Literature Review – public surveillance and security systems


2.1 Introduction

This chapter presents a critical analysis of various literature materials on public surveillance and security systems. With the aim of this study being to set framework for standards of surveillance camera control systems in public agencies in the UAE, much of the focus in this chapter is to identify the theoretical models related to public surveillance, alongside exploring empirical researches on the research problem. The first part of this chapter explores research protocol adopted in the identification of the literature materials used in this review. This is followed by theoretical analysis of the concept of public surveillance and security system. In this section, the definition(s) of public surveillance, surveillance cameras, and the security systems are defined. The theories supporting public surveillance systems are then brought into focus. Further, empirical studies related to the adoption of public surveillance systems in the UAE and other countries are analyzed. Based on the empirical research identified, research gaps are identified and this leads to the development of the conceptual framework in this study before the chapter concludes by highlighting the key theories and gaps in literature based on the available empirical research on public surveillance and public systems.

2.2 Search Protocol

Researchers agree that for an effective literature review, establishing a research protocol helps in fostering the external and internal validity of the study, and therefore determines the overall quality of the research findings. With this in mind, the researcher should define the type of literature sources and establish search criteria in order to ensure that only the most relevant and credible sources are reviewed. The key step in the search of literature materials involved the identification of key words. These were guided by the research aim, questions, and objectives in this study. As such, the main search items used in this study include surveillance systems in the public sector, surveillance cameras, standardization of quality of surveillance, theories of public surveillance, considerations for implementing public surveillance systems, technologies used in public surveillance systems, placement of public surveillance, and the quality of public surveillance. Among the key databases accessed using the above key words include Science Direct, Emerald, EBSCO, Google Scholar, and Taylor & Francis. These databases were preferred because of their popularity on materials related to social sciences and public policy peer reviewed materials. However, applying the key search terms was not enough, and thus the research established a search protocol aimed at selecting the most relevant and quality materials. The inclusion criteria of the searched materials include:

  1. Only those materials published in the English language were selected.
  2. The selected materials were either peer-reviewed journal articles or books.
  3. Only those materials that were published not earlier than the year 2000 were selected in order to ensure quality of information based on currency.
  4. Only those materials which contain information of public surveillance systems and relevant theories were selected.

2.3 Public surveillance and security system

2.3.1 Public surveillance notions

Public video surveillance system is a set of cameras network established for monitoring all real ongoing activities in public places and managed even by or for law enforcement agencies. these systems can be in simple form that include a small number of cameras or it can be in complex form which has a hundreds or thousands of cameras supplemented with special technologies, such as perfect resolution and magnification, accurate motion detection, infrared vision, and automated tracking, identification and archiving which enable the operator man to administrate these tools for monitoring, scanning and reviewing the activities in its real time (AGTOP Communities, 2006). Also, Somhorst identified the public surveillance systems as a system consists of a set of cameras attached to monitor screens in specific control room. These systems are purposing to provide an overview of a large area to a limited number of operators. These systems helping to detect abnormal situations, and then taking action according to the seriousness of the situation (Somhorst, 2012).

Surveillance technologies has changed and developed over the years, and it had many terms, such closed-circuit television (CCTV) that was the most used term until the introduction of video recording technology, thus it became not a closed circuit. Therefore, the most used term nowadays is surveillance camera systems as term for all current surveillance technologies. Closed circuit is a network of many cameras attached to closed-circuit system with a centralized television monitor used for recording the captured images using a direct transmission system, and only accessed by the persons who have the permission. The circuit technology still using beside the other surveillance technologies that provide remote operation. and connected by a wireless system, and many operators can watch the same activities from different locations, and this new technologies have several option that enable the operator to fully control of cameras, as moving, tilt, and zoom. These technologies had many terms as Police Observation Device (POD) and Portable Overt Digital Surveillance System (PODS) which employed to public surveillance (La Vigne, et al., 2011).

On the other hand, despite the many potential benefits of camera systems, their introduction can also result in tensions in communities being monitored. Notably, opponents of public surveillance systems are usually most concerned about the potential threat to civil liberties presented by the introduction of surveillance technology (Nestel, 2006). Similarly, some members of the public are concerned about the abuse of the technology by government agencies who might conduct extensive and potentially needless surveillance activities in addition to individual civilian or sworn personnel misusing cameras. Additionally, there are the issues also raises questions on the capability of public surveillance regulations and guidelines in preventing such abuse (Gill, 2006). Yet there are those who claim that surveillance cameras create a false sense of security thereby making potential victims of crime to lower their guard, which makes the “softer” targets for criminals. Moreover, they also argue that this might result in diminishing citizen guardianship and natural surveillance, because the public usually feels like there is no need for them to remain vigilant in monitoring public spaces because there already exists a surveillance system. On the other hand, some claim that a well-publicized camera system may in reality increase people’s fear and bring out other negative public responses by highlighting the crime problems in an area. Another concern surrounding the use of public surveillance is the threat of crime displacement. In this case, critics of public surveillance argue that efforts to reduce opportunities for crime do not in effect lower crime, but simply changes the where, when, or how it the crime is committed (Cornish  & Ronald, 1987). As a result, the introduction of cameras in one location or neighborhood can result in increased crime elsewhere.



  1. 3. 2 Surveillance cameras systems

Surveillance Camera is a form of formal surveillance, it consider an important tool for police patrols and alarm systems (Welsh & Farrengton, 2003, 2009). More common surveillance camera installations include a number of cameras connected together and linked to special control room where operators watch a bank of television screens. Most of surveillance technology use overt cameras to be obvious, also there are some other technologies in which the cameras are protected by polycarbonate domes shell  and known as semi overt camera that confuse the people if they are under monitoring or not. Other types of cameras have dummy lenses to be difficult to know the direction that cameras monitor (Ratcliffe, 2006).

In most cases, surveillance cameras are pre-programmed to scan a specific area following a specific pattern known as a “tour”. Others are operated remotely by security personnel or by the use of automated computer surveillance programs which aids in focusing on specific areas or activities of interest (Aos, Barnoski, & Lieb, 2001). With surveillance technology changing rapidly, there are more sophisticated systems which incorporate audio equipment or motion sensors which provide more information on the area under surveillance ranging from detecting sounds particularly gunshots to others which are able to read and recognize license plates (Ratcliffe and Travis, 2008). Fundamentally, cameras in a public surveillance network are positioned strategically in order to maximize their effectiveness. According to Skogan (2006), in most cases, the location of the cameras is usually determined by carefully examining crime patterns using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). However, this method is not sufficient enough and therefore also relies on the input from local law enforcement agencies and other key stakeholders in identifying crime hotspots in relation to where they believe surveillance will be of most benefit (Ratcliffe, 2006). Once the target locations have been identified, the next step I to identify the optimal number and exact locations of cameras. In this case, the coverage area of the camera network which refers to the area that the cameras can collectively “see” is a function of the saturation and distribution of cameras and the range of visibility of each camera, commonly referred to as the viewshed (Barr and Pease, 1990). Fundamentally, the range of the cameras visibility is determined by its technological abilities among them the ability to pan, zoom, and focus. However, this is can be restricted by the lighting in the surrounding area or by obstructions blocking the camera’s line of sight (Chisholm, 2000).

