Digital CCTV Surveilance

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General Overview

EICS Framework


Region of Reference

  • AfricaAfrica
  • AsiaAsia
  • AustraliaAustralia
  • EuropeEurope
  • North-AmericaNorth-America
  • South-AmericaSouth-America
  • WorldWorld


This intervention refers to the installation and operation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras – specifically cameras that are monitored live). In this case, CCTV refers to cameras in and around public transport stations and/or within the vehicles themselves. Trained personnel monitor the feeds from the CCTV cameras in real time, allowing for a quicker response if an incident occurs. CCTV cameras also record footage of the area. These recordings can be played back at a later stage to investigate incidents and to identify and apprehend offenders or criminals.

The presence of CCTV in and around public transport aims to deter crime and increase the feeling of safety of passengers and drivers. CCTV in public transport systems is widely used in many developed countries such as the United Kingdom (e.g., all underground tube stations have CCTV), the Netherlands, and Japan, both at stations and on vehicles such as trains, buses, and trams, as well as developing countries such as India and South Africa. [6, 13].

Types of Impact

Area Impacted

  • To/from the stop/station/rank
  • Waiting for train/bus/paratransit
  • In the vehicle
  • At interchanges
Area impacted depends on the scale of implementation. Any form of increased surveillance will be beneficial, but this intervention specifically refers to increased surveillance in the public transport space.

Time of Day of Impact

  • Day-time travel
  • Night-time travel
  • Peak-time travel
  • Off peak-time travel
CCTV cameras can record continuously (24 hours of the day) therefore all times of the day are impacted. This intervention does not include live monitoring, which could potentially limit the times of day impacted due to staffing requirements.

Mode Impacted

  • Bus
  • Train
  • Rideshare
  • 4 wheelers informal
  • 3 wheelers informal
  • 2 wheelers informal
  • Cycling
  • Walking
All users - no evidence of projects focusing on particular user groups. Studies have shown that women prefer the physical presence of police/security to technological solutions such as CCTV, as it’s difficult to replace the feeling of safety that being around other people brings.

Demographic impacted

  • Girls
  • Boys
  • Adult Women
  • Men
  • Elderly Women
Nearly all modes will be impacted by this intervention. Modes impacted will depend on the scale of implementation and location of implementation.

SWOT Analysis

  • Quick to be implemented

  • Benefits quick to be realised

  • Relatively low skills required

  • Scalable to suit budget and need for the resource

  • Technology will need to be upgraded every few years.

  • Not effective in parts of the transport system where the intervention is not physically present

  • Other crime also reduced

  • Potential to identify and apprehend offenders after incidents occur

  • Crime displacement - criminals move to areas where there are no CCTV cameras, reducing crime in one area and increasing it in another.

  • Criminals might continue to commit crimes in areas where CCTV cameras are present by avoiding detection and identification from cameras by obscuring their faces or dressing in a particular way.

  • Privacy - some citizens might object to being recorded and feel like their privacy rights are being violated.


Several literature sources indicate this to be an effective measure in improving public safety. A large number of studies reach the same conclusion with regards to effectiveness, so the level of confidence that this measure is effective is high [2,9,10,12]. However, no examples exist where incidences of sexual harassment, specifically, had been reduced upon implementation of this intervention. Additionally, no African examples could be found in the literature.

  • Perception by (female) passengers
  • Perception by governing bodies
  • Level of confidence in these ratings


CCTV cameras themselves can be implemented very quickly. Once installed, they are immediately ready for use. However, setting up a control room for live monitoring and training staff will take longer. Overall, the timeframe is still less than a year. The benefits associated with CCTV cameras begin immediately once the cameras are installed and improve as perpetrators become aware of them. (10) Unfortunately, if the cameras are removed, the benefits start to disappear.

Implementation timeframe

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • >3 years

Timeframe to realise benefits

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • >3 years

Scale of Implementation

This intervention can be implemented at a local (station or suburb) or city level.

Station or

Ease of Implementation

If the funding and personnel to install, operate and monitor the cameras are available, implementation is simple. Access to a power supply is an important consideration.

List of References



5.Gekoski, A, Gray, JM, Horvath, MAH, Edwards, S, Emirali, A and Adler, JR. (2015) ‘What Works’ in Reducing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Offences on Public Transport Nationally and Internationally: A Rapid Evidence Assessment. London: British Transport Police and Department for Transport.

6. Hempel, L. (2006) CCTV in German Public Transport.[2 December 2021].

7. Norris, C and McCahill, M. (2006) CCTV: Beyond penal modernism? British Journal of Criminology, 46, 97–118.

8. Rajput, A. (2014) Security on the London Underground. [10 December 2021].

9. Priks, M. (2010) The effect of surveillance cameras on crime: Evidence from the Stockholm subway. CESifo working paper.

North America

North America

10. Welsh, B and Farrington, D. (2009) Public Area CCTV and Crime Prevention: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis. Justice Quarterly, 26:4, 716-745.

11. Mazerolle, L, Hurley, D and Chamlin, M. (2002) Social behaviour in public space: an analysis of behavioural adaptations to CCTV. Security Journal, 15, 59-75.

South America

South America

12. Gomez-Cardona, S, Mejia, D and Tobon, S. (2017) The Deterrent Effect of Public Surveillance Cameras on Crime.