Vancouver City Council to consider CCTV security cameras to deter crime

A strategy of installing and operating more CCTV security cameras in problem areas in Vancouver is suggested as an additional tool to help deter and solve crime.

A motion by NPA Councilwoman Melissa De Genova will be considered by Vancouver City Council at a public meeting next week.

If approved, city staff would be asked to work with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) to determine “critical areas” where CCTV could be installed in public. These cameras would not be monitored live, but images would be recorded in data storage to collect evidence to help solve the crime.

In addition, they would work with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to determine potential privacy impacts.

City staff would then report to City Council in the third quarter of 2022 with a recommended strategy, including required funding opportunities.

Additionally, city staff would also work with the VPD to educate homeowners, businesses and residents on the value of using CCTV.

TransLink, for example, already makes extensive use of video surveillance to deter crime and better enable transit police to solve crimes. All areas of SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express stations are monitored by CCTV, and the interiors of the new SkyTrain and buses are also equipped with cameras.

The nonprofit that runs the Chinatown Chinese Cultural Center also said its use of CCTV on its property has allowed it to document the costly theft and vandalism it is forced to endure almost daily.

CCTV footage was also instrumental in maintaining public safety during the 2010 Olympics and bringing the 2011 Stanley Cup rioters to justice. major civic events such as the celebration of light.

De Genova also cites examples of major cities using CCTV for public safety reasons, including London and New York.

Earlier this month, during the city council’s debate on De Genova’s separate motion to improve Chinatown’s public safety strategies and implement free parking on Sundays, the inclusion of CCTV as a The tool was suggested in the deliberations, but some city council members were apprehensive about the idea. The city council approved Chinatown’s motion with amendments, including exploring a low-cost parking pilot project instead of completely free parking.

Statistics recently released by the VPD this week also show that violent crime is on the rise and crime is significantly underreported, based on nearly 19,000 non-emergency VPD hotline calls that went unanswered at during the first quarter of 2022 due to the exceptionally high volume.

There has also been a visible increase in vandalism, including graffiti on businesses and smashed storefronts.

The city council has already discussed expanding the use of CCTV in public spaces in the city center in 2018.

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