It is important to note that surveillance cameras are only one component of a public surveillance system. This is because other arrangements for monitoring, recording, and response to the video footage also plays an equally important role in the effectiveness of the system in both the prevention and detection of crime (Weisburd  & Green, 1995). These factors differ broadly depending on the purposes of the system as well as the resources at hand. Surveillance cameras can be categorized either as passive or active. Passive camera systems rely upon the retrieval of previously recorded images, which are reviewed after-the-fact as needed, while on the other hand active systems are monitored in real time, typically by police or private security personnel (Painter and Tilley, 1999). Moreover, the effectiveness of active monitoring depends on the frequency the images from each camera are displayed, the number of operators in relation to video monitoring screens, as well as the training and experience of the operators in relation to detection and response to suspicious activity (Welsh and David, 2008). In most cases passive and active systems are used simultaneously as few agencies have enough resources to actively monitor all cameras constantly.

  1. 3. 3 Security systems

Historically, the use of technology to aid surveillance is reported to have begun in the 1970s with the surveillance camera systems. The major components of these analog based systems include cameras, multiplexers, video camera recorders (VCR) and monitors (Simonato, 2014). The limitations of these systems included the need for a lot of coaxial cable wiring to send and store the video onto video tapes, the tedious and labor-intensive routine in maintaining the VCR due to their low storage capacity, their need for frequent service checks and short life span of two years and finally the time consuming and strenuous task of rewinding the tapes to trace evidence. The Digital Video Recorder (DVR) technology was birthed in response to the shortcomings of the VCR. In a DVR, a digital storage media such as a computer hard drive is used for storing the video recordings and the recordings could be transferred to a tape for archiving if needed. However, a DVR also has its own limitations in that it is usually a local solution where at least one DVR unit is required per location (Makin et al., 2016).

Axis communications invented the first network camera in 1996 while IQinVision built on this feat to produce the first megapixel model in 1998. Milestone Systems contributed its quota by introducing the first open platform software for managing digital camera based surveillance camera system. By 2003 there were more sophisticated computer based DVRs on the market that could handle multi‑camera input and provide additional functionality such as alarm handling, activity detection, alarm notification and remote access. With the digital network approach, archiving and storage are more efficient and compression standards also improved for optimized system use. In 2004 Axis released the first network camera with Power over Ethernet (POE) that significantly improved ease of hardware installations and the flexibility to add, move or change cameras on the network at any time.  Presently, digital cameras with network interfaces have become widely available from an increasing number of manufacturers, with high definition image quality and sophisticated camera functionalities. These cameras are directly attached to a data network, such as a local or wide area network from where the camera is then directly accessed and viewed from a computer on the network. As a result of the huge capital already spent to install the analog camera surveillance, network video servers also known as video encoders evolved to help convert traditional analog video camera output to digital data for connecting to the network thereby allowing seamless migration from existing analog or basic DVR systems to network based digital solutions (Piza, 2016; Willits and Makin, 2017).

Since the invention of the first network camera by Axis Communications, the market has become a cluster of activities with different manufacturers from different countries and continents. Each make of digital camera produced had its own features and functions, video encoding or compression schemes, supported network protocols and the API for use by the video management software of the manufacturer in question. The need for standardization for the instilment of order and synergy in the industry birthed two groups namely Open Network Video Interface Alliance (ONVIF) and the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) both in 2008. These two groups have designed standards for the purposes of interoperability; thereby permitting users of existing equipment maintain functionality with new purchases from other members of the group. ONVIF originated with three initial members namely AXIS communications, BOSCH and Sony. Presently, there are 438 members comprising of 18 full members, 22 contributing members and 398 PSIA on the other hand was formed by 20 member companies including Honeywell, GE security and Cisco. A review of the membership of both groups reveals that some companies belong to. Furthermore, the ONVIF commands the major players in the industry while PSIA represents companies with lower IP camera share.

The only way to protect users’ investments and future-proof their digital surveillance camera systems is to truly embrace open standards. Companies that want to survive the consolidation trend and achieve sustainable, profitable growth will need to build standards-based video integration platforms. Free and uninterrupted access to the underlying code for camera drivers is a real strength of the true open standards approach. In-house or third-party developers can address bugs and issues immediately without needing to rely on a vendor, whose priorities and resources may not always align with users (Makin et al., 2016). Standards-driven organizations like Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) and the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) are committed to the adoption of IP in the security market and ensuring interoperability between digital based physical security products regardless of the manufacturer. These groups are open industry forums and global consortiums focused on the development of a global standard and promoting interoperability. Though they have been around for years, these organizations and their standards have unfortunately not taken off as they should, had the industry truly embraced open standards. Ironically, the slow-down in innovation in the industry has given these forums the time they have needed to tighten standards, priming the industry to finally embrace a true open standards-based platform. Vendors within the physical security industry need to start pushing for this interoperability and utilizing development resources on standards based integrations rather than on their own proprietary integrations or the whole industry loses (Piza, 2016). The end goal should be to empower the users and provide standards-based solutions that are truly open.

2.4 Theories Supporting the Effectiveness of Public Surveillance Camera Systems

In essence, a majority of the theories explaining the effectiveness of public surveillance technology as a tool for controlling crime are based on the logic that, if potential a offender knows that they are being observed, they will desist from criminal activity.  Particularly, this premise is mostly consistent with rational choice theory, which proposes that would-be offenders make decisive and logical decisions to commit crimes after evaluating the potential costs and benefits of the crime in question. Using the rational choice theory and SCP to public surveillance use, one can therefore hypothesize that any effect of cameras on offenders’ perceptions is likely to take the form of increasing the risk of being caught. On the other hand, in order to increase the perceived risk, an offender must be conscious of the presence of the camera(s) and therefore be discouraged from committing a crime. Hidden camera systems achieve this by strategically positioning cameras in plain public sight and pairing them with signage and/or flashing lights advertising their presence. In most cases, such systems usually depend on media and publicity campaigns to communicate information to would-be offenders. Nonetheless, even when potential offenders are well informed that there is a surveillance system in place, what they they may not know is the extent of the system and its capabilities. As a result, this knowledge gap about what the cameras can capture may actually increase their deterrent effect. As is manifested with other crime prevention measures, such as hot spot policing, cameras might even prevent crime in areas extending from the immediate area of intervention, in a phenomenon referred to as diffusion of benefits.

Public surveillance systems may also have the effect of preventing crime by increasing perceptions of safety among law-abiding users of the public areas being monitored by the cameras, thus encouraging the public to visit more often places they might beforehand have feared visiting. Given that more people use these spaces for pro-social purposes, their presence may act as a further crime deterrence measure as they provide natural surveillance as unofficial guardians and potential witnesses. Supporters of the use of public surveillance systems also theorize that its surveillance capabilities can improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system. This is because the constant monitoring of the camera can alert police of crimes and potentially dangerous situations as they occur, thus providing the police with crucial information that can assist in determining the safest and most effective response, in terms of the numbers of law enforcement officers to be deployed and their response tactics to the scene. Video footage recording crimes that occurred and identifying perpetrators and witnesses may assist in investigations and prosecutions, thereby increasing the efficiency of law enforcement agencies as well as the prosecution. It is also beneficial to the victims of crimes whose cases are able to be solved through the use of video evidence, and incapacitating a greater number of offenders from committing future crimes.

