BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Cameras keep an eye on our movements almost anywhere we go in public--or so it seems with more installed everyday. But just because you see some monitoring your moves while you shop, shouldn’t make you feel any more secure.
“I personally don’t put much merit or believe cameras or a deterrent,” says security consultant Mike Silva.
WBRC has fielded multiple complaints in the last several weeks from customers who had something stolen or counted on store security cameras to help police catch a crook, only to find the cameras either weren’t working or weren’t recording. That includes a WBRC FOX6 employee whose car break-in case stopped dead in its tracks when police learned the camera covering the parking lot wasn’t recording.
“One of the reasons you see cameras in disrepair or not doing what they’re supposed to be doing is because people don’t know why they put them in in the first place,” Silva warns. “It’s just like me buying an exercise bike. Buying it is the easy part, but getting on it, maintaining it, that’s the hard part with these video systems. I’ve been in facilities who have very comprehensive video systems and you go to look at it and you find the thing stopped recording six months ago, it’s just been sitting but no one looked at it, no one checked it or whatever.”
“The most common reason for this failure is it wasn’t set up properly in the first place or wasn’t correctly tested for this type of activity they’re hoping to capture,” advises security consultant David Raske.
Raske and Silva say seeing cameras shouldn’t make you any more relaxed about locking your car, protecting your valuables, or being vigilant when walking in and out of stores in public. And if you own a small business, don’t count on cameras as your only line of defense, even if they are recording.
“To me it’s a bonus, you might get some of that,” Silva says. “Everyday you can find dozens and dozens of stories of video of things happening, so if cameras were such a deterrent why are we everyday getting all this recorded evidence. I think that’s a very overrated value of cameras.”
Both of these consultants recommend doing a more comprehensive security audit of your business before you shell out big bucks for new cameras and making sure you help your customers by doing the research first.
You can view Bastion Security’s white paper on why unmonitored video systems don’t deter crime by clicking here.