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This research intends to investigate the impact of CCTV surveillance on crime prevention in Bangladesh. Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh was selected as the research area in this regard. Four police stations from a total of forty-nine police stations located in different parts of Dhaka city were selected purposively for the study. Interviewing to the general people and a semi-structured interviewing to the police personnel in the jurisdiction of selected police stations were used for data collection. The data for the present paper were collected in the period of February to June 2018 from the study area. This study reveals that the police authority selects their locations for the installation of CCTV as per their own priority determination. Most of the respondents of the current study consider that CCTV has a moderate impact on reducing crime. They also consider that it can reduce the fear of crime among the commoners and provide them a sense of safeness. The opinion survey also reveals that CCTV may displace the crimes from one place to another and thus may make one place safer and another place vulnerable at the same time. Different crimes are influenced differently due to the installation of CCTV. However, CCTV has a great role in the detection and prevention of crime, although it needs to address some privacy issues. Proper installation and maintenance of CCTV are still at the initial stage in Bangladesh. It is recommended that the existing installation and maintenance of the system should be replaced with a properly audited demand for CCTV operations. Additionally, a wireless networking mechanism incorporating advanced options like facial recognition and artificial intelligence needs to develop.
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Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Vol. 6, No. 2, 2020, pp. 48-59
http://www.aiscience.org/journal/jssh
ISSN: 2381-7763 (Print); ISSN: 2381-7771 (Online)
* Corresponding author
E-mail address:
Impact of CCTV Surveillance on Crime Prevention:
A Study in Dhaka City
Md. Bashir Uddin Khan
1, *
, Moonmoon Binta Aziz
2
, Md. Omar Faruk
2
,
Md. Ishtiaq Ahmed Talukder
3
1
Department of Sociology, School of Sociology and Political Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China
2
Department of Criminology and Police Science, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, Santosh, Tangail, Bangladesh
3
Department of Security Strategy and Management, Police Academy, Ankara, Turkey
Abstract
This research intends to investigate the impact of CCTV surveillance on crime prevention in Bangladesh. Dhaka, the capital
city of Bangladesh was selected as the research area in this regard. Four police stations from a total of forty-nine police stations
located in different parts of Dhaka city were selected purposively for the study. Interviewing to the general people and a semi-
structured interviewing to the police personnel in the jurisdiction of selected police stations were used for data collection. The
data for the present paper were collected in the period of February to June 2018 from the study area. This study reveals that the
police authority selects their locations for the installation of CCTV as per their own priority determination. Most of the
respondents of the current study consider that CCTV has a moderate impact on reducing crime. They also consider that it can
reduce the fear of crime among the commoners and provide them a sense of safeness. The opinion survey also reveals that
CCTV may displace the crimes from one place to another and thus may make one place safer and another place vulnerable at
the same time. Different crimes are influenced differently due to the installation of CCTV. However, CCTV has a great role in
the detection and prevention of crime, although it needs to address some privacy issues. Proper installation and maintenance of
CCTV are still at the initial stage in Bangladesh. It is recommended that the existing installation and maintenance of the system
should be replaced with a properly audited demand for CCTV operations. Additionally, a wireless networking mechanism
incorporating advanced options like facial recognition and artificial intelligence needs to develop.
Keywords
CCTV, Surveillance, Reduction of Crimes, Displacement, Fear of Crime, Police Stations
Received: October 20, 2019 / Accepted: February 27, 2020 / Published online: April 4, 2020
@ 2020 The Authors. Published by American Institute of Science. This Open Access article is under the CC BY license.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
1. Introduction
Since the very beginning of human civilization, people have
considered their security as a very precious priority. Crimes
have always appeared thus as a practical threat for the people
from the dawn of their appearance. Therefore, the need for a
surveillance process has been one of their major concerns
always. With the advent of time, people have achieved their
skills in science and technology and like all other aspects of
life, managed the use of technology in the surveillance also
[1]. In the context of a present completely complex society, it
is very difficult for law enforcement agencies to maintain
their surveillance on a whole community other than having a
technological advantage. CCTV along with other security
tools (like an intrusion or fire alarm, and access control)
therefore, is being used widely by them to increase the
efficiency in time management and broaden the coverage of
the surveillance [2, 3]. It is generally considered as a form of
situational crime prevention according to the explanation of
49 Md. Bashir Uddin Khan et al.: Impact of CCTV Surveillance on Crime Prevention: A Study in Dhaka City
Tonry and Farrington (1995) [4]. People at the earlier stage
used CCTV to prevent shoplifting although the number of
reduction was not counted systematically then. However, it
was then revealed that CCTV worked very well as a means of
a great psychological deterrent to crime [3]. The security
issue nowadays is quite challenging. Although the whole area
of policing and security management has encountered
changes rapidly during the past years, the social implications,
the law and principles, and the operational issues in many
cases have failed to maintain coherence with such
technological development. For such technological inclusion,
a civilian oversight, and independent monitoring seem quite
vital. However, presently, not only CCTV has appeared as
very important to the people, but also it has boosted the
performance of the police in the arena of law enforcement.
