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The primary preventive mechanism of CCTV is considered to be deterrence. However, the relationship between CCTV and deterrence has been left impli- cit. Empirical research has yet to directly test whether CCTV increases the certainty of punishment, a key component of the deterrence doctrine. This study analyzes CCTV’s relation to punishment certainty in Newark, NJ. Across eight crime categories, CCTV and 9-1-1 calls-for-service case processing times and enforcement rates are compared through Mann-Whitney U and Fisher’s Exact tests, respectively, with a Holm-Bonferroni procedure correcting for multiple comparisons. ANOVA and negative binomial regression models further analyze the frequency of CCTV activity and the impact of various factors on the (downward) trend of detections and enforcement. Findings suggest that CCTV increases punishment certainty on a case-by-case basis. However, a reduction of CCTV activity caused by specific “surveillance barriers” likely minimized the effect of the enhanced enforcement.


This article was originally published in Justice Quarterly, available at ,

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