Database of private security cameras could help in crime investigation

June 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM   |   Comments

BALTIMORE, June 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. arm of a Russian software firm says it's created a database to help Baltimore police track down private surveillance video that may help solve crimes.

"We've almost completed development of a database application for the IT department of the city of Baltimore, which allows companies to voluntarily register data about security cameras they already own and operate," Bill Conforti of EastBanc Technologies' Washington office told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

"So if there's a crime, the police department can contact the owners of cameras who have registered in the location where the crime was committed" to request access to their video footage for help in solving the crime, Conforti said.

The database, which would strengthen Baltimore's CitiWatch program of 580 city-operated video cameras, would speed up crime investigations because police "would know which companies' footage they could request -- they would not have to wait for the companies to come forward," he said.

The database being developed by EBT, based in the southwestern Siberian city of Novosibirsk, is not an active surveillance program, he stressed, because police would only view footage from private cameras registered on the database if they receive a report of a crime in the neighborhood.

The database is nearly ready to be rolled out, he said, but the actual date would be determined by city officials.

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