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THE DETERRENT EFFECT OF SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS ON CRIME

Santiago Gómez, Daniel Mejía and Santiago Tobón ()

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2021, vol. 40, issue 2, 553-571

Abstract: From the U.S. to Colombia to China, millions of public surveillance cameras are at the core of crime prevention strategies. Yet, we know little about the effects of surveillance cameras on criminal behavior, especially in developing economies. We study an installation program in Medellín and find that the quasi‐random allocation of cameras led to a decrease in crimes and arrests. With no increase in the monitoring capacity and no chance to use camera footage in prosecution, these results suggest offenders were deterred rather than incapacitated. We test for spillovers and find no evidence of crime displacement or diffusion of benefits to surrounding locations.

Date: 2021
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https://doi.org/10.1002/pam.22280

Related works:
Working Paper: The Deterrent Effect of Surveillance Cameras on Crime (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: The Deterrent Effect of Surveillance Cameras on Crime (2019) Downloads
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