Niverville Town Council recently approved adding 6 more security cameras. There are already approximately 20 cameras, which have been placed throughout the town for a number of years now.
While to some this may appear like a lot of cameras, Eric King, C.A.O. for the town of Niverville says the security cameras they have right now have been extremely helpful in catching criminals in action.
As an example of some of the things they have caught on camera he says, "we have seen a pedestrian hit. We have seen thefts and we have seen vehicles being stolen vehicles.”
King says upon request, they submit the videos to the local RCMP who use the images, not only to investigate crimes committed in Niverville, "but also for example, if a crime has been committed in a neighboring community and those individuals have driven through Niverville, the town’s cameras can help fill in a timeline for where that individual has been."
King notes that the video also helps prevent future crimes when it comes to youth in the town.
“We've seen youth vandalize stuff and they've had a visit by the RCMP, and they've talked to the kids and their parents, and those kids have gone out and fixed what they have done. As a result, vandalism is down on public property in Niverville. So, one sees the benefits of it too.”
When it comes to security cameras along Main Street, King says, should there be a time when an individual gets hit walking across a crosswalk, “it's going to be on camera and you're not going to get away with doing something, or even if it's an accident right? So, that's the goal.”
But mostly says King, the security cameras are there to discourage vandalism and theft from happening.
However, Niverville residents should not be concerned that their street corners will start to look like downtown London, UK. “We won’t advertise that they're there (the cameras), but the town's policy essentially says that a security camera can be placed anywhere on public property within the town of Niverville.”
Another goal is to give Niverville residents a sense of security.
As to who is the keeper of the security camera images, King says, they are saved to the ‘Cloud’.
When asked, "Who has access to them and what are they used for?" King notes, they’ve been getting requests from the local RCMP who ask for specific times and dates, and locations from a specific camera. “Like if a kid was lost or something like that, most of the cameras these days have AI (Artificial Intelligence) in it. So, if they are looking for a kid wearing a red jacket, we could actually type in "red jacket" and it would find all the spots with a red jacket in it, in a certain time.”
As to what time of the day or night video clips are most requested, King says in the past, the answer would be at night, “due to the fact that there just isn't traffic on the streets and so people get tempted. But, with the security cameras, it seems that people are no longer tempted.“
King says, a few years back, one of their bigger stores was robbed, but since the cameras went up, the number of incidents at that business is zero. He says it's quite possible that putting up security cameras has been a way of deterring crime in Niverville.
“At the end of the day, it's not cheap, but we want to provide our residents the highest quality of life and assurance so that they can feel safe and this is one way to do that.”