EDMONTON — Surveillance cameras will be placed at popular Edmonton gathering spots and areas that see frequent criminal activity as part of a six-month pilot project, police announced Tuesday.
The CCTV pilot project will see cameras installed “in a number of locations across the city that have been identified as large gathering sites or locations where crime has frequently occurred,” police said in a news release.
Installation will begin the day after Canada Day.
Police say the project is intended to increase public safety and solve crimes, citing a 59 per cent rise in theft over $5,000, a 15 per cent increase in theft from vehicles and an eight per cent jump in assaults between 2017 and 2019.
While the cameras will be marked with a sign indicating “this area may be monitored and recorded,” EPS isn’t providing the locations of all them. Cameras will not be placed in residential neighbourhoods.
“Major cities across the world utilize this kind of technology to respond to major events and situations in real-time, making their policing strategies and investigations more effective,” said Acting Insp. Kelly Rosnau of the EPS Operations & Intelligence Command Centre.
Some of the cameras may be moved around during the six-month pilot, EPS said.
Addressing potential privacy concerns, EPS said video will only be available to officers for a 24-hour period and won’t be backed up.
EPS said it submitted a Privacy Impact Assessment in 2019 to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to make sure privacy concerns were addressed.