Weinland Park has experienced a drop in crime rates—a 46 percent drop in the past year. The Hilltop saw a 44 percent decrease, and both Mount Vernon and Linden have experienced drops of 14 percent. What do these Columbus communities have in common? They’ve all had police cameras installed.
The cameras were installed last year, to the tune of $2.2 million. Following the release of these statistics, the Mayor and nearly everyone else involved is singing the praises of the cameras, remarking on their good investment.
Twelve more cameras will be added this year, in 4 areas along E. Livingston Avenue. Unlike the other neighborhoods, this one saw an increase of 14 percent in crimes like burglary, drug offense, thefts, robberies, and weapons offenses. Is it a case of displacement? No one knows for certain.
One of the main criticisms of these cameras is that they don’t reduce crime at all, they merely move it. Criminals won’t stop their activities because they are being watched. They will, however, move to a location where they can’t be seen.
The city admits they aren’t sure if the crime has merely moved, but says they plan on researching that this fall.
Also, they don’t track how often the footage is used to solve crimes or how often a cop is sent out after seeing something suspicious on the cameras—both of which would be useful information.
The cameras are monitored by security officers at City Hall. They are on them from Thursday night until Sunday morning. But even when security isn’t watching the footage, the cameras are recording, and the footage is stored for up to 14 days.
Residents who live where the cameras are already installed are largely happy with them, noticing the changes and the reduction in visible criminal activity. Business owners and residents alike feel safer without illegal activity going on right in front of them.
The likelihood of being caught committing a crime on one of these cameras is pretty low. However, video footage of a crime can be pretty solid evidence in a criminal trial. If you are accused of committing a crime, and you’re worried the evidence against you is good, contact our offices today.