A recent stolen vehicle in Diamond Valley highlighted the need to get more homes and businesses registered for the Foothills Capture Program.
“We had a vehicle stolen in Black Diamond last week and that was the only section in Black Diamond without a camera registered,” said Const. Sharmarke Issa of the Turner Valley RCMP. “It would be nice to have the whole town covered.”
The program sees security cameras registered with the RCMP, so when police are investigating a crime, officers are able to turn to a database to see if there are any cameras in the area that might provide evidence.
Launched last spring, the program has about 140 cameras at 64 locations throughout the detachment’s coverage area, the majority of which are in Diamond Valley where most of the streets are covered.
“The more people we have signed up, the better tool it will be for us,” said Issa, who is hopeful increased publicity will prompt more homes and businesses to register their cameras. “Many community members want to assist police as much as they can, and this is one way they can do that.”
Issa said it’s important to note that police don’t have access to any of the cameras, but rather would reach out to a homeowner or business operator to acquire footage should it be determined their camera might contain evidence of a crime.
“If there's someone’s stealing a vehicle or going through vehicles, we can see what cameras are in that area,” he said.
Issa said police still attempt to get video footage through door-to-door canvassing, but knowing where cameras are located through the Capture program expedites that process, which is crucial when time is of the essence.
He said when people aren’t home or gates are locked, it can be difficult to ascertain whether there’s useful footage, but contacting those who have registered their cameras with the program makes that process much easier.
Issa said some people don’t file a police report until weeks later when they realize something has been stolen from their yard or shed, so video footage becomes key in trying to identify the perpetrator.
He said registering a security camera not only helps police, but can also be the neighbourly thing to do.
“It may not be their property that’s broken into, but it (registering the camera) could help their neighbours,” he said.
To learn more about the program or to register a camera, visit foothillscapture.ca.