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Thread: San Fransisco - Crime cameras not capturing many crimes

  1. #1
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    Granted, this is San Fran, one of the most.... asinine cities in the country, but still....

    (All emphasis mine)

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl.../MN27VNFET.DTL

    San Francisco's 68 controversial anti-crime cameras haven't deterred criminals from committing assaults, sex offenses or robberies - and they've only moved homicides down the block, according to a new report from UC Berkeley.

    Researchers found that nonviolent thefts dropped by 22 percent within 100 feet of the cameras, but the devices had no effect on burglaries or car theft. And they've had no effect on violent crime.

    Mayor Gavin Newsom called the report "conclusively inconclusive" on Thursday but said he still wants to install more cameras around the city because they make residents feel safer.

    "When I put the first cameras in, I said, 'This may only move people around the corner,' " he said. "But the community there said, 'We don't care, we want our alleyway back.' No one's actually had a camera up that they wanted torn down in the community."

    But not all city officials think it's wise to spend money on public safety measures if the best thing that can be said about them is they have a placebo effect for worried residents.

    "In their current configuration they are not useful, and they give people a false sense of security, which I think is bad," said Police Commissioner Joe Alioto-Veronese. He added that previous studies of security cameras in other parts of the country have also shown that they do not deter violent crime.

    The cameras have been installed in phases on some of the city's roughest streets since 2005 with large concentrations of them in the Western Addition and Mission District and others in the lower Haight, the Tenderloin and near Coit Tower.

    They've been controversial from the start. Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union say they're a violation of privacy, and some members of the Board of Supervisors and Police Commission, as well as the city's public defender, say they're ineffective in fighting crime.

    The cameras have contributed to only one arrest nearly two years ago in a city that saw 98 homicides last year, a 12-year high. The video is choppy, and police aren't allowed to watch video in real-time or maneuver the cameras to get a better view of potential crimes.


    Final report not ready

    The city has spent $900,000 on the cameras so far and has budgeted $200,000 for 25 more cameras that need Police Commission approval to be installed. The commission has refused to approve the new cameras until seeing a report on whether they're doing any good.

    The city administrator contracted with researchers at UC Berkeley's Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society to do the study, and the group published its preliminary results this week. A final report is expected in a few months, and the Police Commission will hold off on approving any new cameras until then, President Theresa Sparks said.

    Researchers examined data from the San Francisco Police Department detailing the 59,706 crimes committed within 1,000 feet of the camera locations between Jan. 1, 2005, and Jan. 28, 2008.

    These were the total number of crimes for which police had reports - regardless of whether the crimes were caught on video. The idea was to look at whether criminals stopped committing crimes at those locations because they knew cameras were there.

    Using a complicated method, researchers were able to come up with an average daily crime rate at each location broken out by type of crime and distance from the cameras. They then compared it with the average daily crime rate from the period before the cameras were installed.

    They looked at seven types of crime: larcenies, burglaries, motor vehicle theft, assault, robbery, homicide and forcible sex offenses.

    The only positive deterrent effect was the reduction of larcenies within 100 feet of the cameras. No other crimes were affected - except for homicides, which had an interesting pattern.

    Murders went down within 250 feet of the cameras, but the reduction was completely offset by an increase 250 to 500 feet away, suggesting people moved down the block before killing each other.

    The final report is expected to analyze the figures in more depth and to include other crimes, including prostitution and drug offenses.

    Kevin Ryan, director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, said it's premature to dismiss the use of the cameras based on the preliminary report. He said the report shows the devices change behavior in some instances. "At the end of the day, if the report does suggest what I think it's going to suggest, that it can be an effective tool, we're going to have to deploy it in the most effective way we can," he said.
    Real-time monitoring sought

    Ryan is pushing for the cameras to be monitored in real-time like they are in Chicago and other cities. Those police departments are often able to catch crimes in progress and immediately respond. Newsom does not support that idea.

    Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who has long been a critic of the cameras, said the report is further proof they're not improving public safety.

    He said they're no substitute for attacking the causes of crime and said money would be better invested in community-based policing, anti-violence projects in schools, and services that help ex-prisoners readjust to life in society so they don't commit more crimes.

    Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who heads the board's public safety committee, pointed out that the report comes at a time when the city is facing one of its biggest budget deficits in recent memory.

    He has supported the cameras because they make residents in high-crime areas feel safer, but he said that may not be enough of a reason to expand the program.

    "We have to decide the fiscal value of that scarecrow strategy," he said. "It gives people some psychological relief, but if the data shows the cameras don't have the intended consequences, it's going to come down to a matter of dollars."
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Maybe it would have helped if they hadn't banned handguns.

    Bunch of stupid hippies.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    The police aren't allowed to watch it in real time?? WTF is the point??

    wow. california. the land of fruits and nuts.

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    They probablyDO catchsomething going on in the alley...but gay sex in public is a traditional San Fancisco "sport," not a crime (I guess).



    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    Mayor Gavin Newsom called the report "conclusively inconclusive" on Thursday but said he still wants to install more cameras around the city
    What does "conclusively inconclusive" mean?? That makes no sense. :quirky

    Then again, lots of things in California don't make sense

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    Regular Member Huck's Avatar
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    lildobe wrote:
    Mayor Gavin Newsom called the report "conclusively inconclusive" on Thursday but said he still wants to install more cameras around the city
    What does "conclusively inconclusive" mean?? That makes no sense. :quirky

    Then again, lots of things in California don't make sense
    "conclusively inconclusive" is Kalifornese for "definate maybe".




    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

  7. #7
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    I do not want to see cameras covering every square inch of the city.... But if you have an area that is just bad with various crimes.. You have two options....

    Employ more cops or pay overtime for them to physically be in those areas and do nothing else but sit.

    Or

    Have one guy monitoring several cameras who can report suspicious activity immediately. The person monitoring the camera could also be a citizen so a cop can stay on the street.



    If you have cops sitting there it is going to cost the city more money and some people will not like seeing the cops there all the time. It will also push criminals out of that area and into the neighboring area where the cops are not hanging out.

    So you could effectively make life better in that area but now other areas will start to suffer.

    Using cameras could be cheaper and allow police to head towards an area to check out what is being observed and catch the bad guy in the act.

    To have cameras and not monitor them is nothing more than a collection point to try and help solve a crime afterward. Socriminals do not really care about the cameras and crime will still happen


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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Have one guy monitoring several cameras who can report suspicious activity immediately. The person monitoring the camera could also be a citizen so a cop can stay on the street.
    Suddenly, I'm thinking of the citizen patrol command center from Hot Fuzz.



    While I'm on the subject, LEO229, Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    AbNo wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Have one guy monitoring several cameras who can report suspicious activity immediately. The person monitoring the camera could also be a citizen so a cop can stay on the street.
    Suddenly, I'm thinking of the citizen patrol command center from Hot Fuzz.


    While I'm on the subject, LEO229, Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'.
    No.. But I have screamed out the window....

  10. #10
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    AbNo wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Have one guy monitoring several cameras who can report suspicious activity immediately. The person monitoring the camera could also be a citizen so a cop can stay on the street.
    Suddenly, I'm thinking of the citizen patrol command center from Hot Fuzz.


    While I'm on the subject, LEO229, Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'.
    No.. But I have screamed out the window....
    Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  11. #11
    Regular Member ATCer's Avatar
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    I was listening to the radio last nightand they said... "What's the difference between a camera on the corner, and a cop on the corner?" To that I say... Have you ever seen a camera try to arrest someone? Obviously they don't do anything of any significant value. Just another one of the liberal's feel-good ideas I suppose.

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    I was watching a show on TruTV last night of a LIVE feed of two guys being beat by three guys with a baseball bat. The officer they interviewed said something close to, "What they didn't expect was that when I got the call, I was two blocks away. I moved to 1-1/2 blocks away and waited until it was over."

    That's not his exact quote, but I couldn't believe it. The officer let the beating continue. Had one victim been hit in the back of the head he probably would have died. The camera resolution was so good an officer said he read the brand of bat and the car's license plate. The faces were all clearly visible, so there was no problem identifying who was who. Why not stop the crime in progress? So what if the bad guys run away! To quote a Lefty: "If they could save just one life, it's all worth it..."

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