Law Enforcement Archives
License plate recognition, or LPR, is an incredibly useful software feature that allows you to track traffic, control entry into your business, find stolen vehicles, and much more. But do you know how LPR works and when to use it?
License plate recognition software is based on a database - your camera captures video of the license plate numbers and then either stores it for later use, or compares it to an existing database. For example:
- Secured & gated entrances, such as military bases or permit-based parking garages, will automatically compare each approaching vehicle's license plate to a database of authorized personnel, and only open the gates if that license plate number is on the list
- Parking enforcement officials can record cars as they enter and park, giving them a video to refer to if cars go over the time limit or attempt in and out parking
- Police and other law officials can review local traffic videos to search for the license plates of stolen vehicles or suspected cars in other crimes
To record these videos, however, you'll need a specialized system and camera setup. This includes:
- Video management software with advanced options for license plate recognition
- Cameras installed in locations that are at the right height to record license plates
- Low speed limits for oncoming traffic, so the camera has long enough to focus on each car as it approaches
- Proper lighting, either external or built-in IRs, to combat harsh overhead lighting in parking garages or dark shadows in underground structures
LPR is available on a wide range of video management software, including industry leading Milestone. Their Milestone XProtect LPR software includes database searching, filtering, and sorting, along with alarms if your system detects an unknown or blacklisted license plate.
It doesn't matter if you own or operate a retail business; regular office buildings and suites are also prime targets for thieves. According to a recent news report by ABC7news.com, three businesses in Fremont, California (Black Magic Design, Mac House Productions, and Core Microsystems) had hundreds of thousands of dollars of office equipment stolen by a group of suspects. Law enforcement claims that these were savvy thieves with experience in this type of theft by acting fast and knowledgeable in what they were doing. The good news is that Mac Productions' video surveillance cameras successfully recorded the entire incident, with a $10,000 reward offered to anyone who can identify and turn the suspects in to police.
"Lots of cameras and all our lenses are pretty much gone. They [thieves] cleaned out the entire gear room. My mics, like little things that add up. They're little things, but thousands of dollars for each little item," said the owner of Mac House Productions. What has presumably happened to all the stolen items? Police suspect that the equipment will be headed to China, and that the suspects were well-versed in the value of the gear they stole.
At Core Microsystems, the thieves sawed through drywall to get inside. While they worked on gaining access to the office, they also cut the wires of the network servers and phone lines. In this case, the thieves stole $200,000 of items from the business.
Law enforcement officials believe that the surveillance recording of the suspects will garner new information from viewers, and hopefully lead to an arrest. The video of the suspects can be seen on the ABC7 News site.
Charged with second degree fraud, a man in Washington, D.C. staged a slip-and-fall with a banana peel while riding an elevator at the Potomac Avenue Metro Station. When the elevator opened, he walked onto the banana peel and fell to the floor causing a fictitious hip and leg injury.
The perpetrator immediately filed a $15,000 lawsuit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for his purported injuries, which turned out to be completely false after a video surfaced. The video clip captured by a surveillance camera shows the man drop the banana peel on the elevator floor then look directly at the camera perched above him. To read the full story, click here. We've posted the video of the incident below.
Housing nearly 20,000 inmates per day, Los Angeles County's eight penitentiaries have to maintain the highest level of security. To ensure these facilities are under close watch, the Los Angeles Police Department have gone to great lengths deploy thousands of surveillance cameras. As part of the new expansion, the LAPD is in the process of building a centralized surveillance system by upgrading to IP video technology. The surveillance program, which kicked off in 2011, will add 2,500 IP cameras to the mix, all with HD resolution.
The internal network storage system holds over three petabytes of video, allowing police to go in and scrutinize video up to several months after an alleged incident. In addition to strengthening physical security in all eight jails, the expanded surveillance program is intended to look for and catch cases of staff misconduct as to avoid costly law suits.
Merchants along a 1.25-mile stretch of Madison Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio's Cudell neighborhood have seen a significant drop in crime after teaming up to purchase 50 surveillance cameras. This extraordinary effort was made possible by Cudell Improvement, Inc., a nonprofit organization that helped identify the most optimal points to place the cameras along Madison.
