THE MAGAZINE

CCTV

By Mike Bluestone, M.A., MSyl

CCTV. Edited by Martin Gill; published by Perpetuity Press, 44-116/221-7708 (phone), www.perpetuitypress.com (Web); 168 pages; £35 (US $62.68 at press time).

This is a compilation of disparate works by various contributors, mainly academics.   Edited by Martin Gill, CCTV comprises a series of specific papers covering the history of CCTV, methods for evaluating the impact of CCTV, CCTV and crime displacement, CCTV at the Oslo, Norway, central railroad station, and other topics.

 

Gill states in the introduction that the book's purpose is to apply the latest research findings in CCTV to such issues as legality and offenders' views. That may be so, but the book fails to provide a link between the often very different chapters, leaving the reader with an unmanaged and often isolated view of the issues. The absence of an editor's commentary is surprising, particularly given Gill's expert writing style and in-depth knowledge. A strategic overview and conclusion would have rounded out the book and set the stage for a follow-up publication.

The book is heavily weighted toward town center CCTV usage, and while chapter nine reveals the impact of monitored CCTV in a retail environment and highlights the need to train those monitoring the system, there is a noticeable absence of contributions from private sector security practitioners. With CCTV so ubiquitous, it would have been useful to record the experiences, views, and research of security professionals working with video.

What's surprising about this book is its failure to address CCTV's value in the fight against terrorism. This absence is disappointing, especially since CCTV is so widely deployed in airports, seaports, and other critical infrastructures. In addition, references to surveillance are dealt with in isolation rather than as part of an intelligence-gathering process.

While disjointed, CCTV still is a useful point of reference on this important subject. Readers can hope that Gill will follow up with a more cohesive publication that also explores terrorism issues.


Reviewer: Mike Bluestone, M.A., MSyl., is a security consultant and managing director of BSB Group in London, England. He is also an associate of the Centre for Hazard and Risk Management at Longborough University and vice chairman of ASIS International's United Kingdom Chapter.

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