Is CCTV a social benefit? Is psychometric study of perceived social risk

Document Type

Journal Article


Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Information Science, Centre for Security Research




Originally published as: Brooks, D. J. (2005). Is CCTV a social benefit? A psychometric study of perceived social risk. Security Journal, 18(2), 19-29. Original article available here


This study utilises psychometrics to quantitatively measure the social risk perception of a CCTV system, using spatial representation and multi-dimensional scaling. The psychometric measure presents the system as one of low dread and familiar risk. Multi-dimensional scaling presents the underlying dimensions of the system as a low sense of risk perception and low perceived community risk exposure. The CCTV system presents an acceptable social risk that outweighs community concern. However, it appears that the community maintains social concern over CCTV. Increases in the risk characteristics of control and involuntary exposure are demonstrated, although increased CCTV exposure does not change the overall sense of social risk. The CCTV system occupies a relatively safe and non-adversarial social position, supported by the community. But the risk characteristics indicate that there are underlying social concerns, that CCTV may not yet have found its true social risk perception measure and that social support is not necessarily robust.




Link to publisher version (DOI)