Columbus' new red-light cameras will have greater surveillance capabilities that could assist police in more than just traffic infractions.

Columbus' new red-light cameras will have greater surveillance capabilities that could assist police in more than just traffic infractions.

The latest cameras, which haven't yet been installed, will take constant video footage in areas where they are mounted, so the cameras potentially could catch criminal activity, said Amanda Ford, spokeswoman for the Columbus Department of Public Safety.

"Obviously, it would be a benefit in those cases where a crime would occur in that area where the cameras are," she said.

Ford said she isn't sure how long the captured video could be retained, and police would only review the footage, not monitor activity through the cameras.

Columbus City Council is expected to hold a public hearing on the issue in November, she said.

The city plans to install 20 additional red-light cameras, designed to catch motorists running red lights, but their locations have not been determined, Ford said. Columbus has installed red-light cameras at 18 intersections throughout the city in an attempt to reduce the number of crashes. When a vehicle runs a red light, the cameras take a picture of the offender. Tickets then are issued. Those cameras will not be replaced with the current technology because they already are effective, Ford said.

The city will not be out additional money because its red-light camera provider, Redflex Traffic Systems, installs and maintains the devices in exchange for a portion of the proceeds raised from tickets, Ford said.

The red-light cameras are not to be confused with the neighborhood surveillance cameras, which will be monitored during peak times on certain days of the week, Ford said. They will be in five neighborhoods, and the first one will be installed in the spring, she said.