Criminals caught with motion-sensing camera
Hunting cameras are catching prey of a different kind.
Motion-activated sensor cameras designed for hunters to monitor prey are helping combat crime in South Canterbury.
Waimate constable Paul Alden said the devices, also known as trail cameras, had helped catch thieves in the district, thanks to the many people, particularly in remote areas, who had them installed.
"They are motion-activated so it gets set off when something walks past," he said.
"There are lots of people who are using them - we've solved lots of crime using those things."
The cameras do not have flashes, but can operate using night vision technology. Therefore they can activate without disturbing the people or animals that trigger them.
The cameras are designed to be strapped to trees. Some can also be read remotely through smartphones.
Gun City Timaru owner-operator Wayne Golightly said the cameras were "brilliant" devices for hunting as well as combating crime.
"There's no getting away from it. You don't even know it's there.
"There's a market for it for security - there's no doubt about it."
Golightly said the devices were more practical than closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
"If you suspect something happened last week [that was filmed on CCTV] you've got to view hour after hour of footage to go through 24 hours. The beauty about the trail camera is it takes an instant picture when something happens on your property."
Blakely Pacific South Island regional manager Andrew Cocking said the trail cameras were used to protect South Canterbury's forestry blocks as well as equipment left on site.
"They certainly help with managing our security and protecting our forest assets."
The Timaru Herald