Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Traffic Cameras Catching More That Just Red Light Scofflaws

On Friday I posted about a project where Philadelphia Police were compiling a list of privately owned surveillance cameras in the hope that if a crime was committed in the area, they would have a place to look for video related to the crime. Yesterday over at USA Today, there was this story about the use of traffic enforcement cameras to solve other types of crimes.
Police in Red Bank, Tenn., caught four suspects in a violent home invasion by reviewing images from a red-light camera near the victims' home. Four suspects tied up two victims and then ransacked the house, police say; one robber allegedly smashed his boot into a victim's face. 
"We went and pulled video from the traffic camera," says Sgt. Dan Knight of the Red Bank Police criminal investigations division. "I was able to see the (suspects' vehicle) go there prior to the home invasion and when they left."
 In spite of the controversy over the use of automated traffic enforcement cameras, we would be remiss if we didn't look for any and all available evidence when a serious crime has been committed. This includes these automated red light enforcement cameras.

Do you have automated traffic enforcement cameras in your jurisdiction? Do you know how to access the information captured by these systems when investigating a serious crime?

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