Police Cameras in Görlitz Deemed a Success

Police cameras at the Old Town Bridge in Görlitz – Photo by Tessa Enright

About a year ago police cameras were installed at four locations around Görlitz, including at the Old Town Bridge. The cameras were installed as a pilot program to test their effect on crime rates.

The cameras are mounted on two meter high columns that resemble speed cameras. They employ high-resolution images and facial recognition to identify criminals as well as to deter them. The images are deleted after 96 hours.

This measure was taken because of concern about the rates of crime in Görlitz, particularly theft. The rates of such crimes in Görlitz are higher than those in Saxony per 100,000 inhabitants and the proximity to the border is often blamed for this difference.

There has been opposition to this measure, but after a year of the cameras, the crime statistics in Görlitz are reported to have decreased by around 15% overall, with a 40% decrease in burglaries and an 80% decrease in car and apartment burglaries (Source). Critics say that these crimes have simply moved elsewhere.