Video surveillance can be a useful tool in convicting perpetrators of crime, but only under certain circumstances. Sometimes, video evidence cannot or will not be allowed in court. Below are some tips to help ensure your vital evidence is used if it’s ever needed.
Correct the Date & Time Stamp
According to the FBI, more than half of all security camera systems have the wrong time stamped on the video by at least an hour due to daylight savings time or input error. This can mean the video evidence submitted will be out of sync timewise with the chain of events. This can cause the prosecution to not use your video evidence. In same court cases, video surveillance with the wrong date and time stamp has been used for the defense of the perpetrator. Make sure your camera system always has the correct date and time stamp displayed and recording. Ensure your systems corrects itself for daylight savings. Many new security camera systems will allow you to update the date using your smart device. If not, the camera control system on a desktop computer should allow you to change the time.
Use Cameras with High Definition Images & Color Imaging
Many less expensive security cameras that are available from big box and electronic stores use low-cost imaging chips which have trouble distinguishing between red and yellow during the daytime. These cameras will supplement these colors with hues of blue and green. Cameras that do not record high definition images can only give a vague impression of the person or persons committing the crime. Images that don’t clearly show a suspect are not useful in court.
Consider installing a “Smart CCTV System.” These systems allow you to monitor, adjust, and record from your smart device. If you suspect suspicious activity, but are away from home, being able to connect remotely can make a huge difference. You’ll be able to note the time and date, have a first person account of what happened, and can notify the police sooner.