More cameras added in Shockoe Bottom

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You're being watched in Shockoe Bottom. Signs went up this month warning that Richmond police have put up surveillance cameras.

This is what Shockoe Bottom can look like late at night. Lots of officers and rowdy crowds. But now police have an extra set of eyes keeping watch.

"It's about crime deterrence. We feel shockoe bottom is a place where Richmond and the suburbs come to party and we really want to make this a safe and enjoyable place. When people come down here," said Gene Lepley, Richmond Police Spokesperson.

Police added five cameras to a network of three put in place last October by several business owners.

"People have been very supportive. We're a safe neighborhood and we want to be the safest neighborhood in Richmond," said David  Napier, President Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association.

The biggest crime on the rise in Shockoe Bottom according to Richmond police is theft from motor vehicles. And these cameras are mainly in places where you park your car.

We found several cars today with purses and I-pod's left in plain view. Police hope these yellow signs also remind people to be more careful.

"We'll be watching with the cameras we believe that will be a deterrent but your first defense is hide your stuff when it's in your car," said Lepley.

Margie Chism's been a vendor at the Farmer's Market for two years. She says shoplifting is her biggest battle.

"I am very happy with the cameras I hope we soon will get cameras inside the market to protect the merchants and their designs and their produce," said Chism .

In the meantime, the cameras line the streets and alleys around the Farmer's Market. And whenever you see this sign it means a camera is nearby.

"It's a deterrent. It's a good one and we've caught a few people with some theft," said Napier.

The city is considering applying for grants and brining free wireless Internet to the Farmer's Market. Free wi-fi could lead to more cameras watching over you in the Bottom.

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