Two heinous crimes over the last week reinforce the value of CCTV cameras in securing arrests. They also show that video is an increasingly important tool for security personnel.
Last weekend in Toronto, one man was killed, seven injured and countless scared to death when a lone gunman opened fire in the newly renovated food court of the city’s famous Eaton Centre. Police quickly turned to CCTV cameras in their investigation, and asked the public to confidentially submit any smart phone videos that were taken by witnesses. As well, the Eaton Centre’s landlord, Cadillac Fairview, praised mall security for their quick and professional action amid the chaos.
A suspect turned himself in within 48 hours, but the investigation continues.
Meanwhile, Luka Magnotta, a Canadian accused of murder and cannibalism was arrested in a Berlin internet café while cruising through pornography and online stories of himself. In this case, CCTV cameras inside the café clearly show the accused inside for upwards of 90 minutes before police arrived on the basis of a tip.
Police said this CCTV coverage was useful in matching video images of Magnotta that were recent taken in Montreal to secure the arrest. Magnotta is now in a Berlin prison awaiting his fate.
Police are understandably quiet about their precise use of CCTV cameras in these two cases. What is certain, though, is that video is an ever-more valuable asset in fighting crime and in keeping the public safe.