Once the cameras were installed, businesses were not only able to effectively deter criminals, but also capture them on video as they recently had in a case that involved a masked robber. View the video below for the full story:
Venezuela is undertaking great efforts to quell crime by installing 30,000 surveillance cameras in strategic locations across the country, with a large portion to be deployed in Caracas, the country's capital. Some surveillance cameras have already been installed in Caracas' metropolitan area as part of a testing phase. Venezuelan police plan to utilize recorded video to help solve crimes.
Roughly 16,000 murders occurred in Venezuela in 2012, underscoring the need for tighter security forces. In the first quarter of 2013 there were 3,400 murders. In addition to placing security cameras throughout the nation, Venezuela will send out troops to aid in combating crime and corruption.
Spearheaded by VideoSurveillance.com, CommunityCam is a free crowd-sourced camera mapping tool that allows users to upload and view surveillance camera locations across the U.S. Since its release a few months ago, CommunityCam has acquired thousands of cameras in Philadelphia and the Pacific Northwest, with visible growth every day from new users around the country.
CommunityCam's primary goal is to make communities safer by providing residents and law enforcement with a map of security cameras that have been seen first-hand by map participants. CommunityCam is an excellent resource to have at your fingertips in the event of a crime, as it gives people the ability to locate nearby surveillance cameras that may have captured the incident on video.
Free to use, CommunityCam features a navigable interface with pin balloons and a scroll function to zoom in and out on camera locations. Optimized for the iPhone and iPad, users can check in on the map from virtually anywhere with secure internet access. To upload and view cameras in your area, visit: www.videosurveillance.com/communitycam. Below is a screen shot of CommunityCam on an iPhone:
According to a segment on CNN Money, the U.S. spends $60 billion on video surveillance and security equipment per year, with that amount expected to soar as more cities deploy security camera systems to thwart crime.
Take for example Chicago, which over the last decade, has installed an upwards of 8,000 surveillance cameras. In 2006 alone, the Chicago police made roughly 4,000 arrests, owing to video evidence captured by city cameras. Furthermore, Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, reported that for every $1 invested in surveillance cameras, it saves Chicago $4 in other possible costs, including the costs of court and incarceration. The video below highlights the positive impact video surveillance has had on solving and reducing crime:
The upscale town of Piedmont, California refuses to let burglars get away with their crime. After a torrent of burglaries made their way into Piedmont, residents have spoken out in favor of installing high-end surveillance cameras on every street within city limits.Read More
Since 2005, the Chinese Government has worked aggressively to build the country's public surveillance system known as Skynet. And they've been quite successful at it. Today, the country is equipped with as many as 30 million security cameras according to National Public Radio.Read More
Fort Collins, Colorado is taking new steps to enforce an ordinance against panhandling. The city's police department has set up mobile surveillance cameras at intersections where panhandlers are disrupting traffic. Panhandlers often walk out into intersections at red lights and attempt to finagle spare change from drivers. Police officers with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office see their behavior as a safety hazard, and are turning to surveillance to keep an eye on panhandling activity at targeted intersections around the city. Panhandlers can expect a considerable fine of $1,000 for engaging in the act.
