Hidden cameras was initially developed as a means of increasing security in banks. Today it has developed to the point where it is simple and inexpensive enough to be used in home security systems, and for surveillance.
Claims that they reduce or deter crime have not been clearly borne out by independent studies, though the government claims that when properly used they do result in deterrence, rather than displacement. One clear effect that has been is a reduction of car crime when used in car parks. Cameras have also been installed in taxis in various parts of the country, to deter violence against drivers, and also in mobile police surveillance vans. In some cases security cameras have become a target of attacks themselves.
The latest development in the world of hidden security cameras is in the use of wireless or USB digital still cameras that can take 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution images of the camera scene either on a time lapse or motion detection basis. The quality of images taken with a pocket-sized digital camera is excellent compared to video recordings captured using a video camera. Canon's S2iS Powershot, Kodak's Easyshare One, and Nikon's P1 wireless camera are relatively low-cost digital stills cameras that can be used for security purposes.