Some recent incidents of Bangladesh like arresting the
offenders based on CCTV footage, arresting offenders who
were involved in ATM fraud, etc. have made a prospect to
study the impact of CCTV in crime prevention and
investigation. Therefore, it is very urgent in the present
context of Bangladesh to conduct a comprehensive study for
understanding to what extent CCTV plays a role in fighting
crime. In this context, this study intends to find out how far
this country has adopted the CCTV surveillance in its capital
city within the metropolitan police system. This study also
wants to understand whether the police are capable of
preventing crime in the city area by creating a significant
deterrence with their CCTV system. Interviewing the
common masses and the police personnel was adopted as the
key technique for the collection of data in different aspects.
Thus, the researchers have tried to understand the present
condition of CCTV surveillance in Dhaka city to recommend
some strategic changes thereto to address the problems of
surveillance. Other than conducting intensive researches on
this aspect, running such expensive installations can become
a white elephant. Therefore, this study is an effort to
minimize the research gap in the existing scientific literature.
2. Review of Literature
The use of technology in policing cannot be underestimated
or overestimated in the present context [5]. Technology has
allowed us to take benefit from it, make life quite easier and
comfortable. Whether the use of CCTV surveillance helps in
crime prevention is a broadly studied issue worldwide
although the use of this technique as an investigative tool is
subject to further inquiry [6]. All the public locations
including highways, shopping centers and other locations in
different nations are now under the coverage of CC cameras
[7]. Therefore, from household security to the aviation sector,
CCTV is one of the most popularly used security measures
nowadays [8]. CCTV monitoring and recording help people
to feel safer even though rigorous monitoring and assessment
are required for reaching the exact conclusion in this regard
[9]. However, CCTV has different dimensions in giving
people benefits, especially in security aspects. The relevant
discussion based on the previous studies about this aspects
goes as the following.
2.1. The Value of CCTV as an Investigative
Tool
Quality recording by using CC cameras may provide
investigators a solid base to understand the consecutive steps
of the perpetrator, the means of crime commission and the
entry-exit ways of the stakeholders [6]. It is, therefore, a good
way to understand the basic nature of crimes and offenders.
Some sorts of policy determination or strategic formulation for
addressing different crimes in different zones are thus possible
in this way. There are some problems in using CCTV footage
as evidence in many cases but these are good sources to
investigate the actual incidents and reconstruct the crime scene
to direct it for the legal procedure [1].
2.2. Crime Prevention as a Preferred Issue
Crime prevention has become a preferential sector for law
enforcement professionals mostly, since the terrorist
incidents of September 11, 2001 [10]. Crime prevention
using CC cameras thus has become much popular all around
the world. It helps to have continuous surveillance over a key
point or important settlements. However, some studies also
claim that CCTV has less impact on crimes like terrorism as
this particular crime has many critical points to understand
[11]. This is thus obvious that CCTV has a different impact
on different crimes and in different locations. CCTV in the
eyesight may aid people to be cautious about their activities,
which is a crime prevention technique. Apprehending the
criminal is less priority to the criminal justice professionals,
rather the prevention of crimes is cost-effective and
important.
2.3. Policy Dilemma
During the last few years, violation of individual privacy was
a matter of serious debate among the commoners as
presupposing the necessity of establishing legal boundaries
[12]. Some basic issues, therefore, appeared from the very
beginning of the new millennium in terms of CCTV’s
acceptance within the legal sphere as evidence, the operation
of the devices and the public’s reaction towards the usage of
it [13].
In many countries like the UK, CC cameras were
considered a serious threat to individual privacy. For
example- evidence suggests that the English go on with
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Vol. 6, No. 2, 2020, pp. 48-59 50
the filming of 300 times of their 4.2 million CC camera
per day [7]. This can seriously hamper their free-roaming
over the city where due to such intervention, people need
to be much aware of their way of movement. It is to be
noted that from the very outset, the rules and regulations
relating to the CCTV installation and operations were
subject to the governments policy process [14].
Irrespective of this, some researchers also have focused on
the necessity of having intensive attention over the
privacy issue of recorded images of police [15]. However,
the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) and Automatic
Number Plate Retrieval (ANPR) are two widely used
technology in getting the perpetrators’ identity and moves
(ibid.). Installation of such a device is accepted where
crime incidents generally happen. Installation of CCTV in
areas such as bus or train stations, main highways and
other establishments where a high number of people
generally pass by is highly accepted [16]. Some researches
also advocate for ensuring the privacy of individuals
regarding the CCTV footage [17]. It is expected that the
data which are collected regarding the physical
identification of individual should be protected respecting
the private life of the people [18]
2.4. Deterrent Impact of CCTV Surveillance
CCTV assumes the reduction of crimes by exposing the risk of
detection and legal action against the identified offenders, that
is its perceived impact on the offenders’ apprehension [19].
