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9 Ways Surveillance Cameras Help Law Enforcement Solve Crimes

December 8, 2023

Too busy to read? Here’s a summary:

  • Whether identifying a suspect's physical attributes, tracking movements, or noting the time and sequence of events, today’s security cameras make crime-solving efforts easier and more successful than ever.
  • By offering a clear and unaltered view of incidents, surveillance cameras play a pivotal role in corroborating and reducing reliance on eyewitness testimony.
  • Camera systems with facial recognition and license plate recognition capabilities capture layers of information to help law enforcement track suspects and solve crimes.

Surveillance systems have transformed the landscape of public safety and crime prevention over the past few decades. For officers and prosecutors, camera footage has resulted in quicker case resolutions, more efficient use of resources, and higher conviction rates.

A compelling testament to the power of surveillance cameras for public safety can be seen in East Orange, New Jersey, where their strategic installation has led to a staggering 50% drop in all types of crime.

This and similar statistics explain why so many municipalities around the U.S. and the world have been ramping up their investments in surveillance for public safety.

Are you eager to discover the nine ways surveillance cameras help law enforcement solve crimes? If so, you’re in luck.

Because that’s what today’s post is all about!  

Keep on reading for the top nine ways surveillance cameras help law enforcement solve crimes.

1. Hard Evidence

Surveillance cameras capture events in their raw, unfiltered form.

It's one thing to hear a recounting of events, but to see them play out, frame by frame, adds a layer of credibility that's hard to refute.

Crisp and detailed visual documentation provides objective incident accounts, free from human bias or interpretation.

Simply put, during investigations and legal proceedings, high-definition and high-resolution surveillance footage is a goldmine.

Judges and juries, when presented with such evidence, are unlikely to dispute its authenticity or disbelieve their own eyes.

2. Many Eyes, Many Places

The police can't physically be everywhere at once. But guess what? Cameras can!

Many Eyes, Many Places

With a network of surveillance cameras, law enforcement has many eyes in many places.

That makes it much harder for wrongdoers to commit crimes without leaving trails of evidence.

3. Real-Time Notifications

With surveillance cameras, law enforcement agencies don’t just have eyes everywhere; they can receive emergency alerts and proactive security notifications when camera systems with analytic capabilities detect ongoing crimes.

Such AI-based real-time alerts routinely result in criminals being apprehended while in the act.

4. Community Collaboration

When traditional investigative routes hit a dead end, sharing surveillance footage with the community can be a game-changer.

For this reason, law enforcement agencies often release select footage or stills from security cameras to the public when they need to identify unknown suspects.

High-resolution security camera footage often provides enough clarity and detail that even a suspect’s fleeting acquaintances may recognize them and come forward.

These images are broadcast on news channels, shared on social media, and displayed on community notice boards.

5. Witness Corroboration

Surveillance footage can corroborate eyewitness testimony or help investigators to find more accurate information.

Let's say a witness claims to have seen a dark blue minivan speeding away from the scene of a crime.

Surveillance footage can validate the claim or provide a more accurate color and model—or even a license plate.

6. Reduced Dependence on Eyewitnesses

Eyewitness testimonies, while valuable in general, are not particularly reliable when it comes to the details.

Human memory is a finicky thing. It's malleable, susceptible to suggestion, and can be influenced by factors that have little to do with reality.

Over just a few days, even the most vivid memories can morph into jumbled timelines stuffed with contradictory details.

Enter surveillance cameras: unbiased and free of emotion, ready to solve the case.

Their memories (footage) don’t change based on whatever series they’re binge-watching or what their early childhood relationship with their mother was like. No, they are much too serious and much too noble to allow such human frivolities to influence their perceptions.

What’s more, in situations where eyewitnesses are hesitant to come forward, surveillance footage can step in to fill the gaps.

When words fall short, a clear video clip can speak volumes.

7. Facial Recognition

With vast databases of faces and the power of advanced algorithms, facial recognition cameras can identify suspects with astonishing accuracy once their facial data is stored.

These cameras are used by law enforcement to track down individuals with outstanding warrants, find missing persons, identify suspects in crowded places, and more.

Facial recognition technology works by mapping an individual's facial features geometrically and then comparing or adding that new data to the database.

8. License Plate Recognition

Whether identifying stolen vehicles, tracking down individuals, or monitoring traffic violations, license plate recognition (LPR) cameras help police by recognizing plates, capturing images of their digits, and then converting the images to text via optical character recognition.

Captured plate data then provides investigators and patrolling officers with additional information about drivers.

9. Connecting the Dots

Building a timeline of events leading up to a crime is crucial in any investigation, and surveillance camera footage has made the process faster and more accurate than ever before.

You can think of recorded camera footage as a portal to the past. It allows law enforcement and investigators to trace back the steps of suspects.

Solving Crime with Surveillance

Solving Crime with Surveillance

Surveillance cameras have revolutionized the way municipalities and law enforcement agencies approach crime-solving. From providing hard evidence to corroborating eyewitness accounts to recognizing faces, surveillance tools have become indispensable to public safety, as well as business and organizational security.

In all cases, CCTV systems are about having the right types of security cameras expertly positioned, installed, and programmed for optimal effectiveness.

That's where the Mammoth Security team comes in.

As Connecticut’s premier destination for top-tier security solutions, we’re well-versed in everything security—including systems for video surveillance, access control, fire safety, and intrusion detection.

What’s more, we’re experts at commercial-grade structured cabling. Structured cabling enables speedy, business-class telecommunications, plus secure data transmission between security devices.

So, if you're keen to improve your security or cabling infrastructure, don't hesitate to reach out to us. For a free site survey and consultation, just click on the contact button and fill out the short form that appears. We’ll schedule a friendly expert from our team to answer your questions and provide feedback about your current security posture and the best ways to improve it.




Surveillance cameras play a pivotal role in helping law enforcement solve crimes by capturing events in real-time and offering an objective account of incidents. This visual documentation aids in quicker case resolutions, efficient resource utilization, and achieving a higher rate of successful case resolutions.

Video evidence, especially from surveillance cameras, is often seen as irrefutable in court. It provides an objective and clear account of incidents, making it challenging for judges and juries to dispute its authenticity. Seeing events play out frame by frame adds a layer of credibility that's hard to challenge.

Surveillance systems foster community collaboration in crime-solving by allowing law enforcement agencies to release select footage to the public when trying to identify unknown suspects. This clear footage can be shared on various platforms, enabling the community to assist in identifying and apprehending culprits.

Real-time notifications from surveillance cameras enable law enforcement agencies to receive immediate alerts when AI-supported cameras detect ongoing crimes. These timely alerts often result in criminals being apprehended on the spot.

Facial recognition cameras operate using advanced algorithms and vast facial databases. They work by geometrically mapping an individual's facial features and comparing or adding them to a database. Facial recognition technology is instrumental in identifying suspects, finding missing persons, and tracking individuals with outstanding warrants.

Community collaboration is vital because when traditional investigative routes reach a standstill, releasing clear surveillance footage to the public can make a significant difference. Law enforcement agencies often share such footage, enabling the community to recognize suspects and assist in their capture.

Eyewitness accounts can be unreliable due to the unreliability of human memory. Surveillance cameras offer an unbiased and consistent visual record, ensuring that the evidence remains unchanged. Further, in situations where eyewitnesses might be hesitant or fearful, surveillance footage can provide the evidence to fill in the gaps.



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