Blue-Light Cameras Get Mixed Reviews on Deterring Crime
(Chicago Sun Times) — Chicago’s blue-light cameras have become a fixture in high-crime neighborhoods since they were first installed in 2001, but do they really deter crime and help prosecutors convict criminals? A study being released Monday gives the surveillance cameras a mixed review, saying they appear to have prevented crime in one neighborhood but not in another — and that the video quality is usually poor and rarely leads to a conviction on its own. The Urban Institute focused on Chicago Police Department cameras in sections of Humboldt Park and West Garfield Park. Crime there was compared with crime in similar areas without the cameras. The study found crime decreased more than 12 percent — or 38 fewer crimes per month — in the Humboldt Park study area from 2001 to 2006. The researchers found crime didn’t appear to migrate from the study area into the surrounding neighborhood.