About 10 years ago, one of our customers was experiencing chronic burglaries in their RV lot that continued for approximately six solid months. They eventually advised me that they had decided to invest in a $30,000 camera system in hopes that it would be the answer to their problem. The system was installed and, indeed, the cameras were able to capture on multiple occasions individuals breaking into various motor homes and other recreational vehicles. Unfortunately, the resolution and range of the cameras were inadequate; they failed to provide images that could be readily used by our office and local law enforcement to aid in identifying the actual criminals. The customer spent $30,000 on camera systems that provided no usable benefit to the community.
Customers often ask me if cameras can be a worthwhile tool to supplement their existing security measures. I typically respond by asking, “What benefits are you expecting them to add?” Depending on their answer, I’ll usually recommend either 1) A proactive system, or 2) a reactive system.
Proactive Camera Systems
A proactive camera system is constantly monitored by a service (typically under contract) to determine whether a live, captured image or video activation is one worthy of dispatching law enforcement or security personnel. We often see these types of systems deployed in pool facilities that are prone to vandalism and after-hours use, parking garages, and other amenities that have historic vulnerability to malicious activity. When properly functional, these systems have proven to be a great asset to our communities and businesses that we service since they address concerning behavior as its occurring.
Reactive Camera Systems
A reactive camera system is one where video and/or images are recorded and stored on a DVR or hard disk for later retrieval. These systems can be useful when trying to put puzzle pieces together after an incident occurs, for gathering evidence to settle disputes, or to provide to law enforcement for investigation purposes. Unlike proactive systems, they are not useful for preventing crime as it is occurring. Notwithstanding, their role and usefulness can’t be underestimated; they can certainly prove to be valuable for customers with limited budgets, and for those that do not have chronic incidents that require a proactive system. Their range and resolution should be considered prior to purchasing.
Of course, security solutions work best with layering. In other words, don’t just rely on one measure to address yours safety and security needs; rather, employing multiple measures in concert with each other makes for a more robust armor that will set you apart from others. Camera systems, security patrol services, electronic/fob locking systems, etc, when within budget, will certainly characterize you, your community or business in the criminal world as the place to avoid.
Security Assessment Consultation
At NCP, we are here for you! We offer free security consultations and assessments. If you’d like to discuss further, to identify your vulnerabilities, or just have a meaningful dialogue about what might be your best options in establishing a more comprehensive security solution, please don’t hesitate to contact us.