MERSEYSIDE Police say a recently launched online service that allows people to upload footage of suspected burglars is already proving to be a success.
The Champion reported two weeks ago how a new Public CCTV Submission Portal was set-up so locals can upload video footage to a police-monitored website showing ‘suspicious activity’ taken from their home security cameras or smart doorbells.
In its first seven days, 40 video clips were received, with some leading to “strong lines of enquiry” and the identification of a convicted burglar in a previously unreported break-in.
As these video surveillance devices grow in popularity, some homeowners are discovering they have video footage of suspicious people walking through their garden, down the driveway or up to their doorstep.
Detective Inspector Tony O’Brien of Merseyside Police’s burglary team, known as Operation Castle, said: “Sometimes homeowners discover they have video footage of someone that they assume is just a trespasser, snooping around the outside of the property. Often, they do not realise its potential evidential value, but this sort of footage can help us build a case.
“We are very pleased with the positive response from the public to our appeal of not publishing video footage like this on social media and instead, sending it to us so we can assess its evidential value.
“The new portal link is aimed at circumstances where there has been no crime reported, but the suspicious behaviour could potentially be related to a burglary.
“The value of this type of evidence is highlighted in a recent case that featured evidence gathered from various sources of CCTV. In this case, Carl Michael Parkinson, aged 38 years of no fixed abode, was convicted on 7 July 2022 at Liverpool Crown Court for attempted burglary at three addresses in Crosby. He received three sentences of four months each, which he will serve consecutively.
“Modern video surveillance cameras, including smart doorbells can be very useful, particularly those with cloud-based apps, but remember, you should check the guidance on the Information Commissioner’s Office website when installing CCTV at home.”