When will video surveillance evidence work in court?

Due to advancements in video surveillance technology occurrences can be viewed from various angles giving the court more evidence to work with. However, it is not all-smooth sailing.

That’s due to the fact that unless and until the generated video evidence is properly maintained and presented, it doesn’t qualify as a valid proof.

Research reveals that United States and UK video surveillance methods seem to have worked as means of preventing crimes. Moreover, studies indicate that video surveillance can be an influential tool in detecting and prosecuting crimes. Yet, it is better to first understand local laws instead of simply recording anything and everything.

Hence, the party proposing video surveillance footage in court must ascertain how the video was recorded, what influence the recording process had on the documented video, whether the transporting of the video deposition compromised the reliability of the footage and if all important video has been acquired of the episode in question.

Consequently, video evidence must comply with what ever is said above in order to gain credibility in court.

Additionally, whoever captured the video must prove in the court of law that the images have not been tampered with under any circumstances.

As a knowledge share, some basic rules to consider digital video images as supportive proof in the law of evidence are lined up below-

  • Preservation– The recording authority must properly keep and maintain memory cards, and other temporary storage devices on which images are recorded.
  • Authenticity– that the digitally recorded evidence is a true and accurate reflection of what the proponent of the evidence claims it to be
  • Policy -have a formulized agency policy for evidence collection and preservation which includes digital and electronic evidence (video captures, e-mails, computer data)
  • Admissibility -showing that the purported evidence is relevant to the ultimate fact to be proved and the extent to which it weighs on the probability of that fact. Generally if the evidence passes the first three steps its admissibility will be assured.

Finally, we can come to a conclusion that surveillance video usage in court of law can prove vital for both plaintiffs and defendants, as it can prove as most important piece of evidence utilized by either side to prove their point in case.

However, all this is only possible when the evidence has correct assemblage, is well protected and its existence is legally authentic.


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