  1. 4. 1 Rational choice theory

There is a difference views among researchers concern the usefulness of surveillance camera systems, some of them suppose that these technologies not have any benefits, but they claim it as a  waste of limited financial resources, in addition it not have more documented success at proven crime, and negatively affect the privacy of whom under observation (Davies, 1996). The others support the benefits of these technologies as an efficient tools for preventing crimes and invaluable method for the arrest of offenders (Horne, 1996), and this trend is matching the principal of the rational theory. This theory was proposed by Clarke and Cornish in 1986 for attempting to interpret the reason beyond offenders to commit crimes. It has initiated from the economics theories but recently it used from researchers to explain the offender’s behavior (Jennette, 2013). This theory support the effectiveness of surveillance camera systems as a tool for control crimes, and that explained through making rational decision from offenders when they know their actions are being monitored, and also after weighing the expected benefits and cost to commit the crimes (Cornish et al., 2003).

Also the rational theory is embodied under the principal of Situational Crime Prevention (SCP), which describe the available opportunities which make offenders have to change their minds, as (1) there is a risk of being arrested; (2) there are difficult and hardly can commit the crime; (3) decreasing the benefits of crimes; (4) decrease the challenge that lead to criminal opportunities; (5) increasing the feeling of shame of you are being guilty (Clarke & Ronald, 1997). The application the rational choice theory and SCP to surveillance camera systems proves that the camera has a great impact on the offenders’ decision regards the deterred from committing crime, especially if they have known the camera existence. That will obvious when placing the overt camera in public places besides advertising with flashing lights to appear for everyone easily.  The media and publicity campaigns have important role in communicate the information about distribution of surveillance cameras in such public places to criminals. Also, incomplete knowledge of the surveillance cameras abilities from the offenders, create deterrent impact and make offenders be scared of commit crimes. From mentioned above, there is evident that surveillance cameras system has a great role in preventing the crimes, and assure the safety for people in public places monitored by cameras.

  1. 4. 2 The routine activity

The routine activity theory: this theory developed by Cohen and Felson (1979), the idea of this theory concern its impact as “controllers” which enforce the prevention of the crimes. This theory has listed the main required factors for appearance of criminal event. These factors are motivated criminal, an object or the victim, lack of security or absence of police presence. If one of these factors not found the crime can’t take place. That prove the benefit of setting the surveillance camera as crime prevention and has impact on changing the daily behavior or/ routine of both offender and victim, and thus make change in crime triangle (Lavigne et al., 2011 and Jennete, 2013).

Fundamentally, the routine activities theory gives a macro viewpoint on crime as it predicts how changes in social and economic conditions have the ability to influence the overall crime and victimization rate. In their study Felson and Cohen (1980) argues that criminal activities are a “structurally significant phenomenon,” which means that violations are neither accidental nor inconsequential events (390). Technically, it is the regular activities people participate in over the course of their day and night lives that makes some people more vulnerable to being seen as soft targets by a rationally scheming criminal. Routine activities theory relates the pattern of offending to the daily patterns of social interaction. Accordingly, crime is normal and depends on available opportunities to commit crime. If there is a defenseless target and there are satisfactory rewards, a motivated offender will commit a crime.

In relation to the appropriate targets, the preference is influenced by the offender’s view of the target’s susceptibility. Therefore, the more suitable and accessible the target, the more likely a crime will occur.  Accordingly, the presence of capable guardians is deemed as a way of deterring individuals from offending. In this case, guardianship can refer to the physical presence of a person who is able to act in a defensive manner or in the form of more passive mechanical devices such as video surveillance or security systems. These physical security measures aid in limiting an offender’s access to defenseless targets. The fundamental aspect of routine activities theory is the intersection of motivation, opportunity and targets. Therefore, the presence of guardians will discourage most offenders, making even eye-catching targets off limits (Cahill, Meagan and Downey, 2010). Accordingly, one can argue that the presence of opportunity together with a lack of guardianship increases criminal motivations and the chances of a crime taking place.

However, Choe in 2008 argued this theory as it not actually prevent or reduce the crime, but make crime displacement. He stated that the crime may happen in another place can’t cover with surveillance camera system, especially when the victim’ identification is not known, as in cybercrimes. Some studies proven this when studied the routine activities theory on computer-based crimes (Marcum, 2008; Mensch, 2009). Installation surveillance camera system as guardian tool for reduce or prevent the illegal acts support the application of routine activates theory as a theoretical framework. Some studies reported that surveillance camera operators feel boring sometimes and use these movable cameras for unethical uses and penetrate the home privacy and see the private daily activity of people; or may use these cameras to monitor the activities of people accordance for their race, nationality or other demographic factors (Norris & Armstrong, 1998). Therefore finding or appointment the reliable operators for monitoring activity of surveillance system is important factor for safe use and serve  the actual purpose of these system. The unethical use of camera from some operators reveal the important role of ethical use policies which play the strong guard on the operators’ attitude and remove one element of the crime triangle and then prevent the unethical use of surveillance cameras even for recorded video or data (Jennete, 2013).

Some researcher critiqued the routine activates theory and confessed the social learning theory, as they consider the social learning theory is the appropriate one to explain the happening of crimes in respect of the studies of surveillance camera system and operators attitude and support the social learning theory as theoretical framework (Rye & Meaney, 2007).

  1. 4. 3 Social learning Theory

Social learning theory developed by Ronald Akers and relay on the behavioral science theory. This theory put highlight on the offenders’ peer group as factor in defining if such person participate in criminal acts. In another word, this theory explain that the offender lean how to commit a crime by connecting with other offenders. Akers determined three elements that force person to commit a crime, as (1) reinforcement, (2) values and attitudes, and (3) imitation. Akers stated that the values and attitude of person affected directly by social environment and community structure, peers, and the family. If the person involves in criminal group, he will imitate their behavior, and become an offender (Akers & Jensen, 2009). Applying punishment or reward strategy will enhance or reject such of these acquired behaviors. The studies conducted on the surveillance camera’ operators bias, support the application of social learning theory as evaluating methods of performance of these operators (Rye & Meaney, 2007; Surette, 2005).

Some studies reported that operators of surveillance system may monitor targeted group depending on appearance rather than any obvious reason or any real criminal or illegal behavior as a social control method. Also, it reported that surveillance tools are used in some abuses in monitor individuals or group. On other cases, the places where police or security deployed by control room operators served in ejecting the teenagers according to their profiles rather than their attitude that were monitored by operators. This prove the principle of social learning theory in explanation of these behavior as modeling of peer behavior. If the organization doesn’t have accurate policies for regulating such of these behaviors, the attitude of the operators will based of what they acquired from their peer   (McCahill, 2002; Saetnan et al., 2004; Schlosberg & Ozer, 2007; Rye & Meaney, 2007; Electronic Privacy Information Center, 2008).

