Charlotte’s Hyde Park Estates neighborhood is considering a network of cameras to record and track visitors, and to capture their car license plates, says the Charlotte Observer. Home break-ins jumped 10 percent in Charlotte through September, compared to the same period last year. Only violent crime can make people feel more vulnerable than intrusions into their homes, say police and criminologists. Hyde Park residents grew fearful this fall after a rash of car break-ins and several burglaries by thieves who kicked open front doors. A committee voted to research installing up to 16 cameras. A digital video recorder would keep records, and signs would let potential criminals know they’re being watched.
While Charlotte’s violent crime rate has declined over the past decade, the rate of property crime has ticked up four of the past five years. Police generally clear fewer than one in 10 home break-ins with an arrest or other reason for closing the case. Neighborhoods are fighting back with a variety of measures – with some hiring security companies, forming citizen patrols, and installing cameras. Police say cameras might help, if neighborhoods are willing to shoulder the expense.