Tanja V. Kesić, Ivana Bjelovuk

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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.

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