CCTV System Project | Belleville Police Service
Crime Prevention
Belleville Police Service
Partners With The Community

Emergency: [9-1-1]  Non Emergency: 613 966-0882  Hearing Impaired: 613 966-3788

CCTV Partnership

cctvTechnology has changed the dynamics of our criminal environment and in the way in which police investigate it. As we embrace new technologies we soon become assimilated to the use of computers since they have drastically altered the way law enforcement now conducts business.

Besides fighting crime, CCTV security systems installed in public places or retail markets can deter crime, provide the police with leads, help citizens feel safer, and in some cases improve the economy of a crime-stricken area.

Evidence has shown that CCTV systems mostly deter property crimes and robberies. CCTV systems may not catch all crimes because they may occur outside the field of vision of cameras in more deserted areas. Fortunately in most situations, when a CCTV system is in place, criminals generally shy away from these monitored areas fearing prosecution since these recorded images can be used in court.

The Belleville Police Service decided it was now time to embrace the advanced world of digital video and facilitate this project with the partnership of the Downtown Business Improvement Area and the City of Belleville.

In the fall of 2009, The Belleville Police Service submitted a grant application through the Civil Remedies Grant Program to secure funding for the purchase and installation of a public surveillance CCTV network in the City of Belleville. The grant application was approved and the service received over $183,000 in summer 2010 from the Ministry of the Attorney General for this initiative.

The priority of this project is to assist victims and prevent victimization by providing an effective deterrent to potential violators by publicizing the installation of an effective security camera system in the public areas of downtown where the crimes are being committed. This will increase the safety, perception of safety and reduce the fear of crime. The downtown area has gone through revitalization and investment over the years, but through surveys of various sectors through the local business community and the Belleville Police Service, safety was still identified as a concern to some. The Belleville Police Service through on-going discussions with the City of Belleville and the Belleville Downtown Improvement Area has identified this project in the community to assist persons impacted by crime.

It was proposed that, in support of the vision statement of the Belleville Police Service, "Service Excellence" that cameras be purchased and installed within the downtown area of the city and 2 portable cameras be purchased and used for identified needs within the city. It was further proposed that the effectiveness of the Downtown CCTV System project be measured to determine the effect on enhancing a sense of safety among the public who attend Belleville's downtown area, and further to measure its deterrent effect on the commission of crime in the other areas. 

Chief of Police Cory McMullan has made the commitment that the CCTV systems will be used in conjunction with, and are not a substitute for, other crime prevention programs facilitated by the Belleville Police Service. 


cameras

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is public video surveillance legal in Canada?

A: No Canadian Jurisdiction has yet passed legislation that explicitly addresses public camera surveillance. Various federal and provincial Freedom of Information and Privacy statutes provide broad authority for information collection in the name of law enforcement, but it is unclear whether these statutes are capable of specifically authorizing public camera surveillance. Until the Courts have an opportunity to rule on whether this authorization is valid, existing surveillance use is "legal."

Q: How will these cameras be used?

A: Once CCTV cameras are installed and activated, the BPS plans to use what is called "passive monitoring" of the cameras. In other words, BPS members generally will not be watching the camera images in real time, as the images are being captured. Rather, the images will be captured and recorded, then used by the police to investigate and solve crimes if criminal activity is reported in the areas where the cameras are situated.

Q: Are the camera placements permanent?

A: Not necessarily. Seventeen cameras will be deployed in strategic areas within the downtown area of the city and may be relocated from time to time in order to address the current trends in crime. If crime patterns shift, the BPS can move the cameras to new locations. Three cameras will be deployed during special events hosted within the City at various venues.

Q: Will the cameras be used to see into homes or other buildings?

A: No. CCTV cameras observe public spaces only, where the courts have held there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Q: Do these cameras have audio monitoring/recording capabilities?

A: No. CCTV cameras are not equipped with audio monitoring or recording capabilities.

Q: How will the BPS use these videos? Will other people have access to these video recordings?

A: Policies and procedures on the use and disclosure of video recording shall be made in accordance with the guidelines established by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Audits shall be conducted periodically to ensure compliance with these established practices.

2005-2009 Downtown Statistics

According to a 2005 to 2009 statistical review of calls for service the data indicated that the number of calls for service in ESZ* 11 (Downtown) has slowly declined, however the Belleville Police Service is committed to seeing these numbers even lower.

* The City of Belleville is divided into geographical boundaries known as BEATS. These BEATS are further broken down into several geographical boundaries known as Emergency Service Zones (ESZ).

The total calls for service for each ESZ 11 over a five year period are as follows:

Year

Belleville Downtown

2009

799

2008

980

2007

991

2006

1022

2005

1138

Calls for Service by Type and by ESZ 11

2005 - 2009

Call Type

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Assault

25

21

28

26

24

Break and Enter

22

24

21

21

9

Disturb the Peace

45

37

32

21

42

Domestic Dispute

12

9

12

9

10

Drug offences

16

18

15

27

12

Family Dispute

4

3

4

2

1

Harassment

8

7

5

8

4

Impaired Driving

14

7

9

6

9

Liquor Licence

64

59

47

51

38

Mischief

47

35

22

28

29

Missing Person / Located

4

7

3

2

7

MVC

72

56

71

53

46

Noise Complaint / Noise by law

14

13

17

11

44

Robbery

4

3

7

5

2

Sexual Assault

4

1

3

1

2

Suspicious person

55

51

67

51

47

Suspicious vehicle

6

6

6

5

10

Theft

62

59

41

41

57

Threats

15

9

10

6

8

Traffic complaint /enforcement

60

62

47

67

33

Trouble with Youths

30

13

11

9

15

Unwanted person

42

31

31

26

42

Other

513

491

482

504

308

Total

1138

1022

991

980

799