For a long time now, CCTVs have provided the necessary protection to individuals and establishments alike. While it was initially introduced for use by large businesses like banks, hotels and casinos, closed circuit television has eventually became a necessary equipment not only for small commercial enterprises but even households as well.
A lot of crimes have been solved mainly because of recordings made by CCTVs. It has also made the job of Police authorities a lot easier because once the offenders are recognized,it is easier for them to validate their identity through records and public announcements.
But the criminals now are also learning to adjust in order for them not to be seen or their identity recognized. They do this by conducting their own surveillance and pinpointing the areas where the cameras are installed. Sometimes it makes me wonder if they also attend a criminal academy to learn this or it is really just their innate criminal instincts that enable them to learn the tricks of their trade.
There are of course other factors that help them in avoiding detection and this could not be prevented unless the owner of the establishment would employ certain measures that will discourage criminal elements. But since there are no specific guidance on how to get the most benefit out of installing CCTVs, we are left with ourselves to determine how it should be used effectively and more or less accurately.
Here are some tips on how to maximize the benefits of using CCTVs:
Buy The CCTV with highest resolution and Hard Disc capacity
Start right by buying only CCTVs that has the most resolution. Old models are of no good because of the low resolution that they have. When buying a CCTV, do not rely on the video shown on the screen while it is on camera mode. To see the real resolution, make a recording and play it back to see how clear the recording is. In most CCTVs, the recording playback is not as clear compared to the camera mode.
What’s important is the recording should be clear enough to identify those recorded. It could be a normal feature nowadays but make sure that the cameras also have infrared. This is useful especially at night when lights are out.
Buy the Model with an Audio Recording as well
Some models have very poor voice recording especially when it comes to noise reduction(NR). Be sure to buy models that have good audio recording. CCTVs serve only as your eyes but it is not complete if it is without ears to hear at the same time. One offender was meted a lower sentence when the audio recording was heard by the court.
When they looked at the video, they just saw two men who seemed arguing then one of them suddenly turned to get a knife on the table and stabbed the other repeatedly. It seemed like a cold and brutal slaying of a defenseless man but when they played the recording they heard the victim hurling invectives at the accused and threatened to kill him and his family.
Install Cameras in Strategic Places
The common practice is to install cameras on the ceiling or in places where it is not readily reachable. This is the normal way of thinking and also a way to protect the cameras from getting unnecessary contact with anything that may cause damage to it. Also, it gives a bird’s eyeview of the place needed to be secured. While all of these are true, remember that it is also important to identify the culprits.
Seeing them ransacking the place or killing anybody is useless if they could not be identified. One of the ways by which criminals avoid being identified is by means of using masks, caps, and even helmets. Maximize the chances of getting them identified by placing cameras in an eye level position. Even if they are masked, sometimes the built, hair and their complexion are enough to identify them especially if they happen to live in the same locality where they committed the crime.
Let Them Know you Have CCTVs but keep it a Secret
How is this possible? Install one or two cameras outside so you’ll know what’s happening out there. This will also tell the criminals that you have protection and therefore it will serve as a deterrent. Some establishments even post a sticker or notice that says they are protected by surveillance cameras. To the notorious criminals however, this is not a deterrent but a means for them to be more creative in plying their trade.
They will pose as customers and then try to identify where the other cameras are located and make a plan that will prevent the cameras from identifying them. The technique then is to place cameras in secret positions where it will not be readily seen. Place them behind other display items or inside a decorated box that will not elicit detection. Be creative and secretive. Criminals tend to be at ease when they think no cameras are watching them.
Make it a Habit to Review Recordings
Most owners only review the recordings when something happened or when a crime has been committed. This is wrong and should be corrected. Recordings must be reviewed on a regular basis. Remember that not all robberies are committed in large scale. If you are a store owner, the chances of pilferage are very high and you will not notice it because it is done on a daily basis in small amounts. For you all you know, you may have lost more from your employees’ daily pilferage than the robbers’ one night escapade.
There are of course advantages and disadvantages when it comes to installing surveillance cameras in your establishment but the pros clearly outweigh the cons and it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.