Have you noticed an uptick in national news stories involving surveillance cameras, lately? I have and I’m very happy about it. This increase means that surveillance cameras have been useful in solving some pretty high profile crimes.
While ‘big brother’ privacy concerns are certainly valid, it’s hard to ignore the effectiveness of security cameras being mounted in public places. This, especially since cameras have been credited with saving lives and apprehending crime suspects who are dangerous to the public-at-large. In this context, big brother actually protects like a real-life big brother would.
Here are just a few crime incidents which have received national attention and where surveillance cameras have been integral parts of an investigation:
Kidnapped Victim Found Safe
After being forcefully kidnapped by a stranger on the street in Philadelphia recently, 22-year-old Carlesha Freeland-Gaither is now safe at home. This, after a surveillance camera mounted at a nearby business helped to identify the man who took her and held her against her will for several days.
Murder Suspect Apprehended
Suspected of kidnapping at least two women and murdering one, Jesse Matthew was arrested in Texas this past September. Surveillance cameras played a role in identifying Matthew after 18-year-old college student Hannah Graham’s disappearance earlier that month. Unfortunately, Hannah’s remains have since been identified, but Matthew is also set to stand trial for the abduction and sexual assault of another woman who survived her ordeal and will testify against him. He is also suspected to be responsible for the disappearance and murder of another woman, which he has not been charged with yet. While these events all had tragic results, the fact is that Matthew will possibly be removed from society and unable to hurt others due, in part, to evidence secured by surveillance cameras mounted in public spaces.
And let’s not forget how instrumental surveillance cameras were in the Boston Marathon bombing incident. Within days, investigators had managed to successfully identify those responsible for the attack based on video captured by nearby security cams. In this case, footage was gathered from a number of surveillance cameras including those that were owned by government agencies and private businesses.
Volunteer Surveillance Cameras?
In some areas, police are even asking residents to voluntarily allow their home surveillance cameras to be accessed by law enforcement during criminal investigations. Such a process involves residents registering their home security cameras with a local agency so that additional permission does not have to be sought if or when it is ever needed. While this is a controversial move and one hotly debated among security advocates, volunteer programs like these are gaining traction. Police in these jurisdictions are hopeful that surveillance camera agreements will reduce crime while increasing the number of criminal suspects taken off of the streets.
Comment On Surveillance Cameras and Crime
What are your thoughts about the increase in crimes being solved by surveillance cameras? Would you ever voluntarily register your home security cameras to be accessed by law enforcement agencies when needed? We always look forward to hearing your thoughts, so please take a moment and share them with all of our readers in the space provided below.