Recent decades have seen the emergence of closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance as a situational crime prevention strategy used around the world. This study seeks to establish the effect of CCTVs on urban crime/ violence in Kampala city. Specifically this study establishes the effect of CCTV installation on urban crime/violence reduction, and clearance by police. The study employs a quasi-experimental design basing on the Uganda Police Force crime data/statistics. The study compares changes in urban crime/violence and crime clearance of locations in Kampala city where CCTVs have been installed, with comparable locations in the city without cameras. Crime data/statistics for 2016-2017—before CCTVs were installed, and that of 2019-2020 after cameras were installed will be used to determine the effect. Odds ratio (OR) are used to measure effect size, while regression analysis is employed to explore how the effects of CCTVs differ by location, seasonality, and during the course of the day.
The scope of this analysis is phase 1 and 2 were 740 cameras as viewed at the National Command and Control Center. Specifically, policing regions and respective districts within Kampala Capital City were cameras were deployed first are analyzed. The study fits well with EGAP’s priority theme on urban violence and policing. As cities in sub- Saharan Africa continue to experience high urban crime/violence catalyzed by the rapid urbanization and expansion of slums (Livingston, 2013), the need to adopt modern policing strategies becomes more evident. Modern policing mechanisms like CCTV surveillance can be useful in promoting public safety and security, but there is need for evaluation studies to establish the optimal circumstances or interventions that are needed to enhance this effect. Results of this study can be used as lessons to the Ugandan government and other governments in sub-Saharan Africa as they plan to rollout CCTV surveillance systems in their cities. This study can help to highlight policy issues that must be addressed to improve the effectiveness of CCTV cameras, and may act as a springboard for the analysis of micro-level factors that may hinder the effectiveness of CCTVs in a developing country context.
The study employed a quasi-experimental design basing on the Uganda Police Force crime data/statistics. This design has been found to offer the most robust CCTV evaluative assessments (Dąbrowski et al., 2018). The study compares changes in urban crime/violence and crime clearance of locations in Kampala city where CCTV cameras have been installed and Jinja Region without cameras. To have homogeneity in the sample, we analyze similar urban centers pre-CCTV installation and from time of CCTV installation to date. The period under consideration is 2018 (pre-year crime data before CCTV installation and 2020, 2021 after CCTV Installation around the country specifically the city Center of Metropolitan Area of Kampala).
- Has the installation of CCTV cameras led to urban crime/violence reduction in Kampala city?
- Has the installation of CCTV cameras led to increase in crime clearance by police in Kampala City?
- CCTV system has dramatically improved investigations. To date, CCTV camera evidence has helped in the investigation and prosecution of some case.
- Since the implementation of the Auto Number Plate Recognition Cameras, there has been an increase in car theft reporting and convictions of perpetrators by UPF surveillance and operations staff (Police Reports 2019, 2020).
- Since the CCTV Project phases 1 (within KMP) and 2 (outside KMP), there has been a notable increase in investigations, convictions, and vehicle recoveries in the pilot locations.