offend. By increasing actual detection through surveillance, early intervention may be possible to avert a crime or violence, and offenders may be removed. If surveillance leads to the early detection of precursors to violence, injuries may decrease.