Street crimes risen in Trinidad and Tobago

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Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island that is located off the north eastern point of South America. Trinidad and Tobago covers an area of 1,980 sq miles or 5,128 sq km with a population of 1.3 million people, however Port of Spain area consists of 365 sq km with density population of 128,000 persons and the main shopping area with an increasing crime problem. The street Crimes has been escalating in Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago over the past five years, crime went up in 2005 by 48% from 2004, 55% in 2006, 30% in 2007, 25% in 2008 and 25% in 2009. These prevalent street crimes are car theft, robbery and murder and so there are preventative measures that frequently utilized to mitigate the impact on street crime.

The objective of this research proposal is to identify a unique Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system that can be applicable to the reduction of the escalating street crime, fear of crime of the citizens and visitors, and antisocial behavior conducted by individuals that takes place in public spaces in Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago.

The aim for the research proposal is research the effectiveness of CCTV systems to achieve crime reduction benefits from a strategic approach intended to address the problem of street crime in urban developing societies and how it can be replicated to Trinidad and Tobago.

The research proposal wills research the advantages and disadvantages of CCTV systems, crime reporting statistics data and assessments in different countries crime reduction strategies by measuring the successes or failures in the reduction of the fear and incidence of street crime and how it improves public confidence in CCTV at same time how it can provide the best quality of life in Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago.

The research Proposal utilized secondary data collection by searching the internet databases, searched reviews of the literature on the effectiveness of CCTV in deterring crime and searched journals/ bibliographies of CCTV reports to achieve the desired data and information for this research proposal.

Developed urban societies of the world today have the presumption that surveillance is part of their everyday life and this has led to the acknowledgement that the UK is part of a surveillance society (Ball et al., 2006). The use of CCTV system as a formal surveillance aspect of situational crime prevention strategy is likely to bring benefits to the reduction in crime in developing urban societies, based on Norris and Armstrong (1999) assumption that CCTV was a panacea for crime and disorder. CCTV system requires the combine efforts of the Government and the private sector as Involving the private sector reduced costs for local council (Cited in Department of Criminology 2009: 8 - 11)

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a visual surveillance technology designed for monitoring a variety of environments and activities. CCTV systems are typically analog or digital that are consists of fixed or full pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) cameras that involve a dedicated wire or wireless communications link between cameras and monitoring centre.

The CCTV camera contains an imaging device that produces a video signal from the environment or activity in the basic bandwidth, this image is sent to a CCTV monitor and recorded on video tape via a VCR or as digital information via a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). The CCTV camera lens will determine how far and much detail the CCTV camera can see.

Closed circuit television (CCTV) system are becoming a very common crime prevention feature in developing urban societies globally, mainly as a deterrent however it can be utilized to detect and assist in detaining criminal offenders. CCTV can also be utilized to detect antisocial behaviour and reduces the fear of crime resulting in comfort in the minds of people using these streets.

Many of the studies on CCTV have produced contradictory results due to variations in the circumstances of the introduction of CCTV leading to varying effects (Tilley, 1998) that utilises the scientific realism approach developed by Pawson and Tilley (1997) tried to identify how CCTV works and specifically in what contexts (Tilley 1993, Gill and Spriggs, 2005). Academics (Armitage et al., 1999; Tilley 1993) have documented several ways or mechanisms that could result in CCTV bringing about change in an area and those devised by Tilley (1993, quoted in Gill and Spriggs, 2005)

The theoretical possibilities for CCTV system as a means of reducing crime as examined in Brown (1995) study on the use of CCTV in the town centres of Newcastle, Birmingham and King's Lynn in London. He indicated by short term evaluations of town centre schemes crime is deterred when cameras are first installed within an area. Brown also pointed out that camera coverage in Birmingham decreased robbery and theft from the person in the areas and with the impact of CCTV the survey found that people who were aware of the cameras felt safe in the city centre streets after dark after the cameras were introduced.

