A new pilot program to allow private surveillance cameras in public areas has sparked controversy among Newport Beach residents.
City council members unanimously approved a program that would allow cameras I own and operate to record public areas such as sidewalks and streets.
Residents of the Spyglass community in Newport Beach say security cameras can increase surveillance in their neighborhoods and deter potential thieves from targeting their homes.
The program will also include signs warning drivers that they will be recorded if they enter the neighborhood.
Residents generally seem to support the program, but a few residents are concerned about the invasion of privacy.
“This is a really great community, but we got robbed shortly after we moved in,” one resident said at a recent city council meeting. “Like everyone else, I felt very violated. We have three people who have been robbed on our street.”
“Homeowners have been asking us what else we can do,” said HOA president Bruce Horn for the district. “So the idea of having a licensed photo camera that uses solar power made a lot of sense.”
When members of the HOA searched for locations to install the cameras, they quickly discovered that the area in question was located on city-owned land and therefore was not permitted to be relocated.
Well, at a recent city council meeting, an exception was made for this district, allowing cameras to be installed.
“Thus, they may be on medians or other public lands where private use is normally prohibited under city policy,” Newport Beach city spokesman John Pope explained. “That’s why the City Council made an exception.”
Examples of camera locations include public areas near road signs and utility poles.
As part of the pilot program policy adopted by the City, several steps are taken to protect your privacy concerns.
“We’re very specific when it comes to cameras,” Pope said. “It cannot record audio, use facial recognition, or point at private areas.
“If it makes couples feel uncomfortable, I don’t understand it,” Horn said. “It’s just trapping license plates. That’s it. It doesn’t trap people or faces. So they don’t have to worry about anything. The upside is that if we can eliminate robberies, it’s a big win for the community.”
The pilot program has been approved to run until September 2024. The effectiveness of the program will then be evaluated to determine if it should be renewed.
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https://ktla.com/news/local-news/pilot-program-allows-private-security-cameras-to-record-public-in-newport-beach/ Pilot program allows private security cameras to record public spaces in Newport Beach