Police are able to access live camera feeds remotely from their laptop while patrolling in their squad cars. Because of recent cuts, the police department isn't able to assign any of its deputies to monitor these intersections on foot. However, the presence of surveillance cameras at busy lights has already reduced the amount of panhandling. Police are confident that these new cameras will continue to deter panhandlers from entering intersections, and are impressed with the results thus far. Learn more about Fort Collins' surveillance project by watching this video:
It can be difficult to catch vandals, especially since many of them deface property or objects in the dead of night when others are sleeping. City parks and monumental landmarks have long been hotspots for vandals, with some finally fighting back by using video surveillance to identify perpetrators.Read More
In an effort to foil crime and increase public safety, the city of Dallas, Texas will add 600 new security cameras to its citywide surveillance system. The Dallas Police Department has concentrated on 27 areas that are prone to crime, all of which will soon be outfitted with new cameras and video management software upgrades.Read More
Results from the National Retail Security Survey showed that retail stores across America lost billions of dollars to employee theft, shoplifting, organized crime, and administrative blunders in 2011. The survey was conducted by the University of Florida.Read More
According to the Newark Division of Police, surveillance cameras have had a positive impact on Newark. A deluge of security cameras installed in businesses, at traffic lights, and on city buildings has aided law enforcement in identifying criminal suspects caught on video. Video footage can significantly help prosecutors convict a suspect when used as evidence in a trial. Not only can video evidence serve as an essential tool in solving crimes and convicting offenders, but it can also prove a person's innocence.Read More
Groundbreaking news as U.S. District Judge William Griesbach decreed that the nation's Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) can now deploy warrantless spy surveillance cameras (also referred to also as covert or hidden cameras) on plots of rural property without permission from the land owner(s). The verdict played a critical role in placing hidden video surveillance cameras in strategic spots throughout a plant farm to bust marijuana growers. The aim of installing these incredibly obscure security cameras was for recording detailed video evidence to prove that at least 30 to 40 marijuana plants were being grown on 22-acres of land. What's so unique about this case is that this is the first time the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of warrantless surveillance.Read More
At VideoSurveillance.com, we're all about keeping our customers safe and protected. We've also underlined the fact that megapixel-quality and/or high-definition surveillance cameras provide clear and detailed images that make recognition and identification possible. Prosecutors in La Crosse, Wisconsin agree. The local La Crosse Police Department also concurs; video surveillance footage has been instrumental in solving crimes, including those that have taken place in the last year. Tim Gruenke, District Attorney, spoke to LaCrosseTribune.com, saying that video has become one of the best tools for prosecutors in the courtroom. He went on to state the following, which was highlighted inRead More
To all those thieves and vandals out in cyberspace: If you snap a photo of yourself posed with an item you stole, or one where you're standing in front of a historic monument that you vandalized, it's probably not the best idea to post it on your Facebook or Twitter account. Believe it or not, your friends and acquaintances will see these photos, and eventually law enforcement will come across them through a simple social media search. Busted!Read More
The City of Buffalo, New York is outfitted with a high-end surveillance camera system that acts as both a crime deterrent and valuable evidentiary tool for police. The city's first security camera went up just five years ago.Read More
Despite the video's poor quality, we're still able to make out the funniest part: two convicts knocking into each other after trying to run past a pole (or through the pole, should we say). An escape gone awry, perhaps?Read More
Brisbane, Australia has 16 mobile surveillance cameras currently in operation at 70 known garbage dumping sites throughout the city. And, so far, theyâ€™ve been doing a great job.Read More
This empty-headed criminal figured heâ€™d set fire to a building while he was in it. Why? We no longer ask these types of questions when viewing outrageously imbecilic crooks on video. Check it out below:Read More
Thanks to Milestone Systems' pioneering mobile phone application, the Pittsburgh Police Department is now able to view live public surveillance footage on their Androids and Apple Smartphones. Prior to the discovery of such an application, the department viewed all 86 cameras in a monitoring room, which slowed their response to on-camera crime.Read More
These two aspiring robbers figured that throwing a baseball through a glass window would be enough to make their entrance into a bank. Why not, right? You throw it as hard as you can at the window, break it, and voila, you're in the building. Unfortunately for these two, the window was made from laminated glass, also known as "safety glass." Often used for banks, greenhouse windows, and vehicles, this type of glass is made with a plastic film that keeps the glass intact when objects try to penetrate it.Read More