The UK leads the world in the use of CCTV (House of Lords, 2009). In Britain, Police forces (beginning with Durham in 1956) began to use CCTV to assist in the one-man operation of traffic lights" (ibid.: 13). In 1960 the Metropolitan police erected two pan-tilt and zoom cameras in Trafalgar Square to monitor the crowds during a State Visit Parliament and, although this was a temporary installation, it was re-erected later that year to monitor the revellers on Guy Fawkes night (ibid.: 4). By 1969, "14 different forces were using CCTV, a total of just 67 cameras nationally" (ibid.: 17). However, with the video recorder becoming commercially available during the 1960s, the early growth of CCTV was largely confined to the retail sector and by 1967, one company, Photoscan, was actively marketing CCTV to deter and apprehend shoplifters. (McCahill and Norris, 2002) by 1991 in the UK there were no more than ten cities with open street systems in operation in 1993, the fuzzy CCTV images of toddler Jamie Bulger being led away from a Merseyside shopping mall by his two ten-year old killers placed CCTV in the spotlight. By the mid 1990s

CCTV dominated the Government's crime prevention programme, accounting for over three quarters of its budget. (Welsh and Farrington, 2004: 500). On the basis of these figures during the decade 1994-2004 we would estimate that around £4-5 Billion has been spent on the installation of CCTV and maintenance of CCTV systems in the UK, and this excludes the monitoring costs associated with these systems.

In the USA, the first national survey of CCTV carried out in 1997, "found that only 13 city police departments in the country used CCTV video surveillance systems primarily to monitor pedestrian traffic in downtown and residential districts" (Nieto et al., 2002). By 2001 some 25 US cities were using CCTV to monitor public areas, heightened security concerns following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have led to rapid diffusion of both CCTV surveillance and biometric technologies. For example, CCTV video surveillance is widely used in public schools to monitor student movement and detect illegal activity, and at street intersections to catch cars running red lights. (Nieto et al., 2002: 5)

Sutton and Wilson, in their review of CCTV in Australia, report that the number of cities with open street CCTV systems had increased from 13 in 1996 to 33 in 2002 (Wilson and Sutton, 2003)


a) Contribute towards public safety

b) Prevent and detect crime and disorder

c) Prevent and detect anti social behaviour

d) Prevent and detect the misuse of drugs and alcohol

e) Prevent and detect behaviour adversely effecting the environment.

f) Public reassurance and reduction in the levels of fear of crime.


Be specific about the theories researched selected and you need to justify why you chose them

Consider the relationship between the theories that you use and the research method

This will develop a coherent and reasoned theoretical framework for the proposed research.

Cessare Lombrosso (1835-1901) believed that people were 'born' criminals and destined to a life of crime. However criminologists who supported the premises that crime has some biological basis linked believe that criminals have also social and situational conditions rather than biological abnormality or psychological problems (Siegel, 2007: 8). From then to now there are many theories and concepts that identified the causation of crime and more so street crime.

Globally there are numerous types of street crime ranging from pilfering to murder. These street crimes are varies types of personal attacks which a person could have inflicted upon another, ranging from common assault, actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm and there are sexual assaults range from indecent assault to full rape threatened the safety of persons in the society, therefore, resulting in people for example, the elderly, women, young children and teenagers having limits on their freedom of movement and prevent them from fully participating in the society. These crimes affect people in the New York United States of America, London United Kingdom, Sydney Australia and Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago.

Most governments utilized Situational crime prevention strategies to mitigation the consequence of street crime. These Situational crime prevention strategies have in some countries control, reduce or even partially eliminate crime, the fear of crime and antisocial behaviors.

Research evidence suggested by criminologists that it can be an effective strategy in situational crime prevention, in that by strategically positioning cameras maximum visibility of criminal's perpetrators as they thrive not to be seen or recognized and this may lead to displacement.

Situational crime prevention is a crime prevention approach in the form of Formal surveillance method with the intervention a CCTV system reduces street crime opportunities by increasing the risk of prospected offenders, while reducing the offender's potential reward for committing street crimes. Situational crime prevention is supported by environmental criminology, rational choice theory, routine activity and crime pattern theory (Clarke, 1993, Felson, 1994). Environmental criminology deals with crime, criminal and victims and focuses on place and space in regard to the time, spatial aspect of criminal event.

Cohen & Felson (1979) routine activity theory that attempt to identify the supply of criminal opportunities and crime patterns. The fundamental of routine activity theory is that an incident can occur where the convergence of the presence of a potential offender, in the vicinity of a suitable target in the same place and time, and in the absence of a 'capable guardian' (a person or system that could prevent or discourage the offence). CCTV applied to routine activity theory can be perceived as a form of capable guardian that could be utilized to change the offender calculated decision to commit street crime where the risk is too high of the offender being seen resulting in being caught.

