One news source said there were 600 surveillance cameras in the area around the Boston Marathon bombings, but it is the high definition camera on the Lord & Taylor building that produced the best images of the two brothers accused of detonating bombs near the finish line. Even at great distances, the high definition video camera produced images that were useful to law enforcement in identifying the suspects and helped locate them.
Image from high definition video camera and distributed by the FBI and Associated Press
When the images from the Lord & Taylor camera were first shown on the news, Richmond Alarm President, Wayne Boggs
could tell immediately that it was a high definition video camera based on the quality of images. Those clearer images were integral in identifying the bombing suspects.
Debate over Government Use of Cameras
The use of public video cameras can be controversial in cities where groups like the ACLU say it violates citizens’ rights to privacy and could lead to government repression, such as occurs in countries like China and Iran. Boston has a relatively low number of police video cameras compared to New York’s 3,000+ and London’s 400,000. According to WSJ
, the ACLU was active in keeping video cameras from being activated in the City of Cambridge, MA. Unfortunately that was also the town where an MIT officer was shot and killed in a gun battle with the bombing suspect.
Is “Big Brother” watching a bad thing? Many say, "no". In public places, there is no expectation of privacy and the government cannot prosecute people’s public actions unless there is a law against the action anyway. Since it took teams of law enforcement to scour the videos looking for the two people believed to set the bombs, we see police resources are not watching video just looking for people to arrest. It is used after a crime to identify suspects.
Certainly public video cameras will not deter all crime, but good cameras can produce valuable evidence when a crime occurs. This leads to getting criminals off the streets and is useful at deterring some criminal activity since no one wants to be caught and punished for a crime. If video security cameras are evident, a “would-be criminal” is less likely to commit the crime since chances of punishment are greater.
Richmond Alarm Company installs high definition video camera systems that hone in on the details. We know the regulations around what can and cannot be recorded in and around your property. Contact us today for a video system installation quote.