Even with a knife in his hand, the convenience store robber was in no way prepared for what would happen when he demanded money from the cashier. The clerk, who is a former marine, was able to easily fight off the robber, grabbing his arm and twisting the knife out of it. In addition to being a former marine, the clerk had over 25 years of experience in karate and combat training. The video shows just how easy it was for the marine to take control of the situation. You almost start to feel sorry for the robber as it unfolds (because he's a complete fool). The robber tries his best to run out of the store after, but of course you can't flee when you've got a marine holding you down!Read More
Just this past weekend, over 20 adolescents raided a popular Chicago clothing boutique where they stole $3,000 worth of designer jeans. Immediately afterwards, the store owner posted the surveillance tape of the crime on his YouTube account in the hope of catching the suspects.Read More
VideoSurveillance.com will soon kick off the Top Cop Blog Award contest to celebrate the Internet's most intelligent, creatively written cop blogs. As a provider of security solutions, we want our customers to have access to the most fascinating, smart, and compelling blogs with law enforcement, safety, or security themes.Read More
The Baltimore Police Department has heightened its security camera program by bringing residents and businesses into the mix. The city approved an extension of the department's current program by giving residential and business communities the opportunity to share their video surveillance footage with the police.Read More
After attending a late-night house party that was broken up by cops, hundreds of teens turned their efforts towards raiding a nearby Walmart on Lem Turner Road in Jacksonville, Florida. As soon as they arrived, gunshots were fired into the air to make their presence known.Read More
Five housing authority buildings in New York are eagerly awaiting the arrival of security cameras. A spate of robberies, drug deals, street fights, and even a shooting that occurred in one of the building's playground last year has prompted the demand for increased security.Read More
Vidalia is currently in the process of outfitting the city's Police Department with 18 indoor and outdoor day/night security cameras to monitor the premises. In addition to the Vidalia Police Department, the city plans to outfit other key areas with security cameras, including such public places as riverfronts, streets and parks. As reported by NatchezDemocrat.com, the video cameras have the ability to zoom in on objects and persons over two miles away, providing law enforcement with a clear view of all activity in and out of the building. Next up to receive cameras is the City Hall and fire department.Read More
These dimwit crooks actually thought they'd be able to get away with robbing a jewelry store in broad daylight. As the six thieves begin to pounce on the glass windows, breaking and smashing the store's front side entrance, out of nowhere comes running the superwoman bystander who refuses to let them get away with their crime. The woman, who was in her 70s, attacks them repeatedly with her handbag, and almost immediately the group tries their fastest to flee the scene.Read More
Fourteen new video surveillance cameras will soon have homes on top of docks, light poles, and lifeguard stations in Mission Bay, San Diego. To date, cameras have already been installed at the San Diego Lifeguard Headquarters, the Ocean Beach Pier, Vacation Island, and Mission Point. In just two weeks, the brand new security cameras will be fully operational and ready to record in 12 new locations.Read More
Starting today, we'll end our weekly blog by posting a video and accompanying description of a burglar, thief, or criminal whose pitiful efforts at committing a crime were caught on video. Sad, funny, or just plain head-scratching, these criminals may want to re-think their careers.Read More
Portland Police Chief Mike Reese's plan to install video surveillance cameras throughout Old Town, Portland was approved by the Portland City Council on June 6th, 2012.Read More
VideoSurveillance.com turned its attention to highly experienced law enforcement veteran Frank Borelli of Officer.com to gain a better prospective on video surveillance in police and retail applications. Frank Borelli, who also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, has more than 25 years of police experience and over 20 years of instructor experience. He has stayed active in police work and training, and has written extensively on law enforcement. In late May 2012, VideoSurveillance.com had the pleasure of interviewing Officer Borelli about video surveillance cameras and their effectiveness. We've included an excerpt from the interview below.Read More
Tignish is a quaint little town, home to a population of approximately of 758 people. Located on Prince Edward Island, the town's most noteworthy attraction is the St. Simon and St. Jude Catholic Church. Excellent fishing and country cottages appeal to tourists.Read More
