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Self-Installed Home Security Cameras - Are they accepted by the Police?

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Nov 12, 2010
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Downtown Toronto

Self-Installed Home Security Cameras - Are they accepted by the Police?

Dear Home and Garden Community,

I have a question. In last night's dinner with families I heard the Police would not accept self-installed home security cameras' footage. Is that true?

If the self-installed cameras' footage isn't accepted by the Police, then what cameras' footage is accepted?

Thank you!
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Feb 11, 2007
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Of course they would accept it, but like any evidence, it's not "concrete". All evidence is scrutinized. In short, it depends.
It's certainly better than an eye witness account.

Now, they may not bother to investigate if someone walked through your backyard. But if they murdered someone in your backyard they would definitely take it.
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Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2012
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Toronto
Posing hypothetical questions about criminal investigations and what sources of evidence would be 'accepted' is ridiculous.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2015
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how did they accept footage before? any cameras footage should be deemed acceptable, no?
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Deal Fanatic
Aug 31, 2010
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Kalimoor wrote: Dear Home and Garden Community,

I have a question. In last night's dinner with families I heard the Police would not accept self-installed home security cameras' footage. Is that true?

If the self-installed cameras' footage isn't accepted by the Police, then what cameras' footage is accepted?

Thank you!
All evidence is accepted.. lol just like all other evidence, it will be analyzed/scrutinized by both sides in the courts for inconsistencies, tampering, etc.

who told you this? A guy who installs security cameras? lol
Jr. Member
Sep 28, 2014
104 posts
77 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I can confirm police accept home camera footage. There was an incident in my neighborhood and the Police were actually canvasing door to door the houses with security cameras for footage.
Deal Guru
Oct 6, 2007
11105 posts
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Kootenays
Kalimoor wrote: Dear Home and Garden Community,

I have a question. In last night's dinner with families I heard the Police would not accept self-installed home security cameras' footage. Is that true?
Sounds like a rumour started by a security company!
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
3599 posts
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Mississauga
The Police will accept and add any evidence provided/collected. It is eventually for the courts to decide whether a piece of evidence is considered concrete proof or not.
Deal Addict
Sep 15, 2017
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They can and will take footage, if it becomes a question of authenticity or tampering, an expert witness would be called in to testify after reviewing.
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Aug 31, 2010
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Genome100 wrote: I can confirm police accept home camera footage. There was an incident in my neighborhood and the Police were actually canvasing door to door the houses with security cameras for footage.
"Sorry, sir. I know your video evidence directly refutes the charges laid here on this poor innocent person, but unfortunately you didn't have these cameras professionally installed. Next time don't be so cheap - you could have saved an innocent life."

Imagine? lol
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Nov 12, 2010
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Downtown Toronto
hvc wrote: All evidence is accepted.. lol just like all other evidence, it will be analyzed/scrutinized by both sides in the courts for inconsistencies, tampering, etc.

who told you this? A guy who installs security cameras? lol
No, it was one of my family members, her house had a burglar intrusion and burglars stole all the valuables, it happened 3 weeks ago and the police wouldn't accept the camera footage. The conversation was brought up during last night's dinner.

She and I use the same security camera, Arlo, and she is the person who recommended Arlo to me.
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Feb 11, 2007
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Kalimoor wrote: No, it was one of my family members, her house had a burglar intrusion and burglars stole all the valuables, it happened 3 weeks ago and the police wouldn't accept the camera footage. The conversation was brought up during last night's dinner.

She and I use the same security camera, Arlo, and she is the person who recommended Arlo to me.
Did the footage have any good evidence? Like their faces? If it just had shadows moving around I could see why they wouldn't bother.
But they probably don't care much about finding the thieves. At best they'll return the items if they turn up somewhere.
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Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
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GTA
I had my cars broken into on my driveway and had the footage to provide the police from my Wyze cams and they did nothing with it. You could clearly see the face of the perp, but it didn't help whatsoever.

So yes, they will accept footage, but what use it might be is another story.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2947 posts
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Ottawa
There's been an uptick of petty theft in our neighbourhood. We have a pair of constables dedicated to our community, who are active in community Facebook groups.

When there's been an incident, they reach out in the group to request peoples' self-installed camera footage. I provided footage last fall of someone who attempted to open our car doors and then proceeded to break into a neighbour's vehicle. That neighbour did not have cameras. The officers used our footage, along with the footage of others on the street, to identify the suspect and subsequently made an arrest.

I guess YMMV, but our community constables are fantastic.
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Feb 25, 2004
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Longueuil
Kalimoor wrote: No, it was one of my family members, her house had a burglar intrusion and burglars stole all the valuables, it happened 3 weeks ago and the police wouldn't accept the camera footage. The conversation was brought up during last night's dinner.

She and I use the same security camera, Arlo, and she is the person who recommended Arlo to me.
It is probably because they didn't care enough to try to catch the thieves. DIY or "professionally" installed cameras probably didn't matter.
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Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
engineered wrote: Of course they would accept it, but like any evidence, it's not "concrete". All evidence is scrutinized. In short, it depends.
It's certainly better than an eye witness account.

Now, they may not bother to investigate if someone walked through your backyard. But if they murdered someone in your backyard they would definitely take it.
This

I mean by now hasn’t everyone seen the Neighbourhood security footage of the mysterious guy wanted for questioning from the Barry & Honey Sherman Murders
Member
Nov 28, 2020
223 posts
276 upvotes
Kalimoor wrote: No, it was one of my family members, her house had a burglar intrusion and burglars stole all the valuables, it happened 3 weeks ago and the police wouldn't accept the camera footage. The conversation was brought up during last night's dinner.

She and I use the same security camera, Arlo, and she is the person who recommended Arlo to me.
Then you would reach out to the Crown Attorney and discuss the evidence with them.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2018
9652 posts
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Vancouver
Unfortunately most video isn't sharp enough to capture identifiable faces even if the subject isn't concealing their face. The video of an incident is mainly of use to see and verify what happened, or to trace the movements of a person, not to identify the persons involved. If you already told the police what happened, and they have no reason to doubt it, why would they need video? You expect some detective to review it and say "I recognize that vague blob, it's Billy the Burglar!"? And if they did and arrested Billy, the judge would throw it out before a lawyer even challenged it as inconclusive.
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May 11, 2009
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Trudostan
As has been said, police will collect evidence, but it's up to the courts to decide on the admissibility and usefulness of the evidence.

Most people cooperate, but technically police can seize evidence without a warrant (your entire NVR if need be under S. 489(2)(c) if they believe it contains evidence of a crime. This is one of those sections that can be abused to take away cameras from people/journalists filming police (that and obstruction).

Lawyers have ways of attacking even the most seemingly clear cut evidence, it's amazing. There are some recording programs that add additional metadata to recordings to act as a digital tamper seal in the event there are questions about editing and alterations to the video.
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Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
This is 100% false in my area. We had our shop main steel beam stolen from the lawn and police took the security footage in the summer.

Just before Christmas a detective visited us again as there was a break in on the street that dead ends basically at our place about a month earlier. He saw the Wyze cam in the window and came knocking for the footage.

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