• Mie Hamborg Christiansen
  • Mie Helle Boye Dahl
As students in criminology we find it problematic that CCTV, is being used to a greater extent without the submission of scientific studies, where CCTV’s intended and non-intended consequences in marginalised residential areas are studied. There are no studies made in a Danish context, which examine CCTV’s effect on crime and fear of crime in marginalised residential areas. Furthermore there are no reliable answers in scientific studies, in an international context, which defines whether CCTV reduces crime in marginalised residential areas. In 2014 the residents of the marginalised residential area Gellerupparken voted on whether CCTV should be set up, where CCTV was intended to fight and reduce problems with littering in the area's stairways. The area committee promised the residents that CCTV would give them nicer and cleaner stairways as well as a greater sense of security. A majority of residents voted against CCTV and in general there existed a resistance to the use of CCTV.
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the underlying reasons why the area committee in Gellerupparken wanted to use CCTV to fight and reduce problems with littering, when the use of CCTV in residential areas was implemented to fight crime and not litter. The thesis will also try to understand why Gellerupparkens residents voted against CCTV and to investigate possible explanations that may underlie the residents' attitude to CCTV close to the private sphere. The thesis is based on Denmark’s largest marginalised residential area Gellerupparken. The design of the thesis is a mixed methods case study where the data consists of five semi-structured interviews, where one interview is made with the chairman of the area committee and the remaining four interviews are made with residents who were against installation of CCTV in Gellerupparken. The thesis’ data also includes the data of a quantitative survey with 103 responses, which examines residents' attitude to CCTV in Gellerupparkens stairways. The thesis’ research question is examined from a theoretical framework consisting of criminological theories as Broken Windows, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Stigma and Moral Panic.
The thesis concludes that litter and deviant behaviour has a great influence on Gellerupparkens image and that littering in link with deviant behaviour creates fear of crime and lead outsiders to perceive the residential area as an unsafe place. The interviewed residents are experiencing Gellerupparken as a safe place to live, in spite of the problems mentioned above. The residents’ feeling of security is based on a large network in the area, and that littering and deviant behaviour has always been a part of the everyday life in Gellerupparken. Therefore the residents don’t experience littering and deviant behaviour as a problem that affects their feeling of security. Furthermore the residents’ feeling of security in the area is based on that they don't experience much crime and neutralize the incidence of petty crime in the area. In addition, none of the four residents have been victims of a crime in their residential area, which have a significant influence on their feeling of safety.
It was concluded that the discussion on the use of CCTV in Gellerupparken emerged on the basis of a moral panic regarding several arsons in the area in 2006. The moral panic resulted in a political pressure on the area committee to install CCTV in the whole residential area in connection to the large social housing project “Helhedsplanen” in 2007. In 2014 the area committee wanted to use CCTV to make Gellerupparken cleaner and nicer, in hope of creating an increased sense of security for the residents. In contrary, the thesis concluded that the interviewed residents thought that CCTV could create insecurity/fear of crime and an increased risk of creating a further stigmatization of the residential area. The fear of stigmatization and the media's negative coverage of the residential area were essential to why the residents were against the installation of CCTV. The thesis concludes that there is a risk in using CCTV in a marginalized residential area such as Gellerupparken, because it might create fear of crime and stigmatize the area further. The thesis therefore recommend that there should be conducted more thorough scientific studies, that examines the intended and non-intended consequences of the use of CCTV in marginalised residential areas in Denmark.
Publication date7 Nov 2016
Number of pages117
ID: 242729871