NEWS-JOURNAL EDITORIAL: More cameras can only help deter crimes
The days of people feeling as if they can steal things or commit acts of vandalism in downtown Spruce Pine could soon be over.
The Spruce Pine Town Council and police department are moving toward rectifying multiple instances of petty theft and vandalism by installing more surveillance cameras downtown.
Installing cameras is one thing, but having the manpower and ability to appropriately deal with those caught stealing or vandalizing is another.
There has been a rash of these types of crimes in the downtown area over the past few months and many have gone unsolved. At least one downtown business is understandably tired of dealing with it. Laura Waldroup Verla, of Peoples Furniture, addressed Spruce Pine Town Council this past Monday about the need for more cameras and increased patrol after items from a fall display in front of the store were stolen for the second time in a week.
After the first theft, Spruce Pine Police Chief Billy Summerlin installed a camera on the second floor of the building.
The second theft, which took place Thursday night, was recorded on said camera, the person was identified and subsequently received a criminal summons for misdemeanor larceny.
Installing cameras may deter thefts and vandalism in downtown Spruce Pine, but they will not stop crimes from being committed.
Cameras enable recorded footage to be viewed later, aid in nabbing criminals and help them receive justice from the law.
They cannot, however, stop a crime when it is in progress. They do not alert the police or bystanders that a crime is being committed.
Perhaps the better way to keep crimes from being committed is a police presence and people having a sense they will be dealt with swiftly and harshly for committing said crime.
We can all hope more cameras and a fully staffed police department will do just that.