video evidence
Your video evidence may solve a crime.

Under normal circumstances, the police are responsible for finding video evidence, or any evidence for that matter, of a crime. The police will then process and analyze the video evidence to solve the crime and prove their case. But what if everyday citizens could have an opportunity to create video evidence that couil help solve crimes? This is more or less happening in Livermore, California.

As of 2015, the Livermore Police Department has created a database of privately owned surveillance systems so that they may determine who is in possession of potentially surveillance video systems that may have recorded useful video evidence of a crime. The police are requesting that anyone with surveillance register their system and its location with the department. If the police have reason to believe someone’s registered surveillance system may have recorded a crime, they will request temporary access to the owner’s surveillance system so that the video evidence may be extracted and analyzed by police.

Citizens On Patrol

For the police to access privately owned surveillance may increase video evidence for prosecuting criminals. However, police accessing private citizens’ surveillance may also be another step towards an invasion of privacy via 4th Amendment violations. So how is the public kept safe from police overstepping their bounds?

First, the Livermore police are not asking for permanent access or for a live stream of these private surveillance systems. Rather, the police plan to only access surveillance systems on an as-needed basis. Further, individuals who have registered their devices are under no obligation to give police access to their systems, even if police suspect a crime has been captured. Police promise to request access and only then recover pertinent video evidence.

If the Livermore Police Department’s surveillance program is successful, this may be a positive step in solving crimes faster and more efficiently. Advances in surveillance video cameras, data storage (such as cloud-based storage), and the internet have made it possible for the police to do more than what they’re attempting in Livermore, California.

Homemade Surveillance Video Evidence to Solve Crimes

Most new privately owned surveillance systems are designed to be accessed from anywhere in the world via the internet. In other words, if a user has a computer or smartphone with access to the internet, they can see a live stream from their surveillance, or they can access saved video evidence from their cameras. Advances in all this technology is such that multiple surveillance systems may be viewed from a single access point. For the police to do this would give them unprecedented access to live surveillance feeds, thus allowing them to catch crimes being committed in the act. Such efforts may be able to decrease response and investigation times, as well as help to prevent crimes from happening.