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Video surveillance cameras are everywhere

Current News for Forensic Audio Clarification, Video Enhancement, and Still Image Analysis

Security surveillance cameras from government buildings, roadways, intersections, retail shops, corporate offices, and private homes -- as well as body-worn police officer cameras and car-mounted video recording devices –- are being used as digital evidence in courts, hearings, and insurance investigations. Plus an incredible number of cases have some involvement with smartphone audio, images, or video.

Across the country, audio, video, and still image evidence is playing a huge role in civil and criminal investigations and prosecution.

In addition, automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) are capturing cars as they travel within a city, over bridges, in malls, through national parks, and across the country. See our report on license plate readers. ALPRs are even installed on street sweepers. You're being watched and it's not pretty... Here is an article we wrote about lawsuits being brought in California claiming invasion of privacy.

One of the first public surveillance security camera networks was installed in New York's Time Square in the early 1970's. By May 2000 there were, by one count, 131 cameras. Today, the area around NY Time Square is saturated with surveillance cameras, with estimates ranging from 600 to 850 cameras!

The first major citywide surveillance camera installations were in England, where CCTV video security camera evidence helped most notably in the 2005 London subway and bus bombings to quickly find suspects and prevent future terrorist attacks. That success helped the use of security surveillance cameras to become more acceptable, both in England and around the world. Today in England there is estimated to be more than 1.85 million cameras; that's one camera for every 32 Britons. The average person in England on a typical day is estimated to be recorded 70 times.

The capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was successful due to the proliferation of surveillance cameras. This has encouraged other cities to expand their security camera coverage.

Large cities across the U.S. have spent millions on high-definition surveillance security camera systems in the interest of deterring both general crime and to detect, stop, and solve terrorist attacks. Cities such as New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago have installed enormous citywide security surveillance camera systems. For example, Chicago has a network of 15,000 CCTV surveillance cameras (and growing), San Francisco's bus system and the system in Boston record audio and video of its passengers with live streaming of all the captured data to Homeland Security, and the Los Angeles Police Department is now having all their officers wear body worn video cameras while they are on patrol.

In Las Vegas, taxi cabs are equipped with video security cameras. These recordings are stored for at least a month and often longer. What happens in Vegas really does stay in Vegas! It stays for at least a month anyway.

More and more, recorded audio and video devices capture suspicious activity that ends up being used as digital media evidence in courts and requires a reliable forensic video and audio expert to analyze the digital evidence, provide a reliable chain of evidence, and explain this evidence in court to a judge or jury.

Video evidence used in courts most commonly consists of security camera video or cellphone video clips and occasionally is video captured by professional news cameras either on the ground or in helicopters.


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