Network Of Surveillance Cameras Near San Francisco’s Union Square Is Growing

Network Of Surveillance Cameras Near San Francisco’s Union Square Is Growing

AROUND SAN FRANCISCO… IS ABOUT TO GET BIGGER. TONIGHT — PRIVACY CONCERNS…OVER THE FOOTAGE BEING ROUTINELY SHARED WITH POLICE. NIGHTBEAT’S KATIE NIELSEN JOINS US LIVE FROM UNION SQUARE TO EXPLAIN. KATIE? THE FIRST CAMERAS IN THIS NETWORK WERE INSTALLED ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO, AND SINCE THEN THERE’S BEEN MIXED REACTION. SOME SAY IT’S AN INVASION OF PRIVACY, BUT OTHERS SAY IT’S A NECESSARY STEP AT THE CITY CONTINUES TO CHANGE. **ding ding** IN SAN FRANCISCO’S QUINTESSENTIAL UNION SQUARE – CABLE CARS CARRY EXCITED TOURISTS – AND SIDEWALKS ARE PACKED WITH SHOPPERS- BUT WATCHING IT ALL FROM ABOVE ARE HUNDREDS OF HIGH DEFINITION CAMERAS. (Karin Flood/Union Square Business Improvement Distrct) “What makes a difference really is it’s not an individual camera, but a network of cameras so we are able to help the police to tell the whole story.” MORE THAN 350 CAMERAS IN ALL – THE VIDEO GOES ONTO SERVERS WHERE IT’S STORED FOR 30 DAYS – THEN ERASED. “We’re not actively monitoring these cameras. We really just pull footage after the fact.” 6p_TOUR BUS CRASH INVES_KPIX2T4X THE STRING OF CAMERAS CAPTURED THE RUNAWAY DOUBLE DECKER TOURIST BUS THAT BARRELED DOWN 3 CITY BLOCKS OUT OF CONTROL IN NOVEMBER OF 2015, AND HURT 20 PEOPLE. THE CAMERAS ALSO HELPED POLICE BREAK THE CASE IN THE RAINBOW CREW – A BAND OF SHOPLIFTERS WHO ARE ACCUSED OF STEALING MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS IN MERCHANDISE FROM UNION SQUARE STORES. “The cameras are being used for serious crimes. We’re not watching some of the quality of life issues that are happening on the streets.” TOURISTS WE TALKED TO SAID THEY LIKE KNOWING THE CAMERAS ARE THERE. Annette Edmunson/Tourist from England “You don’t really know they’re there. And if you’re not doing anything wrong, you really don’t have anything to worry about.” Terry West/Tourist from Australia “It’s a great idea and I think it should be encouraged in all cities.” THE CAMERA NETWORK AROUND UNION SQUARE HAS BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL IN PROVIDING EVIDENCE TO POLICE, IT’S NOW EXPANDING TO NEIGHBORING DISTRICTS IN CENTRAL MARKET AND THE TENDERLOIN. Jane Kim/San Francisco City Supervisor “Our residents are tired and fed up with the low level crimes that are occuring in their neighborhood on a daily basis.” SUPERVISOR KIM SAYS SHE TALKED WITH TENDERLOIN RESIDENTS ABOUT THEIR PRIVACY CONCERNS. “As long as the video cameras are not in the hands of government, but held by private property owners, and only given to us in the case of a criminal incident, our residents have been very comfortable.” ALL OF THE CAMERAS ARE ON PUBLIC STREETS AND SIDEWALKS WHERE ACCORDING TO THE LAW, THERE IS NO REASONABLE EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY. SIG OUT TONIGHT – THE CITY OF SAN FRANSICO IS HIRING

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