With the advent of video surveillance being used by more and more businesses and homeowners, with the attempt to deter crime. A new victimization has arose via law enforcement’s proclivity for seizing private citizens videos as “evidence”. The ability to transfer the same information onto another media, seems to be beyond the ken of police technicians and other forensic personnel, causing them to confiscate entire recording systems, leaving the victims of violent crime without any surveillance cameras at all. When questioned about the length of time a confiscated system will be in the police evidence room, they are told that in all likelihood the property will be held until the case is settled, which on average is three years. The system will undoubtly be obsolete by the time it is released. In the meantime, the “victim” is encouraged to go and purchase another system in case something else should happen on the premises, and the police can come and seize that equipment as well. Video systems cost between $1500 and $2500 dollars, for a system with decent resolution. But a 16 camera system can be purchased at Sam’s Wholesale for about $750 dollars. With a local government’s budget’s adding about 10-12 thousand dollars to their annual cost, they could replace the business’s system with a loaner system and prevent the Double victimization of businesses trying to aid law enforcement in their pursuit, capture, and prosecution of criminals. Due to recent events, I no longer wish to help the legal system because of their caviler attitudes. They were rude, closed minded and seemed to be incensed at me for questioning their authority, in an attempt to protect my interests in my property. (For those who don’t know, our store was robbed and my son was murdered. )
The popularity of private surveillance systems, call for a change in policy dealing with collection of evidence. There is something wrong with the rights of the accused, trumping the rights of the victims.