Some studied conducting based on the social learning theory in the case of surveillance system revealed that some operators may use the surveillance tools in voyeurism and monitors and records the activities inside surrounded homes, especially a sexual acts by using infrared cameras without victim’ knowledge (Electronic Privacy Information Center, 2008; Akers & Jensen, 2009; Draeger, 2011). Also, the trend of media which use the recorded videos from these operators without any pre-permission or without any investigation about how these video recorded and why? Consider as a reward and motive for these operators and their peer to continue in recording and publicize more unauthorized videos.  On the other hand, the application of strict rules and punishment will inhibit the unethical used of surveillance’ tools (Jermyn, 2004; Rye & Meaney, 2007). Table 2.1 below shows a summary of the key theories explored in this study with regard to the use of public surveillance in controlling crime.

2.4.4 Situational Crime Prevention Theory

This theory was developed by the British Criminological Research Department in 1975, and is mainly concerned with the reduction of opportunities for offenders to commit crime by making it harder and riskier for them to engage into unlawful activities. This involves environmental designs especially in buildings to make it difficult for criminals to engage in unlawful activities without being noticed. This involves the adoption of CCTV cameras in buildings that are well lit so that criminals would not freely commit crimes without being noticed. Basically, as pointed out by Clarke & Mathew (1980), the concept of situational crime prevention is mainly concerned with the alteration of the environment in order to change how potential offenders perceive opportunities of engaging in crime in the areas. Based on the rational assessment of the offenders, the environment is designed in such a way that the offenders cannot escape unnoticed and this deters them from engaging into the crime. Usage of CCTVs has been one of the most common methods through which situational crime prevention has relied on. While research has shown that introduction of CCTVs in many urban buildings have contributed towards decreased crimes in the buildings/adjacent streets, this theory finds its strength on the concept of deterrence as a way of preventing crime.

2.4.5 Technology Acceptance Model

Since most surveillance systems are technology-based, it is important to look into the perspective of how the technology system is adaptable to the owners and security agencies deployed to monitor them. Technology acceptance model (TAM) is one of the most popular models which were established by Davis (2004) where he argued that users of technology are motivated by some factors like the perceived usefulness and ease of use. Perceived usefulness is the extent to which a technology is easy to use based on the technical aspects of the system, whereas perceived usefulness is the benefits that users associate with the technology (Venkatesh et al, 2012). According to Davis, users of a particular technology are basically motivated to continue using the technology if it is easy to use and the benefits surpass the costs. With regard to the usage of CCTV surveillance systems, its adoption is attributed to the ease at which crime is monitored through the systems, and the outcome of leveraging the technology on the safety of the people (Yildiz, 2007). Using TAM model, the researcher in this study is interested to explore whether the surveillance system adopted in UAE meets Davis TAM model provisions as the guiding motivations for its adoption.

2.4.6 The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) Model

UTAUT model was first established by Venkatesh and colleagues in 2003, which mainly an extension of the previous theories including the TAM model. According to Venkatesh, the main factors that determine the acceptance of a technology is the effort expectancy (EE), performance expectancy (PE), social influence (SE), and facilitating conditions (FC). Effort expectancy is mainly attributed to how the technology makes work easier with less use of effort, while performance expectancy is the expected outcomes as a result of leveraging the technology (Venkatesh et al, 2003). However, Venkatesh (2012) observed there is no superior technology than the other, what matters is the differential expectations of the users and their needs. The social aspect of the technology is also a critical factor, where its impact on the social actors is considered to be a critical motivator for the adoption of the technology (DeLone and McLean, 2003). For instance, the use of CCTVs is considered to be a deterrence system for prevention of crimes within a particular area, and thus reducing social evils within the area. Such a technology would thus be considered to be having more positive social impact in the society. In addition, facilitating conditions for technology include the availability legal frameworks, power supply, internet connectivity, and availability of skilled manpower among others. This implies that, if a public surveillance technology would be successful, the availability of facilitating conditions like internet connections, power, respective laws, and skilled manpower ought to be availed. This study would therefore explore whether these four aspects of UTAUT framework are satisfied in UAE public surveillance system.

2.4.7 The Information System Success Model

This model was developed by DeLone & McLean (2003) who argued that for an information system to be successful; various aspects must be considered which include information quality, system quality, and service quality determined the intention to use and user satisfaction. Information quality is related to the extent at which the information relayed is accurate, complete, timely, and relevant to the user. In terms of security system, the nature of the technology in terms of the way information is timely relayed in accurate manner is a critical consideration (DeLone and McLean, 2003). Further, the aspect of system quality, which is related to the process of establishing the technology system with regard to the physical and software attributes, is also another important consideration for establishing a successful information system. With poor system qualities, it becomes difficult for people work with it and hence reducing its viability (Calisir et al, 2014). Lastly, the aspect of service quality which related to how service providers are reliable and responsive is also another important consideration for a successful information system (Gupta, 2011). For instance, in CCTV surveillance system, when internet providers offer poor service that is not reliable or responsive, then it becomes difficult for the security information system to succeed. The same applies to power providers. On this basis, therefore, for a successful security information system, it is important that the system quality, information quality, and service quality be considered as the key success factors for the system.

Table 2.1 – Summary of Theories Explored

Theory Author/Date Concept
Rational choice theory Davies (996) This theory is embodied under the principal of Situational Crime Prevention (SCP), which describe the available opportunities which make offenders have to change their minds.
The routine activity Cohen and Felson (1979) The idea of this theory is based on the impact  of controllers, which enforce the prevention of the crimes, where the availability of surveillance systems makes offenders to develop fear of being watched over all the time
Social learning theory Ronald Akers (1971) This theory highlights on the offenders’ peer group as factor in defining if such person participate in criminal acts
Situational Crime Prevention Theory Clarke & Mayhew (1980) Concerned with the reduction of opportunities for offenders to commit crime by making it harder and riskier for them to engage into unlawful activities
TAM Davis (2004) Users of technology are motivated by some factors like the perceived usefulness and ease of use
UTAUT Model Venkatesh et al (2003) The main factors that determine the acceptance of a technology is the effort expectancy (EE), performance expectancy (PE), social influence (SE), and facilitating conditions (FC)
The Information System Success Model DeLone & McLean (2003) For an information system to be successful; various aspects must be considered which include information quality, system quality, and service quality determined the intention to use and user satisfaction


  1. 5 General principles of Surveillance public places

Setting general principles for using surveillance camera technologies in public places is complex and confused step, because there are many considerations should be noted, as acceptance things will differ among communities and individuals. There are many users for surveillance as organizations, agencies and government. Therefore, there are six general principals have as follows:


  1. 5. 1 First principle: People are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy when in public places

There is international agreement about people’ expectations regards the privacy includes the activities in public areas. Both European and Canadian human rights instruments approved the expectation of people regards the their privacy in public places (P.G. and J.H. v, 2001), and Also United Kingdom and United States revealed that people privacy is not limited to private places only (Campbell, 2004). Also the Irish Law Reform Commission declared that privacy is a personal right, and The NSW Law Reform Commission (NSWLRC) confirmed this notion (Ireland Law Reform Commission, 1998 & NSW Law Reform Commission, 2001).

Few members of the Victorian parliament agreed with people privacy in public places as beach. Examples of other some privacy expectation in public places regarding the wearing clothes to cover some intimate parts of body and not speaking in any personal topic, and this opinion gain more popularity (Moreham, 2006).  Although, there are some suggestions debated the approval of little or no expected privacy in public areas, the parliament acknowledged some limitation in using surveillance camera in public place, as example for that it is not permitted to record a private funeral on a public street without approval from the child’s parents. The commission listed some factors that expectation of privacy will depend on. these factors are (1) the location itself, (2) nature of the actions that being monitor, (3)  type of surveillance system used, (4) the identity of the individual being monitor- public figure, (5) whether the surveillance was covert or harassing in nature (Report of Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2010).


