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Evaluation of Cameras to Prevent Crime in Commuter Parking Facilities

NCJ Number
Nancy G. La Vigne; Samantha S. Lowry
Date Published
December 2011
4 pages

This study examined the effect that cameras in commuter parking facilities have on rates of car crime.


This study examined the effect that cameras installed in commuter parking facilities have on rates of car crime and found that overall, the rates of car crimes specifically and crimes in general remained the same before and after installation of the cameras. The primary purpose of the study was to determine whether the use of cameras to deter crime in commuter parking facilities was an effective crime prevention strategy. Data for the study came from the use of digital cameras in commuter parking facilities maintained by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in Washington, D.C. Researchers from the Urban Institute identified parking facility characteristics and management practices to determine which ones were more likely to create opportunities for crime. Digital cameras were then installed in half of WMATA's commuter parking lots. The analysis found that rates for car crimes and crime in general were not affected by the presence of cameras in these parking facilities. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed. Notes and references