CCTV surveillance in many cases does not stand on the basis
of a good theoretical understanding of the buffer diameters.
Still, the camera has its limitation in its robust view in distant
locations; Irrespective of camera’s visible area, people are
likely to be considerate about their activities if the cameras are
placed at a certain distance of visible positioning [20]. Another
study conducted in Cincinnati and Ohio of the USA measuring
34 camera locations found insignificant impact in the reduction
of crimes in distinct times, though sometimes the crimes in
residential areas were found to be reduced because of CCTV
installation while associated with other conditions, like an
area-based rate of crimes [21].
The situational crime prevention approach recommends that
environmental design such as street lighting directly
influences the offender’s perceived risk of being recognized
[1]. CCTV also can work as key equipment for such
environmental designing. Sometimes some biometric
characteristics of humans are used combining with CCTV,
where the unique characters of human organs may aid to
identify criminals quite easily [22]. Thus, combining the
CCTV with other detection process and the exposure of the
success in criminal apprehension may put a deterrent impact
on the potential offenders.
2.5. Where It Works, Where Does Not
In Criminology, many tools and instruments work to control
crimes effectively among which situational crime prevention
is found to be very effective [23]. Different researches found
different findings on the effectiveness of CCTV in different
structures. Research claims that CCTV is more effective in
reducing vehicle crimes but not in other types of crime and
the efficiency increases when this installation is combined
with other situational crime prevention techniques like
improved lighting, wide coverage of the device, etc. [24].
Another research also revealed that CCTV can decrease
crimes in car parks significantly but in other areas, it
decreases crimes at an insignificant level [25]. According to
this study, surveillance in private space by such techniques,
i.e. - use of camera or microphone is less acceptable because
of the low vulnerability of those places to crime commission.
However, situational crime prevention techniques like
lighting and motion detectors are acceptable in the private
spheres (ibid.). Literature review thus reveals that CCTV
does not work evenly in all places. Its efficiency depends on
its visibility, placement and viewing ranges.
2.6. Public-Police Interaction
Sometimes cameras worn on the uniform of police or used on
flying drones may have a significant impact on police-public
interaction [15]. Many police officers use cameras in their
uniforms to record their interactions with people. It can thus
work as a guardian of that conversation where the police
show a tendency to behave very politely with the service
seekers. This kind of camera use can improve the police-
community relationship, especially in countries like
Bangladesh where police suffer from serious forms of image
crises.
2.7. Surveillance Technology and
Organizational Dimension
Different organizations are now depending on different
monitoring and surveillance procedure to keep records of
their employees and other stakeholders. Research, for
instance, underwent the use of CCTV in a school of UK
criticizes the way it facilitated the social control to the
students by direct observation because in a parallel way it
cannot foster self-control among the students [26]. Another
research found that if the CCTV allows complex
technological auxiliary facilities, it not only augments but
also plays a negative role in the targeted objectives by
focusing on other less important objects [27]. Some
researchers are very much cautious about some nano-
technology based surveillance device like tags, sensors,
radiofrequency, etc. holding the argument that these are the
“Panopticon” of this age (they used the term as the metaphor)
51 Md. Bashir Uddin Khan et al.: Impact of CCTV Surveillance on Crime Prevention: A Study in Dhaka City
[28]. The use of electronic surveillance in the workplace at
present has drawn the attention of the researchers. This has
generated controversy on the issue of employee dignity,
ethics, public policy, and management level attitude [29].
Surveillance is not necessarily done only with the help of
CCTV. The employees in many organizations undergo many
other monitoring processes. Many companies tend to think
that having a close eye on the computer-mediated
communication of their employees is not the violation of
privacy [30]. This violation of privacy is not only a matter of
institution but also many organizations of the western
countries are alleged to collect a lot of information from their
citizens in the name of security which is a matter of great
concern for them [31]. Thus, institutional and organizational
breach of privacy is very commonplace now. For the
organizations’ own security and for the stakeholders whom
they are supposed to provide services, they need to maintain
the surveillance. In countries like Bangladesh, seemingly
very few of the people care for their privacy in terms of
CCTV surveillance, specially in public-places. It is however,
very common that a disclaimer is hanging in places with such
surveillance “CCTV is in operation”. In this way, Bangladesh
is trying to warn the people whom they are observing with
CCTV.
2.8. Additional Features
The use of some additional features and devices like
microphones and loudspeakers together with CCTV and
other technological instruments may enhance the probability
of controlling crime in a significant way [32]. For instance, in
Istanbul, an integrated electronic system has been introduced,
which is named as Mobile electronic system integration
(MOBESE). Enhancing the surveillance capacity, prevention
of disorder and crimes through deterrent are the key
objectives of this MOBESE like CCTV system. It helps to
reduce the fear of crime also [33]. Environmental
criminology generally focuses on the prevention of crime by
understanding the nature of the crime and the locational
details [34]. CCTV however, can work as a key component
for this crime prevention.