  1. 5. 2 Second principals: operators of surveillance systems in public places should act responsibly and consider the privacy’ expectations of individuals

This principle concern that surveillance system operators must consider the privacy expectations of people, as prohibition of installing surveillance camera inside the fitting room in stores. In other cases, the privacy expectation may be not clear for surveillance operators, and should to review the regulator to be sure about what activities and places should be monitor and what should not be (Report of Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2010).


  1. 5. 3 Third principle: operators of surveillance systems in public places should inform people about the use of those monitor systems

This principle seeks to raise the people awareness about the existence of surveillance systems that monitor their activities. This knowledge may play role in adjusting the people attitudes and reduces the illegal activities, therefore, the people have right to know when they will monitor and from whom, and for what? All agencies representing the domestic people indicated that transparency about who has access to these surveillance systems should be known (Report of Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2010)).

The cases that should be inform people about monitor system depend on context, as example, it is reasonable to inform people with putting signs with the surveillance camera existence in the stores, but not reasonable that anyone take photo with his mobile should inform people or put a sign.  Therefore, the regulator when he determine what reasonable, should consider the type of surveillance system and circumstances of each place (Report of Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2010)

  1. 5. 4 Fourth principle: the organization conducting surveillance in Public place should be for a valid purpose related to its activities

This principle assures the illegal us of surveillance system from organizations or agencies and should be a reasonable purpose for using these technologies. The NSWLRC determined the following valid uses of public place surveillance systems such as (1) guard of the individuals, (2) maintain of property, (3) protection of the public interest, (4) various categories, ‘protection of legitimate objects, (NSW Law Reform Commission, 2001). There is difficulty in determining the purposes or situations where the surveillance system should be exist in public places, due to the various condition for every case or place. Therefore, this principle may encourage the operators of surveillance system to be more accurate in determining their purpose, and regulators should be helping in putting the guidelines for the system operators (Report of Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2010).

  1. 5. 5 Fifth principle: the surveillance systems in Public places should be symmetrical to its legitimate aims

This principle keen to assure that using surveillance system is suitable for its purpose and not for opposite. As example, when some organizations using an x-ray body scanner it should be for protect people from any physical harm, not for protecting a minor loss of properties is not a valid purpose, and this confirm that the user of surveillance system should care about using a least privacy-intrusive means (Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2005). The European Human Rights Convention confirmed the proportionality between the surveillance systems and the purposed targets, also the recommendations of a study regarding the social and political impacts of surveillance camera system in European cities that the use of surveillance camera in public places should be for a limited set of obviously purposes (Hempel and Töpfer, 2004)

  1. 5. 6sixth principle: Reasonable procedures should be followed to protect information gathered through surveillance systems in public places from misuse or inappropriate disclosure

This principle aims to protection of any information gathered by surveillance systems in public places, therefore the operators should be responsible persons that can do that for avoid any harmful actins for innocent people. surveillance operators should have a strict procedures in handling with the gathered information and keep it in special save room and not permit to anyone to access to these information or have right to release it without pre-permission. On the other side, there are some operators can release such of these information (images, audio or video) to external parties, and didn’t have any procedures to protect these data. Therefore, this principle has set for inhibition any misuse of gathered information by surveillance system in public places (Report of Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2010).

Furthermore, these principles are not sufficient for providing the accurate justifications for surveillance as if there are some regulations or laws that can support these principles which mentioned above for provide the necessary and sufficient conditions to justify the use of surveillance (Macnish, 2014).

  1. 6 Legislative framework of Surveillance system

Although the wide use of camera surveillance systems as a tool for monitoring the activities in public places, there are some worries and criticizes from the excessive expanding in using this technology – especially from organizations- as it lacks of appropriate regulations that regulate and control the use of such technologies and protect the citizen’s rights and privacy (Hempel & Topfer, 2004; Hier & Greenberg, 2009; Jennette, 2013). Therefore, the improper use of the video feeds from the surveillance cameras was the cause in issuing a few municipalities legislation which regulate the use of security surveillance cameras and protect human rights (King et al., 2008 & Jennette, 2013).

Two countries’ surveillance camera standards have been reviewed. Although Great Britain leads the world in the use of surveillance camera surveillance systems, the country reacted slowly to introduce legislation that could control the public domain observations. The Human Rights Act 1998, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and the Data Protection Act 1998 had elements that specifically regulated surveillance camera operations (Webster, 2002).

  • The Human Rights Act 1998 included two sections that applied to the use of surveillance camera surveillance systems. The first section, Article 6, addressed the right to a fair trial. The second, Article 8, protected the right to respect for family and private life. The Act established British law that allowed surveillance video of the public domain to be used in criminal cases.
  • Specifically drafted to control government surveillance camera operations, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 provided legal guidelines for police agencies. The act required that surveillance camera be proportionate, legal, accountable, and necessary. This legislation required supervisory oversight and meticulous record keeping.
  • The Data Protection Act 1998 required that the installation and operation of surveillance camera systems to monitor public domains had to be done in conformance with a specific legal basis. The act also required any government or private entity to register surveillance systems with the Data Commissioner. This legislation prohibits the release of images except for purposes of crime prevention and detection. The act required every surveillance camera surveillance system to be registered with the Information Commissioner and to be operated using the principles of openness, fairness and proportionality.
  • In July 2000, the British Data Commissioner issued a document entitled, “Surveillance Camera Codes of Practice.” This government missive provided data protection rules for the gathering, storage and protection of surveillance camera images. In order to ensure that every surveillance camera system operated in compliance with the Code, every system had to be registered with the government by 2003 (Trimek, 2016). This major set of guidelines requires all persons utilizing surveillance camera systems to:
  • install cameras at locations based on specific crime or public safety needs
  • use the system for the stated purpose and not for other labor or employee performance reasons
  • be able to view only the areas related to the problem and not surrounding private property
  • maintain records showing access and chain of custody for all images
  • adhere to retention restrictions for images
  • allow image subjects to obtain copies of any and all images
  • implement safeguards to prevent improper access to images

Based on a claim of invasion to privacy allegedly committed by police authorities in Great Britain, the European Commission of Human Rights ruled that images taken of a person in a public area do not constitute a privacy violation as long as the images are not made available to the general public.  Similar to the American system of justice, English law often develops when magistrates interpret legislation as it applies to actual incidents. Deliberation in criminal courts provides judges with the opportunity to decide how a law was intended to regulate society. Technological advances periodically stretch the boundaries of the written law (Kim and Park, 2016; Webster, 2002). When the English rules of evidence were established regarding images, photographs were among the items considered by the lawmakers. Surveillance camera surveillance system pictures unveiled a new ability to capture the actions of persons over a wide range of area. In 1982, English courts (R v. Grimer and R v. Fowden and White) decided that this new technology should possess the same validity as that of an eyewitness observation. In addition to legal standards established to control surveillance camera systems in England, informal guidelines were published for private companies considering the implementation of this technology. The guidelines have no legal standing but are published by the Home Office as a resource for private and public organizations considering the introduction of surveillance camera. The Home Office guidelines offer private entities the opportunity to utilize the police as consultants and advisors in the implementation of surveillance camera schemes. In its efforts to successfully introduce surveillance camera surveillance systems to the public domain, the political leadership of the United Kingdom encourages the use of the Police Service (Trimek, 2016). The guidelines state that law enforcement professionals are available to evaluate the need for surveillance camera; establish a code of practice; train operators; develop command and control formats; encourage community support; and conduct spot checks during operational periods.

