In the first post of this two-part series, we reported about the new traffic camera system that has been installed in the areas in Camden, New Jersey that police consider high crime. Police say the new camera system will help them investigate criminal charges, but others are saying that the new camera system leaves room for abuse.
The cameras have already recorded over 624 vehicles with occupants the police said were doing something suspicious. Notices were sent out that reminded them that the information could be used in a criminal investigation.
City law enforcement says the new system helps them cover the staffing losses created by budget cuts in the past few years. Police say that they do not record any plates that a patrol officer would not have stopped under some kind of suspicion of illegal activity.
Civil liberties advocates are not so quick to believe that the cameras and access to the information will not become an avenue for abuse. One opponent of the camera system said that “people become targets unfairly just because a car was seen at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Some citizens in the area are very concerned that their privacy has been violated by implementing the camera system. Other residents in the area have laughed it off as simply something out of their control. “I smile at it every day,” said one young resident who does not believe that he has a choice when it comes to his privacy under the camera system.
What the young man may not realize is that even if he has no control over the city’s installation of the cameras, he does have a say when it comes to defending against charges resulting from use of the cameras. Experienced defense attorneys are a suspect’s avenue for getting some control back.
Source: South Jersey News, “Visitors to Camden’s high-crime areas to be put on notice,” Claudia Vargas, Feb. 10, 2012