Monday, December 31, 2018

As security cameras proliferate, they're preventing and solving more crime in KC

As security cameras become cheaper, higher quality and more accessible, we are seeing tremendous benefits from them in both preventing and solving crime. They’ve been in the news a lot lately for their role in capturing package thieves, but they can help us solve everything from a burglary to a murder.

The partnerships we’ve formed with the community and a security camera provider have further enhanced the effectiveness of these cameras. If you have not yet registered for WatchKC, I encourage you to do so. WatchKC is a program in which residents and businesses can let us know that they have cameras. We then put those on a map that only certain detectives can see. The detectives can ask those camera owners if they caught any footage related to crime that has happened in the area. It’s a lot faster than walking door-to-door, so detectives can use their time more effectively.

We also partnered with Ring on their Neighbors by Ring App in October. This allows us to see videos and crime information Ring users share on the Neighbors app in real time. Police cannot see any identifying information about the user, just the block on which they live. As one of our crime analysts said, “That is my favorite part of the day: looking to see if anyone added video in our patrol division.”

These pictures don’t just help us – they help neighbors look out for each other. We’ve seen increased neighborhood awareness through these cameras and people sharing what they’ve recorded on social media and apps. That makes residents more aware of what’s going on around them and leads them to take preventative measures. It also makes them more willing to call us if they see something suspicious.

People caught on camera doing suspicious or criminal things at your home or business rarely commit just one crime. These videos and pictures help us link them to numerous other crimes.

So if you got a security camera for the holidays, we’d love for you to help us solve and prevent crime by registering with WatchKC or joining the Neighbors by Ring app.

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