How CCTV Cameras Caught A Serial Killer
CCTV cameras and systems are powerful tools for catching criminals. And this has been highlighted by two different media stories over the years…
The lack of cameras meant that it took longer to find the man who attacked tennis star, Petra Kvitova.
But it was the ITV drama, Manhunt, that really got everyone talking about CCTV. This 3 part series revealed the crucial role of CCTV camera footage in the capture of serial killer, Levi Bellfield.
The script was based on the book by DCI Colin Sutton, the policeman who led the search. Sadly, he had very little real evidence to go on.
He said: “All I had was a dead girl in the middle of Twickenham Green. We decided what we would do was search out every piece of CCTV for miles around.”
DCI Sutton’s detectives pored over 2,000 hours of CCTV footage. It was provided by traffic cameras, pubs, shops, offices and even buses.
These images allowed the officers to trace the movements of two murdered women. The cameras showed that Amelie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell had both taken a bus home. And that both their buses had been followed by a white people carrier. The Police were later able to prove that this vehicle was owned by Bellfield.
After Bellfield’s conviction for both murders in 2008, more witnesses started to come forward. And CCTV footage was also used to link him to the murder of schoolgirl, Millie Dowler.
The importance of HD CCTV images
After his trial, Bellfield’s girlfriend gave the Police more information.. She said that Bellfield had been driving her red car on the day of Millie’s abduction.
Back in 2002, the CCTV footage from cameras at local businesses didn’t show what had happened to Millie. Even with expert enhancement to get the best images… the quality was just not good enough.
With this extra info, the traffic cameras in Walton-on-Thames were able to help. The footage showed that this red car had been driving along Station Road, where Millie was last seen. And at the same time.
In 2011 an Old Bailey jury found Bellfield guilty of abducting and murdering the teenager.
These days, CCTV system installers recommend HD quality cameras. They give you the best chance if you want to help with a Police prosecution.
CCTV and the law
CCTV cameras on both commercial and public buildings are an invaluable help to the Police in solving crimes. But you, as a home or business owner, must ensure that you have complied with the GDPR. This covers signs about the cameras as well as the recording and storage of footage.
If you use CCTV on your business premises for the purpose of crime prevention, you also need to pay a fee to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
GDPR compliant CCTV Systems in Southend
To ensure you get a home or commercial CCTV system that is GDPR compliant, complete the form below. One of our friendly experts will be in touch and can offer a free, no obligation quote!