Today we’re bringing you some international news from over the pond in the USA where police officers are asking homeowners for help in the fight against crime.
Some years ago only the police captured crime on camera, however today homeowners can mount cheaper and smaller CCTV cameras to their homes in order to protect their premises from intruders.
While footage is running you’d be surprised what a camera can capture beyond the perimeter of your home. Criminal activity whether toward your property or against a neighbours’, as well as incidents on the road can serve as potential evidence that could help detect criminals and bring them to justice. New High-Definition (HD CCTVs) are particularly excellent at capturing wider angles and incredible quality footage at distance.
With more and more residents installing CCTVs, it is no surprise the police want to tap into your personal investment as a means to help them.
Along a busy road in Aurora, an arsonist was caught in action, subsequently arrested and pleaded guilty. In another video from Aurora, a man can be seen suddenly opening fire on a passing car. In suburban Hinsdale, a T-bone crash was captured on video at an intersection neighbours have warned is dangerous. All these events were captured on private homeowner cameras.
Watch the video now:
“Without this video we had absolutely nothing,” said Det. Kevin Jenkins, Aurora Police Dept. “This is just a private residence that happens to have a camera.”
“I feel much safer having those cameras,” said Annette Downey, a surveillance system owner. The outdoor video streams to personal computer sites and smart phones 24/7. Police departments want in on the action. “I think we solved more cases in law enforcement in general with camera technology and pictures of the offenders than we do with finger prints and DNA,” said Chief Bradley Bloom, Hinsdale Police Dept.
The police over in the states can seek out homes with cameras, but more municipalities want homeowners to voluntarily register their cameras so they can easily be added to a master map.
“It’s all volunteer and we are not going to have remote access unless they want us to,” said Det. Sgt. Matt Thomas, Aurora Police Dept.
“I think residents are just afraid big brother is watching. But in this case, big brother is just asking for help,” said Sgt. Mark Wodka, Hinsdale Police Dept.
Privacy advocates are uneasy in general with the government accessing personal video feeds. They say homeowners should at least get in writing all that they are agreeing to.
“What is the process for accessing the video? Who decides what is, if I refuse, are you going to try to get a court order? You know, what is the process for doing that if I tell you I have this system,” said Ed Yohnka, ACLU of Illinois. Some departments do provide detailed contracts for homeowners to sign. The Aurora Police Dept. told the I-Team it is now in the process of rolling out a registry program. In other suburbs, registries with names such as “Block Watch” and “Security Through Surveillance” have been online for a couple years. “In the past year, year-and-a-half, I’ve seen a great increase in video pulls from residential homes compared to businesses,” said Sgt. Jim Bisceglie, who handles technical investigations at the Elgin Police Dept.
In Chicago – which already has one of the most sophisticated and extensive public video surveillance systems in the U.S. – plugging-in private sector cameras is a start-up initiative by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. One police official says the plan has unlimited potential.
These registries are voluntary here, but New York and New Jersey tried to make them mandatory. It failed in New York and a watered down version passed in New Jersey, minus the $100 fine.
So you’ve seen what’s happening over the pond.
Is this something we can see coming over to the U.K?
Would you be willing to share video from your personal home security cameras for the greater good?
Let us know your thoughts.
Original Article: ABC 7 Eye Witness News