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Cameras installed at intersections in a small community near Seattle monitor every vehicle coming into town in a new crime-prevention measure.
Cameras are everywhere these days. There are red light cameras, speed cameras, parking enforcement cameras, survellience cameras and now, there are cameras that capture the license-plate number of every vehicle entering a jurisdiction in a new crime-prevention measure. Medina, a community of about 3,100 just across Lake Washington from Seattle, has installed cameras at several intersections to monitor every vehicle coming into the city, reports the Seattle Times . The cameras capture a car's license-plate number, and immediately runs it through a police database that checks for felonies. Signs are posted at Medina's city limits that warn, "You Are Entering a 24 Hour Video Surveillance Area," and all captured information is stored for 60 days so that police can mine data if a crime occurs later. If say the vehicle was reported stolen, or is registered to a homicide suspect, the information is immediately transmitted to police. The goal is simply to prevent crime. Last year, there was just 11 burglaries in Medina, but in the neighboring community of Hunts Point, there were zero. Hunts Point has been using a video-camera setup to record a continuous loop of car traffic in and out of town for more than three years, and there hasn't been a single burglary since the cameras were installed.