When it comes to U.S. Federal law, there is little that specifically applies to regulating surveillance camera systems. The primary issue attached to the surveillance camera debate lies in the belief that Americans have a right to privacy. The Constitution of the United States does not guarantee a right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, but it does not limit actions that private citizens can engage in that directly affect another person’s privacy. The legal restrictions apply only to actions precipitated by the government and arguably limit infringement upon privacy, but they do not provide a right to that privacy. The courts have ruled that government entities may observe public areas because no expectation of privacy exists. Technology may be used to conduct surveillance camera but not to intercept communication between people (Simonato, 2014; Han et al., 2015). The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 requires a search warrant in order to monitor conversations in the public arena.

The key piece of legislation empowering government agencies to conduct surveillance camera surveillance over public domains lies in the 1967 Supreme Court case, Katz v. United States.  In that case, the Court ruled that a reasonable expectation of privacy test should be applied in order to determine if a government search was illegal. The test required answering two questions: did the subject of the search have an expectation of privacy and would society agree upon the subject’s belief that the expectation was reasonable. Only if both questions were answered in the affirmative would there be reason to acquire a search warrant before seizing evidence. Second millennium societal beliefs do not hold that public spaces provide an individual with an expectation of privacy (Kim and Park, 2016; Han et al., 2015). Due to this existing mindset, the use of video technology to monitor public areas would not be in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution [13].  The United States has a variety of professional organizations that provide operational and administrative guidance for its members. Four major law enforcement organizations developed an accrediting agency to assist departments in creating and maintaining professional standards. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) provides a rigorous certification process for the nation’s police departments. As of December 2005, the only CALEA standards regulating surveillance camera in organizations that submit to the certification process include the following:

  • 8.2 If audio and/or visual surveillance equipment is used, a written directive specifies that the equipment will be controlled to reduce the possibility of invading a detainee’s privacy.
  • 3.8 If agency-owned, in-car audio or video recording systems are used, a written directive establishes policy and procedures for the following:
  • a) situations for use
  • b) tape security and access
  • c) tape storage and retention
  • 1.4 A written directive establishes a system for the authorization, distribution, and use of surveillance and undercover equipment.
  • 2.2 A written directive governs procedures used for photography and video-taping pursuant to the collection and preservation of evidence and specifies the information to be recorded at the time this tape is taken

Since legal guidelines do not yet restrict the use of surveillance camera surveillance systems, the Justice Department issued policy guidelines for surveillance camera by government agencies (Kim and Park, 2016). The standard presents the opinion that the existing Federal Wiretap Act (Title III) does not control the use of surveillance camera systems. It also notes that requests for search warrants permitting the use of surveillance camera have been held to a higher standard in six of the circuit courts (Han et al., 2015). Foreseeing the increased use of technology in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases, the American Bar Association developed a set of standards entitled “Technologically-Assisted Physical Surveillance.” Standard 2-9.1 states that the need for regulation arises because technology can “diminish privacy, freedom of speech, association and travel, and the openness of society.” The committee responsible for the drafting of the document did not recommend prohibiting surveillance camera surveillance camera of public domains. Instead, the guidance directed law enforcement officials to coordinate with the citizens of the area where the proposed video coverage would extend (Webster, 2002). The collaboration would include advising the citizens of the intended location of the camera and its capabilities. Additionally, public meetings should be held so that the value of the continued surveillance could be evaluated or improved upon. The standard strongly recommended the development of administrative controls and protocols for the storage and release of images.

Accordingly, a collective agreement on how surveillance cameras should be used vital to the legality of the use of cameras especially in public places (Haggerty & Gazso, 2005). While there are some rules offering some protection against video searches by the police, currently are no general, legally enforceable rules to limit the intrusion of people’s privacy and protect against the abuse of surveillance systems.  Therefore, there is a need for rules that establishes a clear public understanding of such issues as to how video footage is recorded, under what conditions, and how long are they retained. Moreover, there is a need to delineate the criteria for access to archived video by government and law enforcement agencies, or even by the public. It also necessities the laying down of procedure on how the rules will be verified and enforced and the resulting punishments for those violating these laws. Notably, there exists a well-established rule governing the recording of audio files without a person’s knowledge which is why surveillance cameras never have microphones. Unfortunately, there are no such laws for video recordings (Ratcliffe & Travis, 2008).

It is without a doubt that video surveillance significantly affects public life and it brings out subtle but insightful changes to the character of public places. When people are being monitored  by the authorities or  are aware that  they might be watched at any time  they tend to be  more self-conscious. Accordingly, this raises issue as the fact that one is being watched might call attention to those monitoring the systems. Also, it tends to intimidate the people who in turn learn how to be careful when in public. They also tend to change their appearances lest they be viewed as gang members, terrorists and even hookers. As a matter of fact, studies of surveillance cameras in Britain indicated that people appeared to be “out of time and place” with the surroundings when subjected to extensive video surveillance. The bottom line is that similar to any intrusive technology, the benefits of setting up public video cameras must be balanced against the costs and dangers. In essence video surveillance technology (a) has the potential change the core experience of going out in public in America because of its chilling effect on citizens, (b) carries very real dangers of abuse and “mission creep,” and (c) would not automatically protect against crime. Therefore, advanced surveillance systems such as video surveillance needs have a system of checks and balances. Moreover, given that the technology has evolved so quickly, a need for checks and balances becomes a necessity in order to prevent different kinds of abuses by those using and monitoring the surveillance systems (Surette, 2005).

  1. 7 Enforcement on the surveillance in UAE

The United Arab Emirates is keen on its security as reflected on the way the government has been spending on surveillance activities alongside the development of various legislations related to surveillance. Security is obligatory procedure with continuous development in all economic sectors, such as the fields of commerce, tourist, shipping, investment, and finance. Therefore, in the last decade, United Arab Emirates tended to deploy a camera surveillance system in all sectors as an effective security system, and there is intention for doubling the security spending from $5.5 billion to more than $10 billion (United Arab Emirates, 2016).

In Dubai, there are about 30,000 cameras, 3000 only in Dubai Airport alone. Also, about 73,375 cameras were installed in 2017 in Ras al-Khaimah, 450 in Ajman, in Abu-Dhabi there are 166 camera in all roads, addition to 7770 camera installed in all traffic cars and 211 cameras in schools. In 2016 Abu-Dhabi launched a central system called Eagle eye to bind all deployed camera from all sites in emirate for monitor and control (Adul-Hai, 2006; Al-Shanaq, 2015 and Albayan, 2017).