The U.S. generates roughly 210 million tons of garbage each year, with the average American producing roughly 4.6 pounds of trash on a daily basis. The problem lies in where people dump their trash. Rather than pay for city disposal services, many individuals illegally dump their garbage elsewhere to save money, even if thatâ€™s in recycling bins, in rivers, down hills on hiking trails, or out the window of their vehicle. Sure, they won't get caught if they're discreet about it right? Cities across America are beginning to implement effective solutions to make certain they don't.Read More
As he was led out of the courtroom, Richard Lavern Remington had one last thing to say to Safeway officials after he was banned from the store for life and ordered by Judge Youlee Yim You to pay $20,000 for the crimes he committed: "I'll be back!"Read More
With cattle selling at around $1,000 each and bulls selling for $1,500 to $2,000, cattle thieves have a clear-cut motive for raiding ranches and farms, and stealing as many cattle as they can get their hands on. Just one job can easily turn into a $20,000 cattle heist. In 2010 and 2011, Texas and the Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) claimed losses of $4.8 million in stolen ranch property, including bulls, steers, cows, and calves. Cattle theft is becoming more commonplace in states that boast lucrative agricultural markets. The increase in beef prices and appeal of selling cattle at a hefty profit has been enough to pique the interest of cunning thieves who are well aware that multi-acre ranches aren't usually protected by sophisticated - or any - video surveillance systems.Read More
The city of Gilroy, California recently invested in a security camera system that they're hoping will not only deter crime, but encourage shoppers and tourists to visit the new downtown by dispelling the impression that the city is too dangerous or dingy to visit. City officials and businesses are hoping the cameras show the city cares about downtown and the visitors' safety.Read More
The River Vale Police Department in New Jersey recently installed a digital surveillance solution from JVC Professional Products. The new IP surveillance system replaces an outdated analog system with a mix of indoor and outdoor cameras watching over any areas at the police station where officers and visitors are including entrances, the dispatch center, the jail, and the parking lot.Read More
Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are turning to video surveillance systems in police cars for increased security. The market for mobile video surveillance equipment for patrol cars is forecasted to grow at an average of 6.5 percent per year according to new reports. Already, over 40 percent of the 450,000 police cars in the U.S. already have digital video surveillance.Read More
A new 250-bed jail in Midland County, Michigan is going the digital surveillance route with IP-based video surveillance technology from Panasonic System Solutions to secure its facilities. The 103,000-square foot facility will be monitored by a cutting-edge surveillance solution that includes 87 Panasonic IP dome cameras along with high-capacity NVRs.Read More
Usually we think of hidden cameras as being squirreld away in buttonholes and cleverly placed in newspapers and briefcases during high-stakes criminal investigations or by spies trying to crack open state secrets. Not so in Philadelphia. THe city has recently announced the introduction of mobile covert surveillance cameras to help control the city's rampant problems with illegal dumping.Read More
Charlestown, Rhode Island's new police station was built with features designed to handle future surveillance upgrades not only for video security in and around the station, but also for monitoring the entire community. The station's IP surveillance system uses a mix of Videology and Axis network cameras, analog IR cameras run through video encoders, and Milestone XProtect video management software.Read More
The Wood County Courthouse in Parkersburg, West Virginia will soon experience a security upgrade with the installation of a comprehensive video surveillance system. The new security cameras will supplement a keycard access control system which was installed in the 109-year-old courthouse several years ago. While the keycards are able to track who enters the building, the surveillance cameras will provide video images of everyone who enters and leaves the facility.Read More
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to a citywide measure that would allow defendants in criminal cases to use recordings from the city's surveillance cameras to prove their innocence. The measure passed by a vote of 7 to 2, and it will require the city to hold on to the footage from 74 cameras for at least 30 days. However, city officials say that this is not possible with the city's existing equipment.Read More
In an effort to further reduce crime in the city of Tayside, the Scottish city has decided to outfit its police force with a tiny video surveillance camera mounted directly onto the uniform starting next June. Tayside has been at the forefront of surveillance technology before - it was the first Scottish town to add security cameras to patrol bikes in 2006.Read More
The Dougherty County Courthouse in Albany, GA has stepped up its security program by adding surveillance cameras - ten, to be exact - to monitor movements around the building. Monitored around-the-clock by the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office, the ten cameras (which are concealed from the public) monitor each courtroom, all doors, stairways and side halls of the courthouse.Read More
