West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network to take a look at surveillance cams

January 18, 2013 at 11:22 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Interested in surveillance cameras to deter crime or record it if it happens? That’s a major topic of next Tuesday’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – and you don’t have to be a BW captain (or even part of a BW) to attend. Also on the agenda, new Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler is expected to drop in for a (re-)introduction (here’s our recent story on his return to the precinct). The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Tuesday (January 22nd) in the precinct meeting room, which is right off the parking lot on SW Webster at Delridge – full details on the Blockwatch Captains Network website.

10 Comments

  1. Love the idea of cameras to deter/record crime. Hate the thought that crime has gotten so bad that we need cameras on neighborhood streets. Also wonder who will have access to these cams and if an overly nosey neighbor can use them to snoop on their neighbors. The idea is great if it doesn’t get abused.

    Comment by a — 12:02 pm January 18, 2013 #

  2. Do not agree with cameras. I’m willing to take the risk of having the crime cameras *might* deter in order not to be monitored by Big Brother.

    Comment by vraxvalhalla — 1:41 pm January 18, 2013 #

  3. I think surveillance cameras are totally fine if used properly. I have the right to monitor my property. If you come on my property and are monitored by my camera- too bad. Stay off my property, then.

    Comment by Nitro — 3:02 pm January 18, 2013 #

  4. keep your camera from pointing at my private property then. really we need nanny state surveliance. crime historically is at all time lows we would be better served by spending money on education not big brother crap

    Comment by Nick — 3:26 pm January 18, 2013 #

  5. No worries, Nick! My camera is only viewing my property, not yours. I respect you and your property rights and privacy, maybe you can also respect my rights on my own property. Like i said, i think camera’s are fine if they are used (and positioned) properly, Take a deep breath.

    Comment by Nitro — 4:07 pm January 18, 2013 #

  6. @Nick, @vraxvalhalla: Relax. The view of one’s property from the street is public. I highly doubt anybody is going to waste their camera’s limited peripheral vision on somebody else’s property. That would inefficient bad installation. Also note that Big Brother is different from a nosy snooping neighbor. I’m not sure the intention of the Blockwatch is to install neighborhood-wide cameras. Hopefully their work results in good guidelines for simple cost effective solutions to help homeowners quickly if homeowner’s don’t have the time/knowledge to do their own research. Home security and safety is like any other environment – done right, always done in preventive and detective layers with each layer’s focus changing based on what is perceived (or calculated) to be the risk-du-jour. Thinking about cameras is no different than thinking about good locks on your door. If property thefts are a problem in a particular area, cameras could work as short term temporary deterrents till the root cause (employment, education,etc) are solved in the medium/long term. Its not always an either/or situaton.

    Comment by wsn00b — 4:21 pm January 18, 2013 #

  7. To those voicing concern: if you read the Blockwatch Captains Network site linked to in the article, it sounds like the meeting is intended to provide information to individuals who want to set up security cameras to monitor their own private property. This is not about “big brother” cameras installed by a government agency.

    Comment by DRG — 4:29 pm January 18, 2013 #

  8. There are some interesting solar powered, motion detecting lights with cameras and wireless transmitters available. The receiver inside your house records ten seconds of video and sound every time the motion detector is tripped. It will hold 2000 ten second videos. Even if the crooks steal the camera/light/detector unit, you still have the video of them taking it.
    I’d say that video of your own property is your right, and video of your neighbor’s property without their permission is wrong. But what about video taken from your property of people on the public right-of-way? I’ve heard it is illegal to record both video and audio of people in a public space without their knowledge or consent.

    Comment by BlairJ — 9:49 pm January 18, 2013 #

  9. Just to clarify: I have heard it IS legal to record one or the other, but not both at the same time. This is based on court rulings, which vary from state to state.

    Comment by BlairJ — 10:25 pm January 18, 2013 #

  10. Visuals of any kind do not generally need consent. From my TV days, when I got to be the keeper of legal info for everyday use, I can tell you that hidden cameras were OK as long as there was no audio – reporters working on investigations would get access to cameras that could be hidden in purses, for example. But for audio, you need consent (or, for law enforcers, some kind of authority/court order) – you can’t record a phone conversation without the other person agreeing to it, and a hidden camera can’t have audio. If someone has a visible video camera or other recording device (microphone, etc.) they do NOT have to ask your consent – the burden’s on you to object. You can read about some of this here: http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/washington/washington-recording-law (note the last part – we have had to cite that a few times over the past few years, when someone at a public meeting tried to unlawfully tell us we couldn’t record it) … TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:45 pm January 18, 2013 #

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