Some programs are also used in the detection of crimes. This
type of software is capable of predicting how a particular
person would look like based on time progression or and in
different attire [35]. High-quality CCTV images can help the
police personnel to get images for such analysis.
3. Research Objectives and
Research Questions
The main objective of this research is to understand the
impact and deterrence that are made by CCTV surveillance in
different intersections of Dhaka city to understand the change
in crime before and after the installation of CC cameras.
However, the present study has some specific objectives also.
These are-
i. To investigate the considerations behind CCTV
installation by the police in Dhaka city.
ii. To examine the impact of CCTV installation on the
behavior of offenders.
iii. To inspect the nature of crime-displacement due to the
installation of CCTV.
iv. To determine the changing patterns of crimes before and
after the implementation of CCTV surveillance process.
4. Method and Materials
The study was conducted in different locations of Dhaka city
where police installed CCTV for their surveillance. Four
police stations from the Dhaka Metropolitan area were
selected for the purpose. The study included 200 respondents
who had their prior knowledge about the usage of CCTV in a
particular area and agreed to answer the questionnaire
voluntarily. From the jurisdiction of each police station, Fifty
(50) respondents were selected purposively. Additionally, 40
police personnel (10 from each police station) were
interviewed with a semi-structured questionnaire. They were
also selected based on their availability in a judgmental way.
Most of them were field level executives who had their direct
experience with the apprehension of offenders and criminal
dealings. The sampling unit here was individuals having
knowledge about the actions of police about CCTV
installation (Tables 1 and 2).
The summary of the research methodology, however, is as
the following.
Table 1. Summary of Research Methodology.
Research philosophy Positivist
Research approaches Inductive
Method of data collection Survey questionnaire and Semi structured questionnaire
Time horizon Cross-sectional
Sample selection & sample size Convenience sampling method
Sample size: 200 respondents from 4 police station area and 40 police officers from 4 police stations (10 from each)
Data types Sources of data Primary: Interviewing respondents (survey questionnaire and semi-structured questionnaire)
Secondary: Books, journal, publication, newspaper etc.
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Vol. 6, No. 2, 2020, pp. 48-59 52
Table 2. Number of Respondents from Each Police Station (Jurisdiction/ Zone/Area).
Area/ Name of the Police Stations Geographic Coordinate
(Longitude, Latitude)
Number of General People as
Respondent
Number of Police Personnel as
Respondent
Dhanmondi Police Station Area 90.381512, 23.743268 50 10
Ramna Police Station Area 90.404599, 23.745646 50 10
Kotwali Police Station Area 90.409291, 23.707326 50 10
Uttara East Police Station Area 90.432665, 23.870914 50 10
Figure 1. Location of Selected Police Stations of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Researchers' Own Creation).
53 Md. Bashir Uddin Khan et al.: Impact of CCTV Surveillance on Crime Prevention: A Study in Dhaka City
5. Findings and Discussion
5.1. Socio-Demographic Information
Most of the respondents (23.5%) of this study belong to the
age group 21-25 years whereas only 5.5% of the respondents
belong to the age group of 46 years and above. Another
significant number of respondents (20.5%) belong to the age
group 26- 30 years. Here, the average age of the respondents
is 30.12 years. It indicates that the majority of the
respondents are young who belong to the age group of 21-25
years of age. About the sex variation of the respondents, the
total number of 74.5% were male and (25.5%) were female
(Table 3). Therefore, it is derived that maximum male
respondents were interviewed than female respondents
because of their willingness to respond voluntarily. Male
people were found as more interested to answer the
questionnaire than the females in the study areas.
Table 3. Age Group of the Respondents.
Age Group (Year) Number Percent
Below to 20 22 11
Mean = 30.95
Median = 30
Mode = 30
21- 25 47 23.5
26- 30 41 20.5
31- 35 30 15
36- 40 32 16
41 - 45 17 8.5
46 to Above 11 5.5
Total 200 100
5.2. Locations of and Considerations Behind
CCTV Installation (n=40)
There are some considerations for the installation of CCTV in
different locations of the jurisdictions of all police stations.
The considerations that the police personnel mentioned as they
generally undergo before the installation of CCTV are the
vulnerable or dangerous places (hotspots), crowded places,
busy places, important places, entry points of the city, market
places, etc. The places that have been included there are
considerations by police officers based on their experiences.
There was no prior research/investigation before the
implementation of such CCTVs under the operation of police.
5.3. Impact of CCTV Installation on the
Behaviors of Offenders
5.3.1. Numbers of CCTV Cameras Identified
by the Respondents’ (Within Their
Notice)
People were asked about the number of CC cameras that they
have identified under the jurisdiction of a particular police
station. A large number of respondents’ (33%) mentioned that
they have identified 1 to 10 CC cameras in the jurisdiction of
the police station (about which they were asked questions),
whereas 14% of those respondents mentioned that they did not
know about the installation of any camera by police in the
public places. Table 4 also shows that 22 percent of the
respondents were able to identify 11 to 20 CC cameras
installed by police. The number of identified CC cameras in
the range of 21 to upwards is minimal in the study area. It is
very natural that only the persons who know about the
placement of CC cameras can be aware of their actions and
there may be a deterrent effect for them also, especially in case
of any potential crime commission. It indicates that the CCTVs
installed by policy lack better visibility by the common masses.
