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OPP encourages residents to help fight crime with CAMSafe program

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After operating under the moniker SCRAM for a few years, the Nottawasaga OPP is reintroducing its community video database program as CAMSafe.

The program is designed to create a database of residential and commercial security cameras that could help police as they investigate crimes.

Alliston resident Rob Zentai is contemplating installing video surveillance at his home and expressed his intention to join the program.

"I see it as a good thing that can only be of a help to the neighbourhood in certain situations," states Zentai.

Homeowners and businesses with exterior video security cameras can register with the CAMSafe program online. When a crime is reported, police can access the CAMSafe registry to see what video footage they might have access to in the immediate area.

"In the past, officers would go door to door and canvas residents and businesses to obtain video surveillance. This [program] helps expedite that process and get the valuable information that we need in a timely manner," explained OPP Const. Jacquelyn Beaulieu.

Police cannot access individual security cameras or cloud-based accounts; any potential footage from private cameras would require the property owner's permission.

The program, previously known as SCRAM, has already been instrumental in a significant investigation in Alliston.

"Recently, a registered camera captured a motor vehicle that has assisted members of our Major Crime Unit as well as our Criminal Investigation Branch in a homicide investigation," revealed Nottawasaga OPP Staff Sgt. Kevin Bucknor.

Wimpy's Diner in Alliston has already leveraged its two outdoor cameras to assist in previous break-in investigations.

"Just to help out more, eyes on the road can help everybody. It's just this way people can feel safer going out and about and knowing they are protected all around and the quicker they can get the job done," said the diner's manager, Christina Christie.

Police stress this is a voluntary program that will only work if people and businesses get behind it.

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