Baltimore plans to counter increases in violence in tourist areas by upgrading the city’s surveillance cameras in those locations and by linking private security cameras to police monitors, officials say.
Baltimore has experienced violent acts at the Inner Harbor and downtown areas with one of the most notorious occurring during St. Patrick’s Day weekend 2012 when a tourist from Virginia was badly beaten by several attackers, robbed and stripped of his clothes, as onlookers laughed and pointed at the victim.
The attack was recorded on cell phones and can be viewed on YouTube. Some of the attackers have been arrested.
In addition to increasing video surveillance of tourist areas—including linking the camera networks at Harborplace and the nearby “Gallery” shopping center—Baltimore police are adding 50 officers to those areas as well as patrolling schools to control teens.
Officials say the additional security is to be operational Thursday through Sunday nights, and will be in place by Memorial Day weekend. The security measures are especially sought as Baltimore conducts celebrations observing the bicentennial of the War of 1812, at which a major battle was fought that held back the British.
Despite the increases in crime at tourist locations, police report that overall, violent crime is down in the city.