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Police make appeal to owners of surveillance cameras to use recordings to help fight crime

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Posted: Monday, January 24, 2022. 9:36 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Police Department is asking business establishments and private owners of surveillance cameras to hold on to their footage for a minimum of two weeks and, where possible expand their coverage to the street in front of their premises to assist with police investigations.

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams made the appeal himself today, in light of a recent spike in violent crime, particularly in Belize City. Williams notes that, in an era where witnesses are often afraid to cooperate, surveillance footage from businesses and private citizens have been a valuable tool for law enforcement during investigations.

“I would just like to make an appeal to the business places that, while yes what you have done is good, it would be better if you could also put surveillance cameras at the street in front of your establishments as well, because it helps to identify people from they are entering,” Williams said.

He explained that, oftentimes, the perpetrators of crimes do not have their faces covered on their way to commit the crime, and only cover up when they arrive at their target destination. Williams said that cameras facing the street would give law enforcement a better chance at identifying the perpetrators of crime and make an arrest more likely.

With respect to storage of the footage, Williams said, “I don’t think you need to have it longer than two weeks. In some cases we see where three days and the footage will be gone, so two weeks minimum should be good to keep your footage.”

He went on to say that the police department will soon be installing additional cameras around the streets of Belize City to increase their coverage.

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