According to Cullen and Agnew (2003) Rational Choice Theory operates on the premise that humans behave in a purely rational manner performing action that are for their own benefit humans will naturally make a decision that will avoid pain and provide the greatest amount of pleasure, even if it means violating the law (Bentham, 1789) Rational Choice Theory established that street crimes occurs when a perpetrator decides to break the law after considering both opportunistic factors, For example, the need for money, revenge, thrill, entertainment and situational factors such as how attractive the target. CCTV

The rational choice theory states that humans behave in a purely rational manner and the actions they perform are for their own benefit (Scott, 2000). The theory says that there are rewards and punishments associated with each action and the individual ways these and decides if it will benefit them to perform the act, if the rewards outweigh the punishment which is risked, then they will go through with performing the act. Therefore Rational choice perspective, due to an offender taking a series of rational decisions based on a balance between the risks involved as opposed to the benefits to be gained will result in a crime occurring. Therefore, rational choice perspectives integrated with environmental design crime can be prevented. Parnaby (2006: 9)

Research into public space CCTV has identified similar patterns and indicated that CCTV impacts more on premeditated crimes (Brown, 1995; Welsh and Farrington, 2002; Gill et al., 2005). Analysing the impact of CCTV on public behaviour, Mazerolle (2002) found that the cameras created an initial deterrence in the two-month period after installation but to prolong the effect recommended increasing the deterrence of using signs and short sporadic cameras deployment(Cited in Department of Criminology 2009: 8 - 21)


You must answer these questions in the methodology section

State specifically an established research methodology that you would use. It may be more than one type based upon the type of research conducted

You did not say how you would gain access to organizations and individuals to get the information for your research

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various data gathering techniques you are using

Speak about time constraints and the effort needed to complete the research

What are some critical success factors that if not present could hinder its completion

Consider sampling, measurement, validity and reliability issues based upon empirical proof

A qualitative methodology was employed to examine the perceptions and practices of the effectiveness of CCTV system in the reduction of crime in urban developing societies. The urban developing societies that were indentified were New York in the United States of America, London in United Kingdom and Sydney in Australia and how these societies CCTV system can be replicated in Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago.

The research Proposal utilized secondary data collection by searching the internet databases, searched reviews of the literature on the effectiveness of CCTV in deterring crime and searched journals/ bibliographies of CCTV reports to achieve the desired data and information for this research proposal.

This research proposal has two main objectives: To ascertain the finding on the effectiveness of CCTV to reduce crime in urban developing societies and how it can be replicated to reduce crime in Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago.


The anticipated problems in conducting the research should include whether there are ethical, data, access or other issues such as problems in gathering the required data

You need to consider ways to resolve anticipated problems and is conscious that the results may have limitations.

You have not addressed those issues in this anticipated problem section

Globally there is research conducted on the effectiveness of closed circuit television. Although there is enough information on implementation and management of CCT V as a situational crime prevention strategy since it has been instituted two decade ago the limited research information was utilized for this research to be conducted successfully. The limited available research data and information was extracted from internet web sites, online databases and from Leicester university blackboard using the keywords for example effectiveness CCTV, research CCTV, Crime and CCTV, Situational Crime Prevention and CCTV reducing crime.

Many of the researcher's problems was incurred in retrieving the research information on the up-to-date quasi experimental evaluation on the effectiveness of CCTV, whereby researchers encounters unavailability of total contents as only abstract is available free.

correlation between a CCTV prevention programme and a measure of crime at one point in time identifies that areas with CCTV have lower crime rates than areas without CCTV (Farrington, 2002).

Privacy 1 9/06/10

How might CCTV cameras reduce crime?

How the Law Enforcement use CCTV to affect crime

Other uses of CCTV


Framework for CCTV within Port of Spain

The aims of the CCTV System

Operational procedures

How the system is used in Port of Spain

CCTV system can be considered of as a crime prevention tool that consists of modern technologies, places and people. CCTV system comprises of camera that could be mounted on a wall, a street Light Pole, a fence or the roof of a building, a monitoring centre that comprises of mounted and desk top monitors, recording facility, data processing area and communication area and also available response teams to act on the available information received via the cameras and communicated via the communication to prevent, deter or apprehend offenders.

The effect of CCTV on incidents in Port of Spain

Selection of sites for further study