Private Surveillance Footage Could Help Solve Crimes, According to Police
Imagine a database that lists every private surveillance system in your town, or in all of New Jersey. The move, to some, could be as seen as intrusive, but law enforcement officials claim it would help immensely in solving criminal cases.
Police in Moorestown, Burlington County, recently launched a program that asks homeowners and businesses to register their surveillance cameras with the department.
Participants would include their name, address, contact number and camera locations, but registration is voluntary.
"We found in the past…with a lot of people putting up home residential security, as well as businesses, it often captures either the actual perpetrators or their vehicles coming to or away from the crime," said Lt. Lee Lieber. "Rather than have our officers go door to door and up and down the streets…hopefully we can establish an inventory."
Lieber said the new program should not be considered an invasion of privacy. Cops have no direct access to anyone's cameras, and the footage would only be viewed by police after the homeowner or business is asked.
Meanwhile in Trenton, a measure that has passed the full Assembly would permit all New Jersey municipalities to enact ordinances allowing voluntary registration of outdoor cameras.
Bill sponsor Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Belleville) said the bill originally allowed towns to mandate registration, but it was revised to protect residents' rights.
"If certain communities do not want to enact this, that's fine, but in areas where it's needed, I think it's important that we have that kind of information," Caputo said.
The legislation was recommended by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, according to Caputo.