If the visibility is not good, the deterrent effects of such
technology may become difficult. This mechanism may only
have some investigative value if the recordings are proper in
those cases but not any deterrent impact is possible.
Table 4. Number of CCTV Cameras (installed by Police) Identified by the
Respondents (n=200).
No of CC cameras installed Number Percent
1-10 66 33
11-20 44 22
21- 30 26 13
31- 40 19 9.5
41 to more 17 8.5
Don’t know 28 14.0
Total 200 100
5.3.2. Impacts of CC Cameras on Particular
Offences in Respondents’ View
(n=200)
Three categories of offenses were determined in the study to
understand the respondents’ perception of the relative impact
of CCTV on those crimes. These crimes were theft, snatching/
hijacking, and violent crimes (murder, rape, and beating). For
each of the offenses, most of the respondents replied that they
consider that CCTV has a moderate impact on those offenses.
A fewer percentage of the respondents consider that CCTV has
less impact on the reduction of those crimes. The least among
them have replied that CCTV has no impact at all on those
crimes. It is, therefore, evident that people are considering that
CCTV may have a good deterrent impact on crimes. In most of
the cases, such statistics may indicate the common psychology
of the probable perpetrators also. It should be noted that only
habitual offenders do not always commit offenses. Sometimes
people also may commit crimes when they get an opportunity.
That is why it is evident that CCTV may act as a common
deterrent. However, most of the respondents think that CCTV
surveillance has less probability to have an impact on property-
related offenses (Table 5).
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Vol. 6, No. 2, 2020, pp. 48-59 54
Table 5. The Impacts of CC Cameras on the Prevention of following Offences (n=200).
Offenses Value Arguments Total
No Impact Less Impact Moderate Impact
Strong Impact
Theft f 33 56 71 40 200
% 16.5 28 35.5 20 100
Snatching/ hijacking f 19 52 81 48 200
% 9.5 26 40.5 24 100
Violent Crime (Murder, Rape, Beating) f 37 51 68 44 200
% 18.5 25.5 34 22 100
5.3.3. Perception Analysis of Visible
Impacts of CCTV Installation on
Different Offences (n=40)
Semi-structured interviewing of the police officers yielded
some realistic and experience-based findings in terms of
getting the information regarding CCTVs’ impact on
different types of crime prevention. They were asked about
the impact of CC cameras on the prevention of different
offenses like theft, snatching/ hijacking and violent crimes
(murder, rape, and beating) and support services like
emergency medical services/emergency aid in Bangladesh.
This table identified police officers’ comments regarding CC
cameras’ impact on the selected crimes.
By analyzing the collected information from the police
personnel, this study revealed 25% of respondents consider
CCTV as having a strong impact on the prevention of theft.
In the case of Snatching/ hijacking, the percentage is 25%
and in case of preventing violent crimes (Murder, Rape,
Beating) the percentage is also 25%. Besides, for all of these
crimes the frequency of impact is very high for the moderate
level impact of CCTV. For the mentioned three crimes the
percentages are 50, 40 and 45 consecutively. In the case of
less impact, the percentage is 25, 35 and 30 consecutively.
No respondent from police personnel was found mentioning
that CCTV has no impact on crimes (Table 6).
Table 6. Visible Impact on CCTV Installation on Different Offences (n=40).
Offences Value Arguments Total
No Impact Less Impact Moderate Impact Strong Impact
Theft f - 10 20 10 40
% - 25 50 25 100
Snatching/ hijacking f - 14 16 10 40
% - 35 40 25 100
Violent Crime (Murder, Rape, Beating)
f - 12 18 10 40
% - 30 45 25 100
5.3.4. The Difference in the Behavior of the
Probable Offenders Between Pre-
installation and Post-installation of
CC Cameras (n=200)
The perception of the respondents (common people) about
the difference in the perceived behavior of the probable
offenders between pre and post-installation of CCTV in their
respective areas was measured in the study. These responses
indicate that a major portion of them (41%) responded as
CCTV can put a moderate impact on the behavior of
probable offenders whereas 4.5% of them mentioned that
they did not perceive any difference among the behavior of
probable offenders. 21.5% found less and 26% found
significant differences between the crime patterns before and
after the installation of CCTV (Table 7). So it is obvious that
people are either expecting or experiencing some positive
changes in the behavior of probable offenders due to the
installation of CC cameras in their areas.
Here, one difference appears between the responses of the
general people and that of the police officers. Police officers
think that CCTV must have an impact on crimes whether
those may be less, moderate or strong whereas, many
common people believe that CCTV may not have an impact
on the selected crimes.
