HERCULES (KPIX 5) — A neighborhood in the East Bay city of Hercules has installed new surveillance equipment to deter crime. And even though they don’t have a lot of crime, residents are determined to keep it that way.
On Camden Lane and Kensington Circle in the city’s Coventry neighborhood, there are plenty of signs to remind residents of the rules – one way, slow down, curb your dog and the like. But the newest sign is a message for outsiders: you are being watched.READ MORE: Homeless Parolee Arrested in Petaluma Beauty Supply Store Armed Robbery
Motion-activated cameras at the two entrances are now recording any cars – and their license plates – that pass through the streets.
“It’s a serious type of surveillance,” said resident Victor Manrique. “It’s beyond your normal system, wireless and you can see people coming and going. This is a bit deeper than that.”
Manrique admits there isn’t a lot of crime on his street, but his home is already covered with cameras and he is pleased with what the new system will offer.
“When the cars turn down our street it will take a picture of the license plate and it does share it with the Department of Justice,” he said. “In a matter of seconds, they can tell if the car is stolen or someone who might be of interest to them.”READ MORE: In Blow To Telecoms, 9th Circuit Court Upholds California's Net Neutrality Law
But that’s not what it actually does. The company, Flock Safety, says video is stored in the cloud for 30 days with the Coventry homeowners association controlling it at all times. Police never see it unless the HOA sends it to them.
The residents voted 25 to 3 to allow the cameras, even if they’re not exactly sure how they work. The homeowners association is paying $2,000 per year to install and maintain service for each of the two cameras.
“Some people might think that their privacy will be affected but not for me personally,” said resident Delor David. “I come home, like, one o’clock at night, you know? So, I feel better that the camera is there.”
Manrique says it’s about peace of mind and even though there is no way to know what crimes the cameras might prevent, He just wants his quiet neighborhood to stay that way.
“So, if anything at all, if we just maintain the level that’s out there now,” Manrique said. “We’re going to be happy with that.”MORE NEWS: 3 Teens Accused Of Killing Man, Stealing His Dog & Car In San Francisco On New Year's Eve
There are some privacy protections for homeowners. The company says residents can register their license plates and the equipment will automatically delete any video containing them.