Video surveillance cameras are everywhere

Current News for Forensic Audio Clarification, Video Enhancement, Smartphone File Recovery & Analysis

Security surveillance video from cameras in homes, government buildings, roadways, intersections, retail shops, and corporate offices — as well as body-worn police officer cameras and car-mounted dash cam video recordings –- are showing up as digital evidence in courts, hearings, and insurance investigations. An incredible number of cases have some connection to  audio, images, video, and GPS related evidence found on smartphones. And most recently, drone evidence has also come onto the scene.

Across the country, audio and video evidence is playing a huge role in civil and criminal investigations, mediations, and trials.

Video is everywhere.

Recorded audio and video devices capture activity that ends up being used as digital media evidence in courts and requires a reliable forensic video and audio expert to analyze the files, provide a reliable chain of evidence, and explain this evidence in court to a judge or jury.

In addition, automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) are capturing cars as they travel within a city, over bridges, in malls, through national parks, and across the country. See our report on license plate readers back in 2012. ALPRs are even installed on street sweepers. You’re being watched… Here is an article we wrote in 2013 about lawsuits being brought in California claiming invasion of privacy.

One of the first public surveillance security camera networks was installed in New York’s Time Square in the early 1970’s. By May 2000 there were, by one count, 131 cameras. Today, the area directly around Time Square is saturated with surveillance cameras, with estimates ranging from 750 to 1000 cameras!

The first major citywide surveillance camera installations were in England, where CCTV video security camera evidence helped most notably in the 2005 London subway and bus bombings to quickly find suspects and prevent future terrorist attacks. That success helped the use of security surveillance cameras to become more acceptable, both in England and around the world. Today in England there is estimated to be more than 1.85 million cameras; that’s one camera for every 32 Britons. The average person in England on a typical day is estimated to be recorded 70 times. When authorities in any of the big cities in England find a spot of earth that is not being recorded, they install a new camera.

The capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was also successful due to the proliferation of surveillance cameras. The FBI coordinated resources across the country to review and enhance video evidence, publicize the attackers, and find leads. This encouraged other U.S. cities to expand their security camera coverage.

Large cities across the U.S. have spent millions on high-definition surveillance security camera systems in the interest of deterring both general crime and to detect, stop, and solve terrorist attacks. Cities such as New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago have installed enormous citywide security surveillance camera systems. For example, Chicago has a network of 15,000 CCTV surveillance cameras (and growing), San Francisco’s bus system and the system in Boston (and may other cities too) record audio and video of its passengers with live streaming of all the captured data to Homeland Security, and the Los Angeles Police Department is now having all their officers wear body worn video cameras while they are on patrol.

In Las Vegas, taxi cabs are equipped with video security cameras. These recordings are stored for at least a month and often longer. What happens in Vegas really does stay in Vegas!

For more specific news, see our blog.