It’s hard to deny that CCTV has an important role to play in protecting businesses. Being able to record a crime taking place and, if monitored, alert security personnel about details of an incident, are invaluable. However, it is important that businesses are also made aware of the limitations of CCTV.
The first recorded instance of a CCTV camera in use was in Germany in 1943 where it was used to document the launch of rockets. However, it took until the 1980’s for it to really take off when CCTV began to spread across public places, schools, airports, banks and private businesses. Today CCTV is used almost everywhere with an estimated 5.9 million cameras currently running in the UK.
However, despite being hailed as a silver bullet for crime, CCTV has been proven to be weak in many areas.
First of all, a camera cannot actually physically prevent or slow down a crime from happening. Once installed it simply records a crime taking place and unless there is someone watching the footage at that moment who can call for back up, nothing can be done.
Second, cameras are usually easy to spot or easily tricked. By locating cameras at a prior date a criminal can avoid the line of sight in so called ‘blind spots’ and either evade the camera completely or destroy it. There is also nothing to stop a criminal wearing disguises so that they aren’t recognisable.
In contrast to CCTV, physical perimeter security is a strong deterrent. Things like turnstiles, fencing, bollards, rising kerbs, gates and barriers can physically prevent a criminal from gaining access in the first place, whether on foot or in a vehicle.
Finally, it is worth remembering that in a time when the budgets of police forces are wearing thin, the response time for commercial crimes may not be as short or as quick as you hope. So the question then is do you fork out for costly guarding from a private company, or do you opt for making your property look so secure that no criminal would even consider trying to break in?
Here at Gateway we recommend a belt and braces approach to business security. We recognise the importance of CCTV but also recommend that businesses look at other ways they can prevent a crime from ever initially taking place.
Gateway Automation provides a range of products to help businesses and individuals secure their sites. We also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.