Vehicle-cam owners sign up for safer neighbourhoods

Vehicle-cam owners sign up for safer neighbourhoods

More "eyes" will be on the lookout for crime in residential estates, as people with in-vehicle cameras are coming together to improve neighbourhood safety.

The Vehicles on Watch community project was launched yesterday.

So far, there are about 760 people taking part, with cameras in cars and other vehicles across 56 parking areas in Bedok, Changi, Geylang, Marine Parade and Pasir Ris. Footage of suspect activity can be submitted to police as evidence.

Each of the carparks has a sign in place to let people know that the place is "guarded by vehicles with in-car cameras", as a form of deterrence.

Launching the project in Pasir Ris yesterday was Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs.

Said Bedok Police Division Commander Alvin Moh: "With more in-vehicle cameras watching, residents can look forward to safer carparks and safer neighbourhoods."

The police have plans to expand the project to cover private estates as well.

The latest initiative rides on the growing popularity of such cameras among motorists. Each device can cost between $200 and $600.

The police started tracking the number of videos received from in-vehicle cameras in 2013, after noticing that more were being submitted. By the end of that year, the police had received about 1,000 clips.

DPM Teo noted yesterday that a case of theft from a van in Geylang in February had been solved with help from such footage.

The police managed to identify and track down the culprit in the video, and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Pasir Ris resident Wong Peng Thim is one of the participants in the project.

"It's good to have these cameras, we can help each other keep a lookout," said the 58-year-old trainer.

He has had a camera in his car recording constantly for the past year.

"I used to see scratches and dents on my car which appeared while it was parked," he added.

"The footage would be helpful to find the offenders, as well as for insurance claims in any other incidents."

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