Police creating a data base of home surveillance systems; asking public to volunteer the information.

Crime 100By Staff

November 24, 2014



News reports will make mention of video the police obtained to identify a suspect. Where do they get that video?
From people who have video cameras installed. Most commercial establishments now have video cameras – as well as many homes.

Video surveillanceThe Halton Regional Police have created a new data base that will list all the known video camera set ups in the city.

If you have a security video system at your home you can register that camera and system with the Halton Regional Police. All the police do is make a note of your address and the fact that you have a video surveillance system around your house.

The police don’t have access to your system – they just know it is there because you voluntarily registered it with them.

In the event that there is an accident or a crime committed within range of your system the police know that you have cameras and will ask if they can have access to that video.

Called the Security Camera Registration and Monitoring (S.C.R.A.M.) Program; it is seen as a new crime prevention and investigative tool.

In 2013, the Region of Halton was named the safest Canadian regional municipality with a population of more than 100,000. In fact, it was a record year with the crime rate dropping to the lowest it has been since 1974. There are many reasons why Halton enjoys this status; one of which is the reciprocal relationship that the Halton Regional Police Service shares with the community it serves.

This partnership between community and police has allowed Halton to experience a declining crime rate, despite a growing population.

Private home security is a priority for many residents in an effort to protect their home and family. As our population is growing, so is the number of residential video surveillance cameras being installed in neighbourhoods throughout the region. As the number grows, so does the opportunity for police to have access to video/photo evidence that can assist with criminal investigations and lead to suspect identity and a conviction in court.

The new S.C.R.A.M. Program is a community based crime prevention opportunity and investigative tool that enlists the help of Halton residents and can help prevent crime on three levels. Residential video surveillance cameras can deter criminals from entering the area, can prevent crimes from occurring and can help solve crimes by providing valuable evidence to the police.

The S.C.R.A.M. program enables community members to voluntarily identify and register their residential video surveillance equipment through a simple, secure, confidential, online form located on the Halton Regional Police Service website. 

Once registered, a database of surveillance camera locations will be available for officers when investigating a criminal offence. The database will provide officers with a more efficient manner of locating surveillance evidence in the critical initial stages of an investigation when time and public safety are potential factors. The program is an innovative and cost-effective way to increase resources that help solve crimes.

Currently when officers are involved in an investigation their only method for locating surveillance evidence is through a physical canvass which is both time consuming and resource heavy. The S.C.R.A.M. database will allow officers access to registered video surveillance in a particular area by utilizing an interactive crime mapping tool.

This program is a creative way of empowering the Halton community to take action against crime in their neighbourhoods. The program facilitates secure information-sharing between the community and the police, and promotes a united response to crime prevention. Because participation in this program is voluntary, S.C.R.A.M., in essence is a community-led initiative and encourages people to become part of the solution, while providing the police with a valuable investigative tool.


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