The Deterrent Effect of Surveillance Cameras on Crime

Documentos de trabajo, N° 20-12, 2020

31 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2020

See all articles by Santiago Tobon

Santiago Tobon

Universidad EAFIT

Daniel Mejia

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Santiago Gómez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 24, 2020

Abstract

From the US 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 t hat t he q uasi-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.

Keywords: Surveillance Cameras, Deterrence, Incapacitation, Law Enforcement, Crime, Colombia

JEL Classification: C23, D04, H41, K42

Suggested Citation

Tobon, Santiago and Mejia, Daniel and Gómez, Santiago, The Deterrent Effect of Surveillance Cameras on Crime (March 24, 2020). Documentos de trabajo, N° 20-12, 2020 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3560356 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3560356

Santiago Tobon (Contact Author)

Universidad EAFIT ( email )

Carrera 49 No. 7 South - 50
Bogota
Colombia

HOME PAGE: http://www.santiagotobon.co

Daniel Mejia

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1 No. 18 A - 10
Bogotá, AA4976
Colombia
57(1)3394949 ext 3737 (Phone)
57(1)3324492 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/share/scripts/home/home.php

Santiago Gómez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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