How do police use CCTV footage in criminal investigations?


This study examines how police use CCTV footage in criminal investigations. Structured interviews were conducted with 146 sworn members of the NSW Police Force who had recently requested footage from the NSW rail system’s network of CCTV cameras. Footage is highly valued by investigators. Nine in 10 investigators reported using the footage when it was available, and two-thirds were able to use it for the reason they had requested it. One in three investigators encountered issues related to image quality or coverage; however, two-thirds of investigators were provided with footage of a suspect and one-third with footage of the incident under investigation. Consistent with prior research, the use and usefulness varied between offence types, with the most positive results observed for assault offences.