Public Safety Created

#50 Neighborhood Crime Watch

Personally-owned video cameras are becoming prolific throughout city neighborhoods, particularly in areas with an active watch and/or citizenry concerned with crime. The CitiWatch Community Partnership provides a location database, but this is controlled by the city, not transparent to or accessible by citizens (not really a partnership), vastly unrepresentative, are rarely utilized. Personally-owned cameras are increasingly being used by citizens and police to help identify patterns and catch criminals, but there is only ad hoc self-organized coordination and ineffective sharing of crimes caught on video.




Jun 27, 2022


Aug 8, 2019


Why it matters

Without better coordination or sharing, the city fails to leverage the critical information being captured on video to reduce crime. If there were trustable transparent infrastructure available that citizens could opt into, perhaps in partnership with location-restricted resources like Nextdoor and Citizen or specific camera vendors like Kuna and Nest, then existing video feeds could increasingly be used towards reducing and prosecuting crime.

What does "good" look like?

Given legal and privacy complexities, the infrastructure should not be owned or controlled by the city or city police, but should facilitate citizens sharing information with other neighbors and police. Citizens can choose to make their videos accessible to their neighbors, the police, and the public. By installing and configuring a supported camera, citizens should have confidence that their video will only be used to help with identifying, tracking, deterring, and prosecuting criminal behavior.

How could technology solve this?

Personally owned cameras are already being installed and are recording crimes at an accelerating rate. Infrastructure that utilizes those video feeds in a more effective manner would leverage the power the of community in an unprecedented way. This technology would represent tens of thousands of additional "eyes" suddenly contributing 24/7 to neighborhood crime watch.