More and more cities are turning to public surveillance cameras to curb crime. This short list, excerpted from a forthcoming Urban Institute guidebook, should help municipal decision-makers get their bearings. (Check www.urban.org for the full story later this month.)
THE TOP TEN LESSONS FOR PUBLIC SURVEILLANCE USE
- Assess your needs and budget before investing.
- Plan ahead for maintenance, infrastructure, and other ongoing costs.
- Plan camera locations to maximize the view-shed.
- Consider integration with other technology.
- Balance privacy protection with system utility.
- Weigh the costs and benefits to using active monitoring.
- Integrate camera systems with existing practices and procedures.
- Set and manage realistic expectations for video footage quality.
- Incorporate video evidence with witness testimony in court.
- Use surveillance systems to complement, not replace, routine policing, investigations, and legal proceedings.
(From “Using Public Surveillance Systems for Crime Control and Prevention: A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement Officers and Their Municipal Partners”)