MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) — In Manhattan Beach, security cameras aren’t hard to find which is why police are hoping those who have them will assist them in fighting crime.
In fact, police there have been asking homeowners and business owners alike to register their outdoor security cameras, specifying how many they have and where they are pointing. Doing so, police say, will allow investigators to know who to ask if need be.
Sumei Yee likes the fact that it’s voluntary and plans to register her four cameras.
“We’re a small community that’s tight-knit, we live very closely to each other so we like to help one another and anything we can do to cooperate with police to help lower crime,” she said.
Police say videos have helped them figure out exact times and dates of crimes and identify suspects or their vehicles.
Investigators say one video captured an alleged package thief in action, while another showed a car burglary suspect.
Those who decide to register their cameras will be given a disclaimer that lets them know that the video they turn over to police can be released to the media or the public if they submit a records request.
“I do have some hesitation with that,” said Yee. “I think it would be helpful to know who they would share it with before they gave that information outside of the police department.”
“I don’t like the idea that anybody can request specific information,” said Jeffrey Kwong, another Manhattan Beach resident.
Kwong says even though police say they will not be monitoring the video or have direct access to feeds, he’s concerned about the principle of privacy.
“I like the idea, if I go somewhere, nobody’s watching me. It’s not that I’m gonna commit a crime or anything, but if I have a beer outside, I don’t want somebody to be seeing that, you know,” he said.