Table 7. Difference in the Behavior of the Probable Offenders between
Before and After the Installation of CC Camera in this Area (n=200).
Difference found Number Percent
No 9 4.5
Less 43 21.5
Moderate 82 41.0
Significant 52 26.0
Don't Know 14 7.0
Total 200 100.0
5.3.5. Impact of CCTV on the Behavior of
Common People (n=200)
Most of the respondents (71.5%) mentioned that the
installation of CCTV changes the behavior of people
positively whereas 28.5% of the respondents mentioned the
change as negative. This actually puts an impact on the
55 Md. Bashir Uddin Khan et al.: Impact of CCTV Surveillance on Crime Prevention: A Study in Dhaka City
deterrent aspect of crimes or on the fear of the offenders for
being identified easily (Table 8).
Table 8. Whether CCTV Changes the Behavior of People.
Changes in the behavior of people Frequency Percent
Yes 143 71.5
No 57 28.5
Total 200 100.0
If Yes, How much has it Changed the Behavior of People (n=143)?
Perception of the respondents about the frequency of changes
in the behavior of people due to the installation of CCTV.
Most of the respondents (74.5%) mentioned that CCTV does
not play any role in changing the behavior of people always
but it changes the behavior sometimes. However, around
one-fourth of the respondents think that CCTV always
changes the human nature of the action (Table 9).
Table 9. Frequency of Changes of People’s Behavior Due to CCTV (n=143).
Frequency of change Frequency Percent
Always Changes 35 24.5
Sometimes Changes 108 74.5
Total 143 100.0
5.4. Nature of Crime Displacement Due to
the Installation of CCTV
5.4.1. Crime Displacement to Another Area
After the Installation of CC Cameras
(n=200 and n=40))
Respondents (common people) perception about the
displacement of offenders to another area due to the installation
of CC Cameras in one place was revealed in the study. Most of
the respondents (52%) consider that displacement of the
offenders happens whereas 48% of the respondents disagreed on
that (Table 10). It is a general concept that crime displacement
happens when any intervention is taken in any area to prevent
crime. That is why it is important to address such interventions
and their subsequent impact on the people. Otherwise, the
reduction of crimes in one place may be supplemented by the
increase of crime in another place.
The perception of the police personnel about the
displacement of the offenders to another area after the
installation of CC Cameras is almost similar. Most of them
(65%) mentioned positively that displacement of the
offenders occur whereas 10% of the respondents mentioned
negatively about displacement. Moderately the same findings
were s found from general and ordinary people (Table 11).
Table 10. The Displacement of the Offenders to another Area after the
Installation of CC Cameras (n=200).
Offender Displacement Occurred Frequency Percent
Yes 104 52.0
No 96 48.0
Total 200 100.0
Table 11. Displacement of the Offenders after the Installation of CC
Cameras (n=40).
displacement of the offenders Frequency Percent
Yes 26 65.0
No change 4 10.0
Little change 10 25.0
Total 40 100.0
5.4.2. Which Offences are Generally
Influenced Because of CCTV
Installation (n=40)?
This study also identified some offenses which are generally
influenced by CCTV installation from the police personnel.
According to this study, the rate of reduction of crime due to
the CCTV installation is higher for serious crimes and petty
offenses. For other crimes like hijacking and theft, the
reduction is minimal based on the police personnel’s opinion.
It is to be noted that the police personnel’s comment for this
question was not location-based. Rather, this was a
generalized observation of them which is not supported by
empirical data analysis (Table 12).
Table 12. Offences that are Generally Influenced by CCTV Installation.
Crime Frequency Percent
All Crimes 4 10.0
Theft 4 10.0
Petty Offence 10 25.0
Serious Crimes 16 40.0
Hijacking 6 15.0
Total 40 100.0
5.5. Impacts of CCTV on Criminal
Investigation (Perception of Police
Personnel)
5.5.1. Usual Way of Responding (n=40)
The police personnel was asked about their usual way of
responding in terms of CCTV recordings of everyday
incidents. Most of them replied that they have a regular
monitoring process where they keep careful observation of
every location and try to use proactive policing for problem-
solving. Many of them replied that they are mostly associated
with taking steps based on the recordings if they get any
complaints from any other person (Table 13).
Table 13. Usual Way of Respondents.
Way of responding Frequency Percent
After receiving a complaint 16 40.0
Monitoring 24 60.0
Total 40 100.0
5.5.2. Frequency of Taking Action Based on
the Recordings of CCTV (n=40)
Another question was asked how often they take action using
their CCTV footage and recordings. Responses indicate the
frequency of taking action based on the recordings of CCTV.
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Vol. 6, No. 2, 2020, pp. 48-59 56
Most of the respondents (50%) mentioned that they often
prefer to take action, 20% mentioned that they always prefer
to take action and 30 percent of them mentioned that less
frequently they prefer to take action based on CCTV footage
(Table 14).
