What do security cameras provide for society? The influence of cameras in public spaces in Japan on perceived neighborhood cohesion and trust

Abstract

Objectives

This study aims to examine the association between security cameras in public spaces in Japan with residents’ perceived neighborhood social cohesion and trust.

Methods

The present study used a postal questionnaire mailed to randomly sampled residents aged 20 and 74 years, residing in Ichikawa City, in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Data from 618 respondents in 39 neighborhoods were used. We used the instrumental variable method in our analyses to strengthen our causal inference. Using probit models, we examined the association between instrumented security camera awareness and perceived neighborhood social cohesion and trust.

Results

Security camera awareness was negatively related to perceived neighborhood cohesion and positively associated with trust in others.

Conclusions

This study demonstrated the potential causal relationship between security cameras and perceptions of communal society; i.e., a positive effect on trust in others and a negative effect on perceived social cohesion. These findings suggest the importance of considering positive and negative social aspects when implementing security camera policies.

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Correspondence to Daisuke Takagi.

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Takagi, D., Amemiya, M. & Shimada, T. What do security cameras provide for society? The influence of cameras in public spaces in Japan on perceived neighborhood cohesion and trust. J Exp Criminol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-020-09437-8

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Keywords

  • Instrumental variable
  • Japan
  • Security camera
  • Social cohesion
  • Trust