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Subject: Reviewing security footage
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Author Messages
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:141


07/30/2021 6:32 AM  
Our new community has enjoyed our first year with a swimming pool. Last night it was reported that several young teenagers entered the pool area by climbing over the fence after hours. We recently installed security cameras so we have footage of the youngsters in the act. Now, the question has arisen as to how we can identify the culprits.

Is it considered okay to send a mass email to our residents with still shots to see if anyone can identify them? I can't think of any other way to identify them, but I am a little uneasy about publishing photos of minors - even if they are taking part in an illegal activity.

I'm curious if others have experience and knowledge about this subject.

TIA
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4239


07/30/2021 6:48 AM  
In on the Next Door social media website for my neighborhood and people often post photos from their security cameras showing people breaking into cars or other crazy stuff asking if anyone knows the people photographed. In fact, the most recent showed a teen running up to a front door at 2am ringing the doorbell several times, hanging on the door and then running away.

i don't see a problem, as the teens were breaking the law, but you may want to ask the police about this to be safe. if you file a formal complaint for tresspassing, keep a copy of the footage and make sure it's time and date stamped.) Letting the community see this would be helpful in deterring such behavior.

I'd also double check to ensure the camera is in a secured location where it and the electrical power running it can't get damaged or stolen.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2475


07/30/2021 7:24 AM  
I'd also be cautious about posting photos of minors without parental permission (one of the reasons our attorney told us not to have community web pages or social media pages where people can post stuff).

Short of that... maybe announce to the community that you have this footage from the camera and that if this behavior continues you will share them with police to help identify the culprits???

I dunno - many people think it's "not neighborly" to go the police first rather than letting parents solve the problem, but you don't know who they are. The kids may not even be from your community, and if they're not it's trespassing and it would be a police matter.

Or you hire after hours security to throw the little buggers out as needed?

But yeah, you have to jump on this because it's a liability issue.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:571


07/30/2021 7:56 AM  
Posted By DavidG45 on 07/30/2021 6:32 AM
Our new community has enjoyed our first year with a swimming pool. Last night it was reported that several young teenagers entered the pool area by climbing over the fence after hours. We recently installed security cameras so we have footage of the youngsters in the act. Now, the question has arisen as to how we can identify the culprits.

Is it considered okay to send a mass email to our residents with still shots to see if anyone can identify them? I can't think of any other way to identify them, but I am a little uneasy about publishing photos of minors - even if they are taking part in an illegal activity.

I'm curious if others have experience and knowledge about this subject.

TIA




The property I manage recently installed cameras too, and almost immediately discovered groups of kids hopping the fence at night, and had this same discussion.

Say you do send out the photos. And someone replies "I think that's Joe Smith's kid". Word gets back to Joe, who explains that in fact, his son was visiting cousins in another state at the time, but as we all know, a lie makes it around the world twice before the truth has breakfast so now the whole neighborhood thinks it was Joe's kid.

Publicly posting the photos - minors or adults - is just going to create neighborhood drama at best and at worst, if someone gets wrongly accused, you could find yourself in a defamation lawsuit. And to what end? What do you plan to do to the offenders, if correctly identified?

If all they did was climb over the fence and swim, it's unlikely that the police will arrest them for trespass days after it occurred If they live in the community, you can talk to their parents or perhaps suspend the family's pool access (if your governing documents and state statutes allow for that). And if they don't live in your neighborhood? Are you going to sue them?

What my board did was:
Add additional, prominent signs advising that the pool was under 24 hour video surveillance
Send an email to owners informing them that there were now cameras but encouraging them to still call in events as they happen. (We already have 24/7 emergency response phone number but your property may not)
Check the cameras before going to bed to see if we catch anyone in the act. For us, it's an app on our phones, so easy to check. The board members and I have access to the cameras.

So far we spotted one group of kids live in the act, and I called the police to chase them out, which they promptly did.

For the other kids that weren't caught live, I have the photos printed out for my reference. If I see the kids again during the day (my office is at the one of the pools) I can track them back to the access card they used to enter the pool, and identify them that way.


We've had the cameras for about two weeks, and while there were nightly incidents of kids hopping the fence in the first four days, there haven't been any since, so perhaps word is getting around.

LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1429


07/30/2021 9:12 AM  
What Barbara said, Spot ON!!!!

From a security officer's point of view, just a few things can be done after the fact. Aside from the drama that posting videos and still images after the fact. use deductive investigation to nail the culprits.
If you have a fob rfid key system use the key logs to find your culprit. Double Whammy if your video surveillance system has facial recognition capabilities, because you can tag faces to keep a separate log of
recordings with flagged faces. Makes it easier to track so you don't have to sit through hours of video.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:843


07/30/2021 9:18 AM  
I agree with Barbara and the way they are handling it.

If this were to happen in our community I would have the PM post a note asking the neighbors if anyone recognized the kids or could provide information to contact Management asap and in confidence. Once this is done a letter could be sent to the parents and a request to meet with the family with the board present at the next executive session. This has worked in my last community because then the parents are forced to do the disciplining of the child or risk losing pool privileges.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:279


07/30/2021 11:37 AM  
I would like to believe that this issue was discussed and the Board approved what the the procedures would be before the cameras were installed.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:141


07/30/2021 11:42 AM  
Posted By MichaelS56 on 07/30/2021 11:37 AM
I would like to believe that this issue was discussed and the Board approved what the the procedures would be before the cameras were installed.




That would have been ideal. However, the HOA is still under developer control, so when I previously asked how the cameras would be monitored I didn't get an answer from him or our PM. I didn't even know he had moved forward with the plans to install cameras, but one day last week a crew came out and installed them.

MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:279


08/02/2021 4:18 PM  
David, what else is this developer going to do while they are in charge. Does the city, or county or state have any guidelines in this matter. what do other HOA's that have cameras use for guidelines? I hope the developer does not leave you and the other owners with a lot of debt or expensive future maintenance
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