At the state level, there is lack of specific law that regulate the use, control, and determining required standards of camera surveillance system in the United Arab Emirates, but there are few laws which relate to this subject at the federal and local level. Also, each emirate has its specific laws, as law no 24 of 2008 in Dubai, which specific to the surveillance service providers in term of regulation and the guidelines for where and who the camera should be installed  whether in public or private entities. There is new law no.10 of 2014 published in June 2014, which amending Provisions of Law No 24 of 2008 to include aggregation of residential blocks. The new law has obligated the owners of towers, offices, building to install camera for surveillance and security. There is no regulation in the regard of camera surveillance security system in the other emirates in United Arab Emirates (Hilotin, 2013 and TaylorWessing, 2014).

Another laws regulate and protect fundamental human privacy and rights in general included some concerns related the use of camera such as the audio, visual or photography material, as the law no 15 of 1980, which  prohibit any publishing of printed mater or anything relate to the private/ or family life of individuals. Also, the state law no. 2 of 2006, specialized with technology crimes, as it provides a sanctions of imprisonment for anyone publish anything of private matters of individuals by network technologies, and this law can apply in the case of any images or audio that were picked by deployed surveillance camera. But, there is federal law regulate the use of surveillance camera for specific for special organizations such Federal Central Bank, police or any authorities entities, the law No.  3692 of 2012, which permit using camera for storing the bank customer’s image or video without getting approval from the customers themselves (United Arab Emirates, 2016).


2.8 Empirical Research on Public Surveillance and Crime Control

Researchers agree that public surveillance and crime prevention are correlated, since it becomes easier for security agencies to respond in timely manner, both in reactive and proactive ways. While there is limited empirical research on the extent at which public surveillance systems have controlled crime, a study conducted by Ekblom, Armitage, Monchuk, & Castell (2013) revealed that crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) in UAE has been facing challenges related to cultural factors and privacy laws. The authors compared the implementation of CPTED in UAE and the developed countries in Northern Europe and Australia and found that UAE its implementation in UAE has been poorly executed as a result of pertinent challenges related to the Arab culture which advocates for privacy. However, a study conducted by Grivna, Aw, El-Sadig, LOney, Sharif, & Thomsen (2011) found that although UAE has established public surveillance legal framework, scarcity of good quality data was evident, owing to poor implementation of the public surveillance systems. The research found that public surveillance system has enabled the establishment of the major causes of injuries in the environment among individuals, equipments, and environmental risk factors. Although UAE is experiencing increasing modernization as a result of advancing globalization, very little empirical evidence is available on quality public surveillance system, and how they have contributed towards prevention of crime and improvement of the overall security in the country.

According to a study conducted by Wilcox, May & Roberts (2006) in a sample of 113 public schools in Kentucky established a link between fear of victimization among college aged women and the establishment of surveillance system in the learning institutions. While this sample could have resulted into possible bias because that section of the state had high level of gun ownership, their study involved a quantitative approach on the research problem, where their hypothesis on the victimization and availability of surveillance system turned out to be negatively correlated. This means that, the more the number of surveillance cameras, the less fear college-age women had while in the institution. While the context in the United States may be different from the UAE where gun ownership is highly controlled, there is need for up-to-date researcher to investigate how the public respond with regard to their safety in the presence of surveillance cameras and without.

A study conducted by Goold (2002) pointed out the importance of public surveillance cameras in the United Kingdom, where he argued that despite the challenges related to privacy on the implementation of public surveillance systems, crimes detection has been made easier, and thus improving the general public safety. While Goold does not address the issue of fear among the members of the public with regard to the implementation of public surveillance systems, what was clearly evident in his research is that members of the public were more secure since the security agencies were in 24-hour surveillance and this deterred criminals. However, Haggerty & Samaras (2010) argue that surveillance is mainly used to oppress and foster dictatorship in the society. In their argument, Haggerty and Samaras point out that too much intrusive surveillance only gives the government warrantless monitoring of the people’s privacy, and it may be used to scare and intimidate the people. Nonetheless, Brooks (2003) brought about the concept of ‘blind camera syndrome’ which is based on the belief that there are experts that watch people all the time and hence giving them false sense of feeling safe. As a result, the researcher argues that although people feel secure, the cameras do not guarantee total safety.

Further, a study conducted by Gill & Springs (2005) using 14 different public surveillance systems in the UK found that the presence of surveillance systems was positively related to crime reduction. Further analysis of the results obtained by Gill and Springs reveals that although the presence of the surveillance systems reduces crime significantly, different impacts were experienced in different types of crimes. For instance, the results showed that while theft from vehicles parked in public and private spaces declined significantly, shop-lifting and other in-door crimes like public order crimes increased significantly. This shows how public surveillance affects crimes conducted in the public space, yet those crimes that take place in interior spaces are less likely to be reduced by the availability of public surveillance system.

A study conducted by Welsh & Farrington (2008) in public surveillance systems across the world using 41 empirical researches which showed sufficient rigor for review found a mixed impact of public surveillance systems on public safety. From the findings obtained, about half (n=22) of the empirical studies showed that the presence of public surveillance cameras led to a decline in crimes in the major towns where the security systems were installed, in the rest of the studies no significant change in crime rate was experienced. The effect on crime reduction was mainly felt in surveillance cameras in two countries, UK and US, while in the rest of the countries there was no significant change in crime rate as a result of the implementation of public surveillance systems. However, the researchers do not give the main reasons for the low impact of surveillance cameras on crime rate in the other countries. However, Taylor (2012) points out that some of the potential reasons why surveillance systems may not reduce crime is due to their poor positioning, insufficient numbers of the cameras, or due to public perception of the inefficiencies in the surveillance systems in the country.

In Los Angeles, a study conducted by Cameron, Kolondinski, May, & Williams (2007) pointed out that out of 44 sites with public surveillance system, 11 of them showed significant decline in crime, 18 did not have any effect, while 5 resulted into increased crime rate. While the researchers do not explain the mixed impact of the implementation of public surveillance cameras in public sites, the results indicated that most of the positive impact on crime reduction was felt on cameras positioned in commercial areas, while those placed in residential areas either had no impact or led to increased crime in the areas. These results seem to corroborate with a study conducted by Ratcliffe & Travis (2008) in Philadelphia which revealed that no significant reduction in crime was achieved after the installation of security surveillance cameras, with only three of the eight sites studied showing slight decline in crime rates. These findings clearly imply that, implementation of surveillance security systems does not necessary result into increased public safety, but other factors still come into play (Stutzer & Zehnder, 2013). This is based on Ditton & Short (1999) ideas that installing public surveillance systems must be guided by the systemic and cultural factors that contribute to the crimes in a particular area. This is necessary in order to combine the implementation of security surveillance cameras with public awareness on their safety measures.

Moreover, in their study, Coleman & McCahill (2010) established a positive relationship between increased quality surveillance and reduction in crime. The researchers reviewed about 71 empirical researches on crime control and surveillance camera presence, where 49 of the studies indicated a positive impact on the surveillance cameras in reducing crime. These studies corroborate with Haggerty, Wilson, & Smith (2011) findings where an implementing surveillance control system was found to have contributed largely towards the reduction of crime. Similarly, Stutzer & Zehnder (2012) found that the presence of security cameras in large complexes visited by many people contributed significantly towards reduction of terrorism activities. In their study, Stutzer and Zehnder found that out of the seven buildings they studied with regard to their attack by terrorists before and after implementation of security surveillance cameras, this study found that only one complex had experienced an attempt of terrorist activity after the implementation of these systems.

