Cameras are everywhere. From CCTV in public areas to the ubiquitous cell phone, they record the good (cute animals), the bad (crimes) and the ugly (that incident at Tim Hortons). In a world that coined the phrase pics or it didn’t happen, video evidence is king.
Someone’s Always Watching
With the proliferation of video recording, it’s harder than ever to get away with something. Home security cameras, dash cams, traffic cams, weather cams, red light cams—the list goes on and on. Remember the recent story about the consumer who caught a UPS worker launching his package twenty feet?
Police in Ontario are using video in a variety of ways. For one thing, they’re enlisting personal security cameras in the fight against crime. The goal is to create a database using homes and businesses with surveillance cameras. This network of spies is expected to save detectives’ time and deter criminals. Police body-worn cameras are a bit more problematic. Proponents say they protect both officers and the public when it comes to interactions between the cops and the community. However, the cameras are expensive and there have been technical issues with the equipment.
Dashcams are another example of a silent witness that can settle he said-she said disputes. Growing in popularity, these cameras can help police apprehend a guilty party in hit-and-run situations or identify dangerous drivers when the offending motorist has fled the scene. These vehicular witnesses act like insurance by protecting property. Plus, they catch some pretty cool events like the meteor in the video above.
How many times have you seen news footage of a thief caught on camera? Sometimes, the perpetrator is kind enough to look directly into the lens. If that’s the case, facial recognition can be used. Using biometric identification, a computer can analyze a face based on very specific markers that can be compared to a sample. If the person caught on camera already has a picture in a database (perhaps a mugshot), and the facial recognition program finds enough similarities, a match is declared. Beyond crime fighting, there are some pretty innovative uses for facial recognition technology.
Rules of Video Evidence
Surveillance camera video showing a crime being committed is fair game as evidence against the accused. Video could also be used to exonerate an innocent party. If a witness to the recording exists, they can corroborate the authenticity of the video. If no eyewitness to the video exists, evidence can still be admitted under the “silent witness” theory. In this case, a trial court must find the evidence reliable with certain considerations. Surveillance cameras have been critical in solving a number of crimes.
Video for Visibility
At Key West Video, we’re all about using video evidence; evidence of your company, your product or your event. Call us today for a free quote and let’s talk about how exposure through video can boost your visibility.