Guide for Video Evidence and the Law
Security cameras can serve multiple benefits for your business and also help police identify suspects and solve incidents.
Please find below our guide to ensure that your footage can actually be used by the law:
Security camera footage helps create leads and provide clues in cases. Any evidence produced can massively help with successfully prosecuting the right individual. Make sure to position the camera in the right place and ensure the resolution is good enough to accurately record the incident.
More businesses are installing these systems so it’s important to understand the basics of obtaining valid footage.
Backing up your storage is essential. For everyday needs, DVRs and NVRs are an excellent option for high-capacity storage options. It is important that your storage is backed up in the event of a system failure or natural disaster. External hard drives provide simple off-site back up options for your footage. You may find this is a little excessive if you don't have enormous storage needs or an ultra-high-speed internet connection.
In the event of an incident
It is important to store any footage on a separate device if you capture an incident to ensure that you don't lose it. Just so you know, when your device runs out of storage space it will automatically begin to record over the oldest footage. If you knowingly allow your footage to be recorded over during an investigation then you may be prosecuted for destroying evidence. It is also important, when transferring the footage to a separate storage place, you maintain the format, resolution and frame rate. If you don't, you may be accused of evidence tampering.
Chain of custody requirements
The procedure for cases will vary between them but it is needless to say that the evidence needs to be as authentic as possible. If you are considering establishing a solid chain of custody then here are some pointers that you may wish to follow:-
Take photographs of the evidence that you are providing and encourage the police to do the same. This could be pictures of IT professionals backing up the file and the computer used to view the footage. Make sure to include names of people involved, the time and date and the officer who is receiving the evidence.
Make sure you document everything. Every time your evidence changes hands make sure you document it.
Don't alter original footage. The best thing to do is work from copies if you are asked for edits.
It is so easy to edit, fabricate or even delete footage which is why it is imperative that you document the chain of custody.
Helping make your business secure
Unfortunately, there isn't a method which can stop crime all together. The best thing you can do is be prepared and generate evidence to bring criminals to justice. The better your evidence the faster the incident can be resolved.
Who can help?
If you are thinking of having a system installed which helps protect your business then give us a call to discuss your needs. We offer a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!