Boston Bombing Likely to Spur Video-Surveillance Market

The importance video played in identifying the Boston Marathon bombing suspects cannot be overstated
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The FBI released video of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who, at the time, where unknown suspects in the Boston bombing.The names and certainly the faces of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev likely would not have gained worldwide notoriety if it were not for the video of them at the scene of the crime the brothers have been accused of, and to which Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has reportedly confessed.

The importance the video played in identifying the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and wounded at least 178 others cannot be overstated. It was amazing how quickly the Tsarnaev brothers were singled out from the crowd after Boston FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis and Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben urged the public to share any photos or video taken near the bomb sites.

About 48 hours later the images of the Tsarnaev brothers were made public causing them to go on a rampage, which resulted in the murder of a police officer; a shoot out with police, in which another officer was wounded; the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26; and the apprehension of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

However, even before the brothers’ images were released, politicians from both parties—including Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, D—were calling for the deployment of more surveillance cameras. Among U.S. cities, Chicago has one of the most extensive networks of video cameras, amounting to approximately 10,000.

With such a victory made possible by video, it seems natural that many government officials and ordinary citizens would not object to spending money for more surveillance equipment. In fact, the Englewood, Colo.-based analyst and consulting firm IHS said global revenue for the video-surveillance equipment market is projected to increase to $20.5 billion in 2016, a 114-percent increase over the $9.6 billion spent in 2010.

In addition, the bombing in Boston is likely to drive increased government spending on security, and global sales of video-surveillance equipment could exceed the “booming growth” already predicted for the market, IHS said.

Because the Boston bombing could spur even more growth in the video-surveillance market, IHS is revising its video-surveillance spending forecast to take into account the bombing.

“While it’s too early to tell exactly what impact the Boston bombing will have, past events—like 9/11 and the London Underground bombings— have led to increased government spending on video surveillance for public spaces, particularly in the transport sector,” said Paul Everett, IHS’ senior manager, video surveillance.

The reason to greatly increase the number of video surveillance systems is simple; to protect society from the actions of unbalanced individuals, and, if needed, to have a record of them committing their crimes. Richard DesLauriers, Edward Davis and Timothy Alben made that point with the Boston Marathon bombing.