Drusillas Park, a 15 acre small-animals zoo in the UK, recently added a series of Optex IP cameras to protect its animal tenants, which include meerkats, owls, gibbons, otters, and attractions like a Thomas the Tank Engine train ride.Read More
The Pittsburgh Police Department is one of several police agencies utilizing cutting-edge technology to scan license plates from roving surveillance cameras on their cruisers. The city has been using the technology for a couple years now and it appears to be paying off. In the past two years, the cameras have helped Pittsburgh police successfully recover 180 stolen cars.Read More
It's more than common - graffiti, street art, vandalism, tagging...Whatever word you choose to assign to it, it's pervasive. Police and law enforcement around the world have been playing a game of cat-and-mouse with graffiti artists for years, only able to follow clues and witness accounts to prosecute street artists - who often slink and spray under the cover of darkness.Read More
Frank Waterhouse had a major victory against the City of Portland when he was acquitted of charges of criminal trespass and disorderly contact. Now, he and three others are suing the Portland Police department for damages, claiming the police violated their constitutional rights when they tried to film a property search in May 2006. See video from Waterhouse's camera inside....Read More
One of the decisions that must be made when installing a video surveillance system is whether to keep the presence of security cameras relatively secret, or blatantly obvious. The thinking behind openly announcing the cameras' existence is that it will work as a stronger deterrent to crime. In other words, criminals are more likely to stop before they start if they know they're on camera. Such is the strategy in Onslow County, North Carolina, where the county's Superior Court building was recently equipped with security cameras that transmit feeds to flat-screen television monitors mounted on the wall for all to see. The Court Security Committee wanted a system that was overt rather than covert.Read More
One of the biggest concerns many people have when in the market for a video surveillance camera is "How do I know it'll work?" Their concerns aren't completely unfounded - surveillance cameras are great at identification and constant monitoring, but what happens when you have a true emergency on your hands? Security With Advanced Technology has introduced a system it hopes will demonstrate the potential that developing technology has for improving video surveillance.Read More
Surveillance cameras are playing a key role in the investigation of a hit and run accident that resulted in the death of 17-year-old Tiffany Bottenfield in Welland, Ontario. The incident took place at the intersection of Rosewood and Aqueduct, near the Seaway Mall. A mall supervisor assisted the Niagara Regional Police in scouring through footage from the mall's 33 security cameras searching for the suspects based solely on their physical description.Read More
Police in Brooklyn, NY have used a surveillance system once used by criminals to track activities around their hideout to incriminate a drunk driver responsible for a tragic accident on Monday.Read More
After the surprising and tragic slaying of Pakistani national cricket coach Bob Woolmer at the world championships in Jamaica, authorities have revealed that they have identified a suspect in the case thanks to digitally enhanced surveillance footage.Read More
The city of Los Angeles is deploying a unique wireless surveillance network to keep watch over the Jordan Downs public-housing complex. Officials hope the system will improve safety for residents in one of the city's most dangerous crime-infested areas. The network consists of 10 wireless surveillance cameras and MOTOMESH, Motorola's wireless broadband network. MOTOMESH provides WiFi access to the public and will allow emergency responders to remain in constant communication, even while on the move. The inclusion of MOTOMESH also allows the system to expand far beyond Jordan Downs and over the entire city if officials decide to broaden the network.Read More
In Bellingham, WA, a newspaper reader helped police track down a Bank of America robbery suspect. Video surveillance of the robbery produced a clean image of the suspect, which was then released by police to the media and published in the Feb. 27 edition of The Bellingham Herald. A Herald reader recognized the man in the surveillance video image and phoned the authorities with his identity.Read More
In New York City, a trio of thieves has been pilfering local Duane Reade pharmacy outlets on a consistent basis since mid-January. The spree intensified last week when the burglars upped their workload to two heists per day, reeling in tens of thousands of dollars along the way. What the thieves didn't know was that security officials had been methodically planning their capture. On Monday, Feb. 26, that plan came to fruition. 140 plainclothes officers were staked throughout Manhattan's 47 Duane Reade stores. Officers in a central observation room then monitored video surveillance footage fed from each store's security camera system.Read More
Fifty nine video surveillance cameras currently watch over the Guadalupe county jail, and officials want more. Concerned with drug trafficking and prisoner safety, Sheriff Arnold Zwicke is requesting the replacement of 15 current cameras and the addition of 45 more, bringing the total to 104.