Firstly, the report represents a major advance in our knowledge about CCTV, especially if consider absence of previous research exploring the issue so comprehensively. Secondly, the study offers a number of valuable implications for CCTV projects: it helps understand the different aims of CCTV, and the mechanisms by which those aims can be realised; it helps formulate a theory of how CCTV should operate to ensure the highest effectiveness, and a hypothesis for the evaluation of CCTV effectiveness.
The authors do not postulate a hypothesis to be tested, but it can hardly be considered a drawback. The report evaluates 14 projects implemented in different urban contexts, and it is difficult, if possible, to formulate a common hypothesis to fit all the cases. However, the implicit hypothesis underlying the study may be the assumption that CCTV could be effective in tackling crime and fear of crime under certain conditions. The measurements and evaluation performed using different tools help the authors test this assumption.
The introductory section of the study includes a solid review of relevant literature. The authors list the most credible research in the field and identify gaps in the existing body of knowledge in order to justify the need for their own efforts. The review is divided into several sections and effectively provides the background for the study with reference to the formulated objectives. Smart synthesis and analysis of the past research findings coupled with the authors' ability to highlight the most interesting of them helps the authors properly link findings of their study to a wider framework of theoretical knowledge.
Methodological framework employed by Gill and colleagues for their study deserves particular attention. The authors used two approaches for the purposes of their study: quasi-experimental research techniques and realistic evaluation. Evidently, such combination of research methodologies is employed to reinforce validity and reliability of the findings: the authors attempt to take advantage of the strengths of each method using them in such a way to address the potential threats in the most effective way.
Quasi-experiment is a popular method of quantitative research. Quasi-experimental studies bear much resemblance to the true experimental design with only one difference: in a quasi-experiment the researcher assign participants to different groups non-randomly. This research method has been developed as an alternative tool for examining causal relationship in situations that, for some reason, are poorly conducive to experimental control. This is exactly the case in studying the change in crime and fear of crime following the installation of CCTV. The most common characteristics of quasi-experiments are the following:
Use of matching instead of randomisation;
Use of interrupted or uninterrupted time series analysis (a type of longitudinal research);
Quasi-experiments are more effective than the true experimen