Video cameras are being used by businesses, cities and residential communities to help reduce and prevent crime.

When used correctly, they’re surprisingly effective at reducing the overall crime rate. While they might not prevent all crime, they can reduce it and prevent the severity of other crimes.

The good thing is these cameras are a relatively inexpensive security investment when compared to dealing with the aftermath of crime. You get more effective security that’s actually budget-friendly.

Increases The Risk Of Getting Caught

The most obvious way that video cameras help prevent crime is by increasing the risk of someone getting caught. Many criminals do everything possible to reduce this risk. If they see cameras up, they’re going to think twice.

To make them more effective, put notices up that the cameras are being monitored. The last thing they want is to know someone is watching them in real-time. This makes it much harder to get away with a crime.

So, just the presence alone is often enough to scare away many potential criminals.

See More Angles At A Time

When you just train staff to watch out for potential security threats or you use security guards, you’re limited in what you’ll see. For instance, security guards patrol and won’t be able to see what happens on one floor after they go to the second floor.

Video cameras are placed in areas where the biggest security threats are possible. For instance, back entrances, alleyways, parking lots and similar areas are often favorites of criminals. By placing video cameras in these areas, you get to see them 24/7. This works well when combined with security guards to offer optimal protection.

Crimes Are Reported Before Or During

When video cameras are monitored live, you don’t have to wait until after the fact to report a crime. Instead, the trained guard watching the feeds reports a crime the moment they notice anything suspicious.

By reporting the crime early, the suspect is arrested before they have a chance to get away. This helps to reduce overall crime as other potential criminals realize the area is being monitored and they shy away.

Having on-site security guards helps immensely in this instance. The guard monitoring the cameras lets the on-site guards know what’s going on and they’re able to detain the person until local law enforcement arrives.

Leads To Other Security Measures

Installing video cameras often leads to other security measures as businesses better see potential threats in action. For instance, if they notice more crimes in the parking lot, it might lead them to install better lighting to make it harder for anyone to hide.

It’s not uncommon for cameras to lead to hiring on-site guards, using better lighting throughout the business and area, keeping a closer eye on who enters and exits and putting up fencing to keep people out.

Correct Use

The effectiveness of video cameras comes down to correct use. Urban Institute did an in-depth study on city surveillance systems and found that they did reduce crime in most cases. However, areas with too many cameras or without trained guards to monitor them didn’t see as much of a decrease.

Cornell University reported that video cameras were effective, but they were most effective in parking lots with a 51% decrease in crime. Of course, this could be because parking lots are a popular target.

To get the most benefits from video cameras, consider the following:

  • Reduce the overall amount of cameras to areas where you need them most. If you need more cameras, ensure there are multiple guards monitoring the feeds. After all, a single person is only capable of watching so many feeds at a time.
  • Use on-site guards too in order to have faster response times to crimes.
  • Install lighting in darker areas to improve the quality of the feed and further deter crime.
  • Audit their effectiveness regularly to see if they need to be moved to different locations or set to different angles.

Contact BOS Security

Uncertain of where to install your video cameras? Start with our free Security Needs Assessment to learn more about your vulnerabilities.

Want to learn more about how security guards help with video camera monitoring? Contact us today at 404-793-6965 for answers to all your questions.

Image: Daniel Von Appen