Wednesday, July 28, 2010
"This block under 24 hour video surveillance"
At STL Rising, we trail far behind the trends in new technology. The rest of the world is far ahead of us. In fact, most people reading this site probably own smart phones and flat screen TVs. So, in these times of expanding technology in our daily lives, today we raise the subject of neighborhood watch using low cost digital video surveillance.
Common complaints heard on the neighborhood watch scene are car cloutings and garage break-ins. Technology exists to easily and at minimal cost set up hidden digital video cameras around your neighborhood.
Software triggers the camera to operate based on motion. If there is movement in the pixels, the camera starts shooting. Sensitivity is adjustable so that a falling leaf or chasing squirrel doesn't trigger the camera, but something larger, like a person on foot does.
These systems are becoming more common on private property. Owners can install these systems in the fronts of their homes, back yards, or in alleys. Multiple owners can create networks to cover entire blocks. Big brother watching you? Maybe.
Yet, if you're a would be car clouter, drug dealer, garage thief or grafitti tagger, and you see a sign at the entrance to a neighborhood street announcing the presence of 24 hour digital surveillance, are you less likely to attempt a crime on the block? And if a crime occurs, and the act is caught via digital recorder, does law enforcement have a way to apprehend criminals?
Would you want to expand systems like these in your neighborhood? Should we push for these in areas of increased criminal activity? Is a future with expanded video surveillance likely for St. Louis? Is there a downside?