EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

April 26, 2013

Surveillance cameras have fans, detractors

Public safety officials love them, ACLU not as much

Surveillance cameras are everywhere — in public parks, on traffic lights, trained on store counters.

Police love them, retailers rely on them, but not everyone thinks being under constant surveillance is a good thing.

The FBI used a combination of public and private surveillance video to identify the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Derry police identified the getaway car used in a string of holdups to track down the suspect.

In Lawrence, police released video tape of a crime scene and used it to prosecute a man for first-degree murder.

But Devon Chaffee, executive director of the New Hampshire American Civil Liberties Union, said too much surveillance isn’t necessarily a good thing.

“There appears to be very little evidence in that they are effective in actually preventing the crimes,” Chaffee said. “The problem I have is when it comes to tracking people with surveillance. We have strong laws here in New Hampshire which protect people from unwanted surveillance.”

When several Southern New Hampshire convenience stores and restaurants were robbed recently, police Chief Edward Garone knew right where to turn: the video tape.

“It’s always one of the first things we look for when a crime has been committed,” Garone said.

In Derry, police routinely use both public and private video footage.

“I’m a big advocate of using this equipment,” Garone said. “People tend to not do awful acts when they are fearful of being watched. We have about a dozen town-owned cameras set up around town in various places.”

Alexander Carr Park, Hood Park and the Derry Municipal Center are some of the places with surveillance cameras. But they’re primarily there to prevent crimes rather than solve them.

“We have some limited crime recorded on them, but the purpose is for everyone to know they are there,” Garone said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Stolen Car Collides With Greyhound Bus Raw: Violence Mars Argentina's WC Celebration Germany Wins the World Cup 1-0 Jails Struggle With Role As Makeshift Asylums NYC Artist Creates Wearable Armor Sculpture Raw: Thousands Celebrate World Cup Win in Berlin Argentina Fans Sad but Proud in Loss Bull Run Comes to Middle America Malala Meets 'Bring Back Our Girls' Activists Space Station Shipment Launched From Virginia Israel Deploys Ground Troops to Gaza Strip World-renowned Conductor Lorin Maazel Dies
Photos of the Week