Tanja V. Kesić, Ivana Bjelovuk

DOI Number
First page
Last page


The application of thermal imaging cameras in crime detection has raised the question of the legality of their use, as well as the procedural value of thus obtained information. With regard to these questions, the standpoint of the U.S. court practice has shown diametrically opposite views. The earliar U.S. courts rulings took the position that the application of thermal imaging cameras was not subject to the fulfillment of any particular conditions and that it was encompassed by police discretionary decisions. The position of later rulings was that the application of new technologies, including thermal imaging cameras, was subject to basic conditions required for searching, i.e. mandatory obtaining of the court order with the purpose of protecting the right to privacy. As the application of thermal imaging cameras in the Republic of Serbia is prescribed neither by laws nor by by-laws, it could be governed by general regulations on the use of technical means in implementing operational tactical measures and actions, as well as gathering of evidence. Therefore, thermal imaging cameras might be used in police actions, such as police observation, covert surveillance and recording. In the course of covert surveillance and recording, as part of theevidence gathering process, the use of thermal imaging cameras would be regulated by the same conditions by which the undertaken actions are regulated. Since the possibility of the application of thermal imaging cameras while performing police observation is not explicitly provided for, dilemmas with regard to their use still remain, as well as the issues concerning their procedural value.       


thermal imaging cameras, crime detection, privacy.

Full Text:



Alyushin, M., Kolobashkina, L., Person's face thermal image vibrational components processing in order to assess his current psycho-emotional state, Postproceedings of the 9th Annual International Conference on Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, BICA 2018 (Ninth Annual Meeting of the BICA Society) Procedia Computer Science 145 (2018) 43–47.

Asirdizer, M., Hekimoglu, Y., Gumus, O. (2016) Usage of Infrared-Based Technologies in Forensic Sciences. Available at,retrieved Oct 2nd 2019.

Battalwar P, Gokhale J, Bansod U. (2015). Infrared thermography and IR camera. International Journal of Research in Science & Engineering, 1 (3), 9–14.

Campis, P.J. (2001). The Fourth Amendment and New Tchnologies: The Constitutionality of Thermal Imaging. Villanova Law Review, Vol. 46, 241, 246-275. Available at:

Chua, J., Dyer, A., Garcia, J. Hot Shoes in the Room: Authentication of Thermal Imaging for Quantitative Forensic Analysis. Journal of. Imaging, 4, 1-11.

Crocker, P.T. (2013). Order, Technology, and the Constitutional Meanings of Criminal Procedure. The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Vol. 103, 3, 686-744. Available at: HeinOnline, 20.5.2019.

Dashiell, C. (2003). Thermal Imaging: Creating a Virtual Space. University of Toledo Law Review, 34, 351-372. Available at: HeinOnline, 20.5.2019.

De Broux S., McCaul K. K., Shimamoto, S. (2007). Infrared Photography. Available at, retrieved Oct 2nd 2019.

Edelman GJ, Hoveling RJ, Roos M, van Leeuwen TG, Aalders MC. (2013). Infrared imaging of the crime scene: Possibilities and pitfalls. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 58 (5), 1156–1162.

Krivokapić, V., Žarković, M., Simonović, B. (2003). Kriminalistika taktika [Criminalistics Tactics], Beograd: Viša škola unutrašnjih poslova.

Kriznar, P. (2017). The Question of Lawful Usage of Thermal Imaging Device in Criminal Procedure. Pravnik, 134, 3-4, 183-207. Available at: HeinOnline, 20. 5. 2019.

Kyllo v. United States, (99-8508) 533 U.S. 27 (2001). Available at:, 12.6.2019.

Larks-Stanford, A. (2000). The Warrantless Use of Thermal Imaging and “Intimate Details“: Why Growing Pot Indoors and Washing Dishes are Similar Activities Under the Fourth Amendment. Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 49, 2, 575-612. Available at:

Lin AC, Hsieh HM, Tsai LC, Linacre A, Lee JC. (2007). Forensic applications of infrared imaging for the detection and recording of latent evidence. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 52 (5), 1148–1150.

McKenzie, D. (2002). What Were They Smoking: The Supreme Court’s Latest Step in a Long, Strange Trip throught th Fourth Amendment, The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Vol. 93, 1, 153-194. Available at: HeinOnline, 20.5.2019.

Nikač, Ž., Radovanović, R., Zorić, V. (2018). Privatna bezbednost u Srbiji – pravni osnovi i edukacija pripadnika [Private Security in Serbia – Legal Basis and Education Members]. Teme, 1, 203–223. doi: 10.22190/TEME1801203N

Popara, V. (2010). Specifičnosti postupanja jedinica za opservaciju prilikom realizacije kontrolisane isporuke [Specific Features of Surveillance Unit Activities Upon Controlled Drug Deliveries]. Bezbednost, 1, 238–257.

Popara, V., Žarković, I. (2012). Kriminalistička opservacija u ruralnim uslovima [Criminalistic Surveillance in Conditions Rural Areas]. Bezbednost, 2, 151–171.

Pravilnik o načinu postupanja policijskih službenika, Narodne novine. Br. 89 (2010) i 76 (2015).

Pravilnik o načinu postupanja policijskih službenika, Službeni glasnik RS. Br. 63 (2018) i 72 (2018).

Pravilnik o policijskim ovlašćenjima, Službeni glasnik RS. Br. 41 (2019).

Simonović, B. (2004). Kriminalistika [Criminalistics], Kragujevac: Pravni fakultet u Kragujevcu i Institut za pravne i društvene nauke.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programms, National Institute of Justice (1996). Scoping Out Night Vision, 1-8. Available at:, 20.5.2019.

Zakon o graničnoj kontroli, Službeni glasnik RS. Br. 24 (2018).

Zakon o policiji, Službeni glasnik RS. Br. 6 (2016), 24 (2018) i 87 (2018).

Zakonik o krivičnom postupku, Službeni glasnik RS. Br. 72 (2011), 101 (2011), 121 (2012), 32 (2013), 45 (2013), 55 (2014) i 35 (2019).

Žarković, M., Ivanović, Z. (2014). Kriminalistička taktika [Criminalistics Tactics], Beograd: Kriminalističko-policijska akademija.

Zhang YC, Wang ZK, Fu XB, Yan F., Kong T. (2019). An experimental method for improving temperature measurement accuracy of infrared thermal imager. Infrared Physics & Technology, 102, 103020.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 0353-7919
Online ISSN: 1820-7804