Using CCTV to Protect your Business
Welcome to the fifth blog in our Business Security Guide series. If you missed the last on about securing your high-value items, you can read it here.
Protecting your business is a tricky thing to get right. Budgets are always tight and there are so many threats out there it is hard to know what to do first.
Currently, there is a proliferation of CCTV, it is being installing everywhere, to protect against everything. But does it make a difference? Are businesses, staff, and assets more secure?
A study by the College of Policing stated that installing CCTV had a limited effected on crime reduction. In fact, it had no effect on violent crime whatsoever. The report goes onto say that CCTV is really only effective when strategically placed or if it is possible to achieve 100% coverage of the area, i.e. there are no ‘blind spots’. Simply installing CCTV and hoping for the best is not likely to work.
There is also the illusion of safety to think about. So what if you can view your CCTV cameras via the internet from anywhere in the world? Is constantly monitoring your CCTV in the hope of finding criminal activity really the best thing to be doing while sitting on the beach? Is that real peace of mind? I would say it isn’t. So, what’s the answer?
Well, quite simply, it is to use CCTV properly. We have put together some tips on using CCTV more effectively to protect your business.
CCTV can be a great deterrent, however, deterrence is only effective if an assailant knows, or believes, there are other layers of security in place, such as detection, protection and response. In other words, make your CCTV prominent, put signs up warning that CCTV is in use. Let potential intruders know that you are prepared.
Make sure that you site your CCTV effectively for best effect. It is often difficult, and costly, to get 100% coverage of your business so, think tactically. Install cameras to look at vulnerable areas such as areas with high-value items and points of access/ egress into your business.
CCTV offers the greatest benefits when it is used in conjunction with other systems. CCTV can bring real enhancements to intrusion detection: it can capture and record the cause of an alarm, it enables an immediate assessment which allows for a quick and proportionate response. So look to integrate it with other security measures.
Enhance the ability of security guards
CCTV can also save money in comparison to security guards (a previous blog I wrote about it can be read here). When used properly, CCTV can be used as a ‘force multiplier’ to provide ‘multiple eyes’ around a location instead of the one pair of eyes of the security guard.
Understand the limitations
CCTV can not prevent an incident from occurring. While the CCTV system may provide evidence of the crime taking place and possibly identify the perpetrator, it cannot stop a criminal act from happening. Real thought should be put in before installing a CCTV system as a blanket form of protection, especially in high risk situations.
CCTV is one the fastest growing areas of security and is often presented as the answer to all security problems. It can be a fantastic addition to your overall security measures, but it should be used as one of many elements in an overall plan. You should avoid using it as a piecemeal protection measure, i.e. putting a CCTV camera up after an event has occurred. If CCTV is used in life-threatening situations, such as protecting staff, there should be a credible response to back it up.
If you would like to know more about protecting your business with CCTV, then please get I touch. We are more than happy to help and advise.
Our next blog in the series is all about alarm systems. You can read it here, first.