Caught on Camera


Police cameras are more effective in high-crime areas than low-crime areas, according to a University of Illinois study, “Spread Too Thin: Analyzing the Effectiveness of the Chicago Camera Network on Crime.” The report suggests that cameras should be clustered in crime “hot spots,” instead of being spread throughout the city as they currently are.

The study found that the vast majority of Chicago's police cameras had little or no effect on overall crime, but that cameras in high crime areas were associated with large reductions in criminal activity. Among the explanations for reductions in high crime areas is that police are more likely to monitor cameras in those neighborhoods, according to the study.

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