Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Problems with CCTV evidence in court

This from Walesonline.com illustrates the problems in dealing with CCTV evidence: "... Jason Richards, 38, and Ben Hope, 39, are on trial accused of his murder and the attempted murder of his parents who had tried to stop their son from being attacked.

They both deny all the charges against them.

The jury had previously heard that that eight and a half years worth of CCTV material had been recovered during the investigation into the 17-year-old student’s death.

Earlier in the week DC James told the court he had viewed CCTV images from all over the city as part of the investigation.

The jury had also heard that around 100 to 120 cameras had been involved in the investigation and included images from public houses, private houses and commercial premises.

As part of the cross-examination of DC James which began today, Mr Rees pointed out that two clips taken from a camera at Talybont student accomodation couldn’t follow each other as the one later in sequence happened earlier in adjusted real time.

During the hearing DC James explained to the court how some differences in timings could occur.

He said it could be the case that an officer has rounded it down to the minute or up to the minute.

DC James added: “We try to be as accurate as we possibly can.”

The court heard that council cameras were treated as being accurate as they run to the atomic clock.

Mr Rees also read out in court a number of premises which had been asked to download their CCTV as part of the investigation.

He said Talybont student accommodation had been asked to do so on April 19 - eight days after Aamir had been killed.

Mr Rees said when the person responsible for doing this downloaded the images and checked it against the speaking clock they found CCTV was running 15 seconds faster than the speaking clock.

The court heard that when the North Star public house downloaded their CCTV and checked the timings they found the CCTV was running one hour and five minutes slower than the speaking clock.

DC James told the court that he would assume an officer would have been writing these timings down at the time.

He had also told the court that the CCTV team “can only work with the timings given [when the CCTV] was recovered”

The trial continues ...

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