Canadian city set to install CCTV system in downtown area

Captured on camera, and then by police -- that's what supporters of Winnipeg's planned downtown electronic surveillance are predicting in cases such as Friday's shooting on Portage Avenue.

While city police continued yesterday to search for a male suspect in the mid-day attack in a transit shelter at the front of Portage Place Shopping Centre, Coun. Scott Fielding said the cops' cameras will be a huge boost in such investigations when the system is running in January.

He noted that one camera will be mounted at Air Canada Park, just east of the site of the shooting and a stabbing outside the mall little more than a year ago.

"This will be a major tool to solving crimes like this and making our community safer," said Fielding. "These cameras will help catch criminals."

Police will use 10 stationary video cameras at six downtown and inner-city sites in a year-long trial run in hopes of deterring crime and tracking down suspects.

Footage from the $440,000 system will be recorded but not monitored, unless cops decide to watch events live.

The 29-year-old male victim of the shooting has been questioned by police while in stable condition in hospital with stomach and leg wounds.

Const. Jason Michalyshen said investigators are "trying to determine the nature of the incident" and have a mall security camera that might help.

The planned city cameras "would assist us in our investigations, absolutely," Michalyshen added.

"They could be specifically aimed for incidents like this," he said. "In some cases, they might even be monitored."