Further, a study conducted by Flight, Van-Heerwaarden & Van Soomeren (2003) in Amsterdam in three areas with an aim of finding out whether the presence of CCTV cameras in the streets had any effect on the reduction of crime revealed a positive impact of the presence of CCTV cameras in only two areas while in the third area no significant effect. Nonetheless, this study found that in all the three areas people experienced less fear of being attacked due to the presence of the CCTV cameras. From these findings, therefore, it is evident that while the increased surveillance in these areas resulted into decline in crime rate in most of the areas in Amsterdam, it also contributed largely towards decline in fear among the citizens. Although, the researchers do not specify the size of the three areas they studied so as to estimate the external validity of their sample, the findings still remain relevant in explaining the extent at which the use of public surveillance has contributed towards management of crime. Although very little empirical research seem to be available on how public surveillance impacts on crime reduction, the little evidence available seems to show significant impact of surveillance on crime reduction.

2.9 Summary of Empirical Researches Reviewed

In order to give an overview of the key empirical researches reviewed in this study, table 2.2 below was established. In this table, the various authors/researchers, the country of their study, and the results obtained are summarized.



Table 2.2 Summary of the Empirical Studies Reviewed

Author/ Researcher Year Country/State Findings
Ekblom, Armitage, Monchuk, & Castell 2013 UAE Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) in UAE has been facing challenges related to cultural factors and privacy laws
Grivna, Aw, El-Sadig, LOney, Sharif, & Thomsen 2011 UAE UAE has established public surveillance legal framework; and making it easier for the establishment of the major causes of injuries in the environment among individuals, equipments, and environmental risk factors
Wilcox, May & Roberts 2006 USA (Kentucky) Availability of public surveillance systems in colleges reduced fear of victimization among college-aged women
Goold 2002 UK Although the implementation of CCTV cameras has been attributed to infringing of privacy, crimes detection has been made easier, and thus improving the general public safety
Haggerty & Samaras 2010 Surveillance is mainly used to oppress and foster dictatorship in the society; as too much surveillance gives the government warrantless monitoring of people.
Brooks 2003 The researcher introduces the concept of ‘blind camera syndrome’ which is based on the belief that there are experts that watch people all the time and hence giving them false sense of feeling safe. As such, based on the researcher’s arguments, although people feel secure, the cameras do not guarantee total safety
Gill & Springs 2005 UK Using 14 different public surveillance systems, the authors found that the presence of surveillance systems was positively related to crime reduction
Welsh & Farrington 2008 About half (n=22) of the empirical studies showed that the presence of public surveillance cameras led to a decline in crimes in the major towns where the security systems were installed, in the rest of the studies no significant change in crime rate was experienced
Cameron, Kolondinski, May, & Williams 2007 Los-Angeles Out of 44 sites with public surveillance system, 11 of them showed significant decline in crime, 18 did not have any effect, while 5 resulted into increased crime rate
Ratcliffe & Travis 2008 Philadelphia No significant reduction in crime was achieved after the installation of security surveillance cameras, with only three of the eight sites studied showing slight decline in crime rates
Coleman & McCahill 2010  – 49 of the 71 studies reviewed indicated a positive impact on the surveillance cameras in reducing crime, while the rest did not show any impact on crime.
Haggerty, Wilson, & Smith 2011 Germany Implementing surveillance control system was found to have contributed largely towards the reduction of crime
Flight, Van-Heerwaarden & Van Soomeren 2003 Amsterdam This study revealed a positive impact of the presence of CCTV cameras on crime reduction only in two areas whiles in the third area no significant effect. However, this study found that in all the three areas people experienced less fear of being attacked due to the presence of the CCTV cameras.


2.10 Research Gaps

While the available empirical research seem to have established some correlation between the implementation of public surveillance systems and crime reduction, it was not clear on what standard requirements on public surveillance systems should adopt. Given the way UAE government has established legal framework that govern the implementation of public surveillance systems, some research gap still exists on what standardization measures are available in the country’s public surveillance system. Research on the specific procedures and application for surveillance cameras control in the country remains scanty, despite the government’s efforts in ensuring that high levels of public safety are guaranteed through surveillance systems.

Research has shown that, the quality of surveillance systems is critical in the bid to curb crime using public surveillance system (Gill, 2006; Ratcliffe, & Travis, 2008), and thus with the current lack of empirical evidence on standardization quality of surveillance cameras control system in UAE, there is need for up-to-date research aimed at assessing the standardization quality in the major complexes in the country’s major cities. Moreover, very little empirical evidence is available on the type of surveillance system adopted in the UAE, as well as the guidelines that the government followed in establishing the public surveillance system, especially the location of the cameras. As such, much of the focus in this study seeks to find out the considerations that UAE’s government has taken in the implementation of public surveillance systems, and compare with what the other countries have been doing. Moreover, the best surveillance camera systems that suit the country would also be a key focus in this study, alongside the technologies that can be leveraged to provide the best surveillance system in the country. Based on these gaps, this study seeks to explore the entire UAE’s public surveillance system where the key considerations of the system design and its quality standards would be the utmost focus in this study.

2.11 Conceptual Framework


The conceptual framework is a model developed in a research study based on the research gaps that shows the direction in a research study. With the key focus in this study being to explore the surveillance camera control systems in public agencies for offering the best guidance to United Arab Emirates in surveillance system, and setting the main principles to evaluate the system, in the same time maintain the privacy and fundamental rights for residents, figure 2 .1 below illustrates the key areas of focus based on the research questions and objectives that guides the researcher in this study.












RQ1: What considerations should be taken before implementing a public surveillance system?


RQ4: What are the places where the cameras should be located?







RO2: To assess the standardization quality of surveillance cameras control system procedures in all UAE government vital complexes subject to quality systems according to international standards
RO1: To study the standardization of procedures and applications for surveillance cameras control system procedures in all UAE government vital complexes



Generalizations + formulation of practice framework












                                Figure 2.1 – The conceptual Framework

2.12 Chapter Summary

As revealed in this review, public surveillance is a critical security component that contributes largely towards controlling of crime. However, researchers agree that the type of public surveillance system based on quality standards largely determine how effective such systems are. Moreover, researchers agree that not only the quality of the surveillance systems is an important consideration, but also the design of the system, how it is integrated in the environment, and the entire design, which altogether contributes significantly towards the success of the system and its ability to prevent crime in an area. While research shows that UAE has established legal framework for public surveillance systems, very little empirical research was available with regards to the quality of its system, the standardization procedures adopted, and the design the government has used in leveraging the public surveillance system, With research from across the world showing that public surveillance systems in some countries like US and UK have experienced significant decline in crime as a result of the availability of surveillance systems in major cities, the quality and design of the surveillance system was pointed out by researchers as an important consideration. This study, therefore seeks to bridge the research gap with regards to UAE’s implementation of public surveillance system in terms of the quality of the systems, its design, and the standardization procedures adopted. In the next chapter, a critical analysis of the methodology adopted in the study, where the data collection methods and procedures adopted, and the process of data analysis are presented.




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