Many crimes would go unsolved if it weren’t for vital camera footage that continues to aid in law enforcement investigations. In recent years, city officials in major metropolitan areas – such as London and New York – have implemented a heightened amount of security cameras in highly trafficked places like government buildings and public transportation systems. Footage from security cameras found in subway systems, department stores and other public places become crucial tools when it comes to identifying suspects and solving tragic crimes. This was clear in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, as camera footage from a nearby store led law enforcement officials to identify the suspects in the attacks.
As more crimes are solved by utilizing footage caught on camera, it is apparent that public support continues to rise for camera systems. Although these systems have gotten mixed reviews in the past, a recent poll from The New York Times finds that 78 percent of Americans favor the use of these cameras for greater security.
In addition to installing more surveillance cameras, police have suggested tapping into camera systems that already exist. A Los Angeles official is now advocating for police to gain access to the city’s traffic cameras to aid in crime investigations.
There have been numerous occasions where footage from red-light safety cameras aided local law enforcement in criminal investigations as well. The types of crimes the cameras have helped to solve range from stolen vehicles to missing person and homicide cases:
- Surfside, FL: Traffic camera footage led to the identification of a suspected rapist
- Ocoee, FL: Video footage from cameras used as evidence in a home invasion and homicide case
- Boulder, CO: Footage from a red-light safety camera identified the suspect in a car theft case
- Auburndale, FL: Red-light camera footage helped police track down cattle thieves
- New Orleans, LA: Video footage from cameras in New Orleans is currently helping police track down a missing teacher
- Kingsport, TN: Police in Mount Carmel used camera videos to track down hit-and-run offenders and solve burglaries
- Tallahassee, FL: Footage used by Tallahassee police for a recent homicide investigation
- Rochester, NY: Traffic camera footage helped police arrest a suspect in a fatal hit and run collision
- Hialeah, FL: A string of robberies prompted Hialeah Police Department to install eight red-light safety cameras at key intersections
A recent study by the National Coalition for Safer Roads found that more than half (54%) of the footage from traffic cameras requested by law enforcement is used to solve crimes other than collisions or traffic violations.
The largest impact of red-light safety cameras remains the life saving benefits this technology brings to intersections by successfully reducing red-light running violations and fatal collisions. Helping to solve other crimes is an unintended benefit these cameras bring to communities and police departments throughout the country.
The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.