Lessons Learned from Crime Caught on Camera

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The widespread use of camera surveillance in public places offers criminologists the opportunity to systematically and unobtrusively observe crime, their main subject matter. The purpose of this essay is to inform the reader of current developments in research on crimes caught on camera.

We address the importance of direct observation of behavior and review criminological studies that used observational methods, with and without cameras, including the ones published in this issue. We also discuss the uses of camera recordings in other social sciences and in biology.

We formulate six key insights that emerge from the literature and make recommendations for future research.

Camera recordings of real-life crime are likely to become part of the criminological tool kit that will help us better understand the situational and interactional elements of crime. Like any source, it has limitations that are best addressed by triangulation with other sources.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)155-186
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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