The quality of CCTV evidence varies considerably. Poor quality video evidence cannot be relied upon in Court. Sometimes we can show that better quality evidence should exist.
A male had been charged with an offence which he strenuously denied. Video footage of the alleged incident was served. The video evidence was recorded under street lighting via a CCTV camera positioned some considerable distance away.
While the poor quality evidence could not be clarified we were able to determine the type of CCTV recording system employed. Following telephone enquiries we visited the location of the alleged incident, examined the CCTV system and inspected the daily logs.
We produced an illustrated report to show the Court that:-
- The venue kept CCTV viewing logs & maintenance records in good order
- No faults had been reported at the time of the alleged incident
- The CCTV system had not been changed or updated in any way since then
- Some cameras were much closer to the alleged incident than the one disclosed
- Two of these fixed position cameras had an unobstructed view of the area of interest
- Working copies could not be made by the venue themselves
- A single time-lapse multiplexed videotape containing relevant footage from all 16 CCTV cameras had been seized, who seized it and when they seized it
- The previously served working copy showing footage from the distant camera could only have been sourced from the original multiplexed tape
The defence argued that video evidence from the other cameras would have shown that their client did not commit the alleged offence.
The prosecution were unable to produce either the original multiplexed tape or any footage from the cameras which were closer to the alleged incident. The case was dropped and the defendant was awarded costs.
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