Edinburgh police use video doorbell footage to catch housebreakers

High-tech gadgetry haled for crime-fighting credentials

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 6:00 am
Video doorbells link to smartphones

HIGH-tech homeowners are helping cops catch housebreakers across the Capital by installing video doorbells.

The gadgets use inbuilt cameras and smart technology to capture footage of bogus callers on CCTV.

Police have now hailed the devices’ crime-fighting credentials after making arrests based on evidence from the footage.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Video doorbells can be a great deterrent, stopping a potential housebreaker before they do any damage to your property,” said Detective Inspector Jon Pleasance.

“Simply seeing a video doorbell may be enough for a criminal to look elsewhere.

“If they do try and break-in, or succeed in forcing entry, the video doorbell could have captured good images of the culprits and be valuable evidence for the police in their efforts to identify and arrest them.”

As well as ringing like a normal doorbell, the devices alert owners on their smartphone - enabling them to view video surveillance.

They can be wireless or hard wired and are widely considered easier and cheaper to install than full CCTV security systems.

Additional features also include being able to speak to delivery drivers and visitors to your home through inbuilt microphones and speakers.

DI Pleasance added: “Installing a video doorbell should be considered part of a suite of crime prevention measures for your home.

“It alone will not prevent entry to your property, but it can be an important tool to identify who was responsible for criminality and also act as a deterrent.”

Video doorbells enable homeowners to see a caller - and speak to them - without opening the door.

Footage captures criminals casing homes and can help police identify and arrest them later.

“If you see anyone acting suspiciously near to your property please contact the police immediately with as detailed a description as possible of any persons or vehicles involved,” added DI Pleasance.

“Please call ‘999’ if an emergency and urgent police assistance is required or 101 to report the matter to the police.”

Homeowners posted their own positive experiences of using video doorbells online.

Shona Smith said: “After some unwanted visitors to our home we now have the doorbell and three of the cameras. Worth every penny.”

And Laura D'Arcy added: “Had mine for a year after my door handle had been tried during the night and since then I have caught many things on it.

“Thankfully no one’s tried my door handle again.”