“Caught on camera” moments are fun to watch. They can also be important evidence when they show people breaking the law.
Radius Security in Vancouver, Canada, has developed new technology to help police catch suspected criminals in the act.
"Every single night we are getting one or two apprehensions on one of our sites across the country," said Joel Luyt, a site security specialist with Radius Security.
“We have 15 computers inside our unit,” said Luyt. Radius Security’s cameras use those computers to scan for humans. The technology disregards other things that might move, like tree branches, animals and rain, that would normally set off a false alarm.
"So they're looking for oscillating arms. They're looking for head movement, torso and they're deciphering, 'is that a human?'" said Luyt.
By reducing the number of false alarms, more officers are available to respond to an actual crime.
Car dealerships and construction companies hire Radius Security to keep watch for burglars, who can make off with expensive spools of wire or copper tubing worth thousands of dollars.
Bernie Godler runs Performance Construction and says the new technology has proven more reliable and cut down on false alarms.
"A full-time manned security gets very expensive. It seems that you know, having a full-time manned security would actually be better but it isn't because we're finding that we get guards that end up falling asleep on the job site. We actually had one job where the manned security was in cahoots with the people who were stealing the stuff off the job site," said Godler.
A study said false alarms cost the U.S. nearly $2 billion dollars. 94 percent of alarms turned out to be false, tying up valuable police time when there is no burglar.
Radius says it helps police capture the bad guy, like one man who hid in a porta potty, about 60 percent of the time. This technology also lets the security company route a live feed from the security camera to law enforcement's cars.
"They can punch in a four-digit code into their vehicle while they're driving to the site and they can see live what our monitoring station is seeing so they'll know where the criminal is on the site and they'll see what he is doing live on video and get there in an even faster time.,” said Luyt.
Right now, this technology runs upwards of $50,000 a year, which is too expensive for many. But, Luyt expects that eventually, the computer system will get smaller and be more cost-effective to keep your home safe.
The company plans to expand this year to the United States, both in San Francisco and Chicago.