CCTV - The Silent Witness

Violent crime and drug offences in the UK have risen above pre-pandemic levels, according to the public body, UK Research and Innovation. As reported by the Office for National Statistics, in 2020, crime in London had risen five times more than in the rest of the country, with knife crime reaching a record high. In more recent times, we are seeing a disproportionate amount of violent crime against women and girls.


With the prevalence and rise of criminal activity, law enforcement agencies in the UK and across the globe are capitalising the use of CCTV footage in criminal investigations.


What role does CCTV play in a criminal investigation?


Whilst CCTV is usually installed as a means of deterring criminal activity, its footage can be used to provide forensic evidence of a crime scene.


When there is no eye witness to a crime, CCTV footage can be instrumental in solving the offence. The opposite is also true, when there are multiple witnesses to a crime, you may get discrepancies in statements; in contrast, the visual consistency of CCTV footage makes it a reliable witness.


CCTV footage can provide a sequence of events and help investigators to establish the timeline of the crime or offence. The footage can determine who was involved, either directly or indirectly, can be used to verify the accuracy of statements provided by both the suspects and witnesses and also generate other investigative leads.


The evidence provided by CCTV footage is undeniably valuable to criminal investigations and according to the College of Policing, it helps to reduce crime overall. In some cases, perpetrators would never have been discovered if CCTV hadn’t been installed. It’s also true that the presence of CCTV can reduce fear among the public. The reduction in fear may help in increasing the number of people using specific areas. This in turn increases natural surveillance and encourages people to be more security conscious.


Of course, the benefits of CCTV are not just limited to criminal activity. A few months ago, former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, was captured on CCTV breaching coronavirus guidance, by embracing his adviser!

 

For CCTV evidence to be conclusive, the images must be of high quality. Watch Systems Ltd understand the importance of this and provide a range of IP CCTV Surveillance Systems that provide top quality visuals, including image formatting services and facial mapping. They provide affordable solutions for businesses of all sizes. For a free survey, click here.

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