Cost-benefit analysis of surveillance technologies

Pei Hui Lin, Coen Van Gulijk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There are several types of surveillance devices in the market, each with its own operating characteristics. Since the terrorist attack of 9/11 there has been much focus on preventing or mitigating damages and causalities caused by terrorist activities. A key issue is whether the investment in fighting crime and counter-terrorism devices is well spent in a manner that optimizes public safety in a cost-effective manner. SURVEILLE is a research project funded within the EU Commission FP7 framework where one of the objectives is to assess the benefits and costs of surveillance technology. This paper reports on ongoing work of cost-benefit modelling for security that is performed within in this project. This paper provides a brief overview of the quantification method for cost-benefit models for security devices. Currently, a straightforward and easy-to-use cost-benefit analysis of surveillance technologies is not available. A cost-benefit model considering probabilistic terrorism risk assessment is developed. The model developed here considers probability of attack, risk reduction, losses, and costs of security devices. However, it is found that a full cost-benefit analysis requires a substantial effort, even for a single surveillance device which may be difficult in operational organizations such as the Police. A brief discussion on mathematical modelling is shown in this paper. But more detail discussion can be found in the SURVEILLE project report that is available through the website1. Special attention was given to "cost" modelling of the security device in this paper. The paper ends with discussions of the use of cost modelling in a (semi-)quantitative cost-benefit analysis for surveillance. We are currently performing a case for the remainder of the SURVEILLE project, but cannot disclose the results. These results will be available on the SURVEILLE website later during the project.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSafety and Reliability: Methodology and Applications
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2014, (Wroclaw, Poland: 14-18 September 2014)
EditorsTomasz Nowakowski, Marek Młyńczak, Anna Jodejko-Pietruczuk, Sylwia Werbińska-Wojciechowska
PublisherCRC Press/Balkema
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781315736976
ISBN (Print)9781138026810
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Safety and Reliability Conference - Wroclaw, Poland
Duration: 14 Sep 201418 Sep 2014


ConferenceEuropean Safety and Reliability Conference
Abbreviated titleESREL 2014


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