Police departments partnered with Ring say that they aren’t sure if the cameras are effective at identifying suspects or leading to arrests. While Ring advertises it’s cameras as making neighborhoods safer and solving crimes, an investigation from NBC News found that many police officers didn’t agree with Ring’s statement that their video doorbells reduce break-ins by 50%. Out of the 40 Ring law enforcement partnerships:
- Three agencies said that officers spent time reviewing clips that weren’t relevant to crime and didn’t help identifying suspects
- 13 agencies said that they hadn’t made any arrests based on Ring footage
- 13 used Ring’s footage to confirm arrests
- Larger cities like Kansas City, Miami and Phoenix said they weren’t keeping track of the relationship between the number of arrests and Ring’s footage since partnering with Ring over a year ago.
- 10 agencies said that they thought the cameras deterred crime, although they couldn’t prove through data that the decrease in property crime was directly caused by Ring’s devices.
While property crimes like burglaries and package theft are declining across the country, Ring is falsely claiming that their cameras and video doorbells caused this reduction, according to Jodee Reyes, a spokesperson for the police department of Carlsbad, California. Reyes said,
“We don’t have any research data showing that Ring has a correlation to a reduction…Our residential burglary rate began decreasing before Ring gave us access to their portal. There are more than likely many factors that have led to this decrease.”
Ring and Privacy Concerns
Recently, a group of Senators investigated Ring due to their partnerships with over 400 police departments in the United States. Senator Edward J. Markey found that Ring had no security requirements regarding how law enforcement accesses the footage, shares it with third party, stores it, or requests it from users. He also found that Ring wouldn’t commit to not selling users’ biometric data.
While Ring must ask users before they can use their footage in criminal cases, Senator Markey found that Ring uses “discriminatory information-gathering practices” through targeted language. In response, Amazon maintained not only that users must consent to police using their footage, but also that the footage is encrypted and hasn’t been breached or accessed by an unauthorized third party.
Does Ring work with police?
Ring does work with the police. They are partnered with 400 police departments across the United States.
Can police access my Ring doorbell?
Police can only access the footage from your Ring camera or video doorbell if you consent to it.
Does Ring reduce crime?
It’s not clear whether Ring reduces crime, although the company claims that it does. A recent investigation by NBC News found that they couldn’t prove that Ring decreased crime.