Table 14. The frequency of Taking Action based on the Recordings of CCTV.
Frequency of taking action Frequency Percent
Always 8 20.0
Often 20 50.0
Sometime 12 30.0
Total 40 100.0
5.6. People’s Overall Attitude Towards the
Installation of CCTV
5.6.1. Feeling of Safeness in the Presence
of CCTV in any Location (n=200)
The feeling of safeness of the people may be influenced by
the presence of CCTV in any location. Most of the
respondents (63%) mentioned that they feel safe whereas 1.5%
of respondents feel unsafe due to the privacy issue in the
presence of CCTV (Table 15). Moreover, 23% think that it
has no impact on their feeling of safeness. So it is clear that
the presence of CCTV in any location creates the safety
feelings among most of the people thinking that they are in
the presence of at least a capable guardian.
Table 15. Safety Feelings in the Presence of CCTV.
Safety Feelings Frequency Percent
Very Safe 25 12.5
Safe 126 63.0
No impact 46 23.0
Unsafe 3 1.5
Total 200 100.0
5.6.2. Whether CCTV Hampers Privacy
(n=200)
It is a matter of consideration whether CCTV cameras
hampers the privacy of people or whether they consider that
they hamper such privacy. Most of the respondents (86%) in
this study mentioned that CCTV cameras did not hamper
their privacy whereas 14% of respondents mentioned that it
doses (Table 16). Many people think that if any incident
occurs in any public in their presence, the police may be
called by the criminal justice professionals if any incident
happens by any chance there. In this way, they are afraid of
their probable involvement in any unwanted incident and the
adjudication process.
Table 16. Whether CCTV camera Hampers Privacy.
Whether CCTV camera hampers privacy Frequency
Percent
Yes 28 14.0
No 172 86.0
Total 200 100.0
5.6.3. Satisfaction with the Installation of
CCTV (n=200)
The study investigated the feelings of happiness of the
respondents in the course of the installation of CCTV in these
locations. Most of the respondents (62%) mentioned that they
are satisfied whereas 2% of the respondents that feel
dissatisfied with the frequent CCTV installation. Additionally,
36% mentioned that they don’t have any idea about the utility
of these cameras and that is why they remained neutral. So it
is clear that the installation of CCTV in these locations create
feelings of satisfaction and safeness among most of the
people irrespective of their actual usage (Table 17).
Table 17. Satisfaction with the Installation of CCTV (n=200).
Whether Satisfied with the Installation Frequency
Percent
Yes 124 62.0
No 4 2.0
Neutral 72 36.0
Total 200 100.0
5.6.4. Whether the Number of CCTV Camera
Should Be Increased (n=200)
The perception of the respondents on whether the number of
CCTV cameras should computer-mediated yielded
interesting answers. Most of the respondents (76%)
mentioned positively that CCTV camera needs to be
increased although many of them are not happy with the
present installation process, whereas 5.5% respondents gave
negative answer on that. Moreover, still, 19% of the
respondents were not sure about their opinion about it (Table
18).
Table 18. Whether the Number of CCTV Camera should be Increased.
the number of CCTV camera should be
increased Frequency
Percent
Yes 152 76.0
No 11 5.5
Not Sure 38 19.0
Total 200 100.0
5.7. Efficiency Measures by Police
Personnel
5.7.1. Common People’s Perception of the
Positions of Close-Circuit Cameras
Many of the respondents (common people) think that all the
CCTV cameras that were placed in different locations are not
in the right place. Most of the respondents think that some of
the cameras are in the right place and some are in the wrong
place. It is also true that a good number of people think that
most of the cameras are in the right places. It is, therefore,
important to conduct a security survey prior to the
installation of CC cameras so that these can serve all the
purposes that they are supposed to do (Table 19).
57 Md. Bashir Uddin Khan et al.: Impact of CCTV Surveillance on Crime Prevention: A Study in Dhaka City
Table 19. Whether the Positions of CCTV are Right.
Perceptions Frequency Percent
Yes 69 34.5
No 26 13.0
Some are right and some are not 105 52.5
Total 200 100.0
5.7.2. Attitudes of Field-level Officers
About the Frequent Installation of
CCTV in Different Locations (n=40)
The police officers answered the question about their
attitudes as field-level officers on the frequent installation of
CCTV in different locations. A significant number of them
mentioned that the attitudes of field-level officers are good
whereas only a negligible portion of them are not very much
satisfied with it. Sometimes police officers need to work in a
flexible manner. If the police officers are always under
security surveillance, their feeling of being filmed may cause
efficiency challenges. For this reason, some of the police
officers are not very satisfied with the frequent installation of
CCTV although, they are benefited from these devices (Table
20).
Table 20. Attitudes of Field-level Officers about the Frequent Installation of
CCTV in Different Locations.
