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Miami Beach Tourists Caught on Tape? Public Surveillance Cameras Proposed

surveillance camera warning.jpgThe Miami Herald reports that the Miami Beach Budget Advisory Committee has voted: Officials should consider placing surveillance cameras in the city’s hot spot entertainment areas as a crime deterrent and a way to reduce police costs.

The new surveillance cameras would be installed in public areas to capture activity in tourist areas on tape – an invasion of privacy and a step towards ‘Big Brother,’ according to Mayor Matti Herrera Bower. “I don’t know that in a tourist area people would love to have cameras watching what they do,” she said.

But 35% of calls to Miami Beach police come from the entertainment district and, just last month, Miami Beach commissioners approved the installation of a $225,000 security and surveillance system including 16 cameras for the new Lincoln Park. “Cameras make people feel safe,” Police Chief Carlos Noriega said.

The first of 30 cameras at Miami Beach intersections have already been installed. Meant to videotape cars that run red lights, they also stream 24-hour video that could capture other criminal acts.

In 2006, Miami installed surveillance cameras in the downtown area. Broward, Lighthouse Point, Hallandale, Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach also have cameras for surveillance purposes.