SO0902A â€“ Sociology Project Proposal Plan
Leigh J. Allen Student Number:
Close-circuit Television as a means of situational crime prevention analysing effectiveness within city centre locations in Scotland.
Since the early 1990â€™s Britain has seen a very substantial public and private investment in open-street close circuit television surveillance. The main justification for this has been the assumed ability of close circuit television to decrease both crime and the fear of crime in predominantly inner city areas (Short & Ditton, 1998). With Britain becoming a place almost always caught on videotape, using an ...view middle of the document...
The first examples of this were indeed the installation of surveillance equipment installed at car parks which experienced vandalism, security screens in banks and even caller ID on telephones to stop obscene calls (Green 2006). The question we must ask today however is regarding a much more technically advanced society, where individuals know the limits surveillance has. Are peopleâ€™s perceptions of CCTV in the 21st century that of a blasÃ© attitude, compared to the new phenomenon back in 1970 whereby people were cautious due to the lack of knowledge.
Analysis of CCTVâ€™s effectiveness in preventing crime has been infrequent in recent years, and generally relies on comparing police recorded criminal behavior before and after camera installations. It is difficult for this approach on its own to tackle realistically the possibility of camera-induced crime displacement. However I intend to analyse 3 major cities centres in Scotland; Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. My intended participants of this study will be not only the public and police officers, but an alternative approach, with the use of offender participants. I have chosen offenders to gain an understanding of their perceptions of CCTV and how those may conflict with that of the general public. My intentions are to address the main problem regarding CCTV in modern society. Is there evidence to suggest that CCTV use in city centre areas acts as the intended deterrent of crime? I also intend to consider perceptions of surveillance from various police officers, the public and offenders, and examine the correlation.
In this section we will provide a brief overview of what we consider to be significant theoretical perspectives within the specified topic of visual surveillance. We will also look at previous research which has been undertaken in this area and consider how this particular research proposal might add to knowledge in this area.
As David Lyon points out in his book, â€˜Surveillance Studiesâ€™ the sociological reaction to the general concern of surveillance has been dominated by images of the Panopticon (Lyon, 2007). This has been especially true of CCTV surveillance which logically provokes comparisons with the work of Jeremy Benthamâ€™s 1787 proposal for an architectural system of social discipline, applicable to factories, prisons, asylums and workhouses. The Panopticon according to Bentham isâ€¦
â€œA building circular... The prisoners in their cells, occupying the circumferenceâ€”The officers in the centre. By blinds and other contrivances, the Inspectors concealed... from the observation of the prisoners: hence the sentiment of a sort of omnipresenceâ€”The whole circuit reviewable with little, or... without any, change of place. One station in the inspection part affording the most perfect view of every cellâ€. (Bentham 1798)
Although Bentham never lived long enough to see his model prison ever built it was the basis for many prisons...