The attitudes of field-level officers Frequency Percent
Moderate 28 70.0
Not very satisfied 2 5.0
Satisfied 10 25.0
Total 40 100.0
5.7.3. Maintenance of CCTV Cameras (n=40)
A large number of police officers (45%) mentioned positively
whereas 30% mentioned negatively about the functionality of
CCTV cameras. Moreover, 25% mentioned that many
cameras have lost their functionality (Table 21). It seems that
a continuous maintenance plan should be chalked out for
maintaining the cameras and the system well.
Table 21. The Functionality of the Cameras.
Functionality of cameras Frequency Percent
No 12 30.0
Some work, some does not 10 25.0
Yes 18 45.0
Total 40 100.0
5.7.4. Initiatives Taken by Police Officers
When CC Cameras Loses Their
Functionality (n=40)
About the initiative the police officers take in case of
dysfunctionality of CCTV cameras, they replied that most of
them (70%) inform it to the higher authority, 25% inform it
to the unit responsible for the maintenance of CCTV, whereas
5% mentioned the take no action directly in this regard
(Table 22).
Table 22. Initiatives Taken by the Police Officers in case of Dysfunctionality.
Initiatives taken Frequency Percent
Inform higher authority 28 70.0
Inform CCTV unit 10 25.0
No action is taken 2 5.0
Total 40 100.0
6. Discussion and Analysis
A good security survey is quite essential to cover any specific
location by close circuit television. However, in the studied
area, from the responses of the police officers, it becomes
obvious that there is a lack of security survey by the expert or
professionals. In terms of location-selection, only some
arbitrary generic strategy was adopted which may not be very
much cost-effective and efficient. The number of CCTV
cameras and the areas covered by those (which are
maintained by police) are very limited in Dhaka city.
However, the impact of CCTV cameras is not negligible. It
further needs a combined approach to cover all the major
intersections and key points of the city under a complex
CCTV networking. Like many other countries, this system
may be incorporated by artificial intelligence or face
recognition techniques.
A good number of the respondents (from the common people)
do not know about the installation of CC cameras in the
jurisdiction of their concerned police station. It is obvious
that they are not very much cautious about their activities in
the area under surveillance. If the camera is not placed in
visible places, it may not have any deterrent impact. So, it
may be effective only in the cases of investigation, not in
creating any deterrent impact on the probable offenders. In a
similar way, the number of CCTV cameras should be
sufficient so that people can feel safe from the fear of crime.
However, many of the general people are still not aware of
the privacy issue. It is, therefore, necessary for the police to
inform the people about their surveillance points so that any
privacy issue does not appear later on. In case of such
surveillance, they can be filmed without their consent, which
is a questionable issue and contrary to the common ideal
legal assumption of the country.
Placement of CCTV in a sequential way and as a part of a
great network may change the picture of the whole city. The
locational presence of the police stations based on necessity
is another important issue behind this. CCTV should be
placed on the highway also for preventing and detecting
vehicle-related crimes and property crimes. This is very
essential to apprehend that prevention is the better solution
than arresting the offenders and supporting the victims
Police need to focus on the displacement of offenses as
crimes generally displace to those places where the criminals
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Vol. 6, No. 2, 2020, pp. 48-59 58
are less likely to be identified. Any reduction of crimes in any
area necessarily needs to understand whether the offenders
are arrested, rectified or displaced. Otherwise, the overall
crime rate would be the same.
CCTV has been proved to be less effective in different
countries because of many reasons. In spite of this reality,
technological advancement has made the device more
powerful. It may help people to give a relief that they are
under the surveillance of the police. If the privacy issue is
minimized by proper notification to the public, it can be an
important instrument for the detection and prevention of
crimes.
In Bangladesh, still, there is no good experimental research
on the impact of CCTV on crime prevention. Rigorous
research on such issues can provide important insights
regarding the best way of installing CCTV in different
locations. However, no such information is kept
systematically in the police stations so that it would be
possible to compare the crime statistics of pre and post-
installation of CCTV. There should be some specific
protocols for the operation of CCTV and the legal system
should encounter necessary changes for using those as
evidence.
7. Conclusion and
Recommendations
CCTV is a good instrument for starting an investigation and a
great tool for making deterrent effects on probable offenders.
Though its starting is not very new in this country, still a lack
of well-organized set-up of this system is visible. A planned
installation of a high-quality CCTV system with the capacity
building of police personnel for taking the full utility of the
system is thereby utmost necessary. Lack of a well-
documented approach in understanding the comparative
advantage of CCTV is very difficult in the existing policing
system of Dhaka city and the whole of Bangladesh as well.
Therefore, a research-intensive strategic adaptation may help
police to adopt this system within the organizational
formality. Other than having a great orientation and the
attachment of the field level officers with this technology, the
success of this system will be a far reach. All the prime
locations and the hot spots should undergo a proper survey
for understanding the required numbers and probable
positions of CCTV cameras for the best coverage. A wide
approach combining comprehensive networking through
police headquarters and police stations may allow the police
department of Dhaka city to get the greater benefit of the
system.
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