Surveillance cameras often convey vital evidence in criminal cases. The most helpful clue the police can obtain from surveillance is a clear picture of a suspect’s face. Without one, police are forced to rely on more ambiguous clues like a suspect’s voice, body measurements, clothing, tattoos etc. In the event that the cameras aren’t set up to get a good enough shot, or if the system is running on older, poorly maintained systems using primitive technology like VHS, critical evidence may become compromised. Using proactive measures, local municipalities and law enforcement officials working within their own communities across the nation are stepping up efforts to get the word out: a professionally installed, well serviced, sophisticated surveillance system makes cases.
Enlisting the public in its endeavor, the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland helps business owners make informed decisions about surveillance system options through its Surveillance Education Program. For cops, a solid surveillance system means getting good evidence. Evidence leads to arrests and sustains convictions. For business owners, a well devised security surveillance plan sends a very strong message to criminals: you will get caught.
Barring industry experts, if there’s anyone qualified to say which specific surveillance systems and services produce the best results, it’s law enforcement. Including tips like updating a camera system from analog to digital audio/video recording, to suggesting strategic placements of cameras on the outside of buildings to capture images of masked criminals before their entrance, in addition to getting the license plate numbers to the cars they drive, the Montgomery P.D’s recommendations are all excellent and mirror most of the useful tips we post here for free, and you don’t even need to live in Maryland to get them!
Security cameras also give important clues in other cases such as missing persons, and/or unsolved deaths. Access to video of where a victim or suspect was last seen is imperative to solving a disappearance. Most recently, video cameras are giving clues to police in the Shannan Gilbert case, who has been missing since May 2010. Surveillance footage also led to the arrest of Philip Markoff, the 23-year-old medical student, also known as the “Craigslist Killer,” who allegedly murdered Julissa Brisman.
Many commercial and residential properties use surveillance cameras for their own security purposes, and this trend is proving more than helpful to law enforcement in catching criminals. For neighborhoods that have a record of high-crime, police often propose a surveillance plan to serve as a crime deterrent and as an effective method to collect evidence.
Written By: Joseph Peter M.