A comment on a recent post, by someone apparently called Video Surveillance, got me thinking about some common misconceptions. In case you are wondering, I the link I munged goes no where of any value – it certainly doesn’t continue the “story” began in the comment.
The odd thing is one of the concepts the commenter (bot?) has brought up. Do video cameras make you safer?
With crime on the rise many people and business are looking for added security.
Well, I agree with this. There is a very strong argument that crime being on the rise is a misleading claim, but the fact is people think crime is on the rise, so they are looking for added security. Sadly, people who are easily misled into thinking crime is on the rise, are also easily misled over how to improve their security.
Video surveillance is one the top ways to improve the security of your belongings and loved ones.
Well, after a good start this amazing claim. Here I strongly disagree. This is the standard “marketing” crap pushed out by people selling woo to the public. Tell them they should be scared, then lie about your product solving their fears.
As with all the best lies, there is an element of truth. As part of a robust security package, video surveillance will improve your overall security, slightly. I am not sure what “top ways” means, but it certainly is not the “best way” or the “most cost effective way.”
Security is a many headed beast, and it will mean different things to different people. The best that can be claimed about video surveillance is that it offers a “deterrent” effect in that people who SEE a CCTV camera may be less inclined to commit a crime because they know the chances of being caught AFTER the event are slightly greater. The same can be said about a robust lock or a big thick door, however. A functioning, real, burglar alarm which is actually responded to is more effective than a CCTV system.
Here we hit a crux of the problem. For CCTV to be anything other an an “after-incident” investigation tool it has to be monitored 24/7 by people capable and willing to respond to an incident within an effective time scale. I could set up the best CCTV system in the world to monitor my house, but if I didn’t lock the door when I went on holiday it would be useless. CCTV is defeated by the simple expedient of wearing a hood – what sort of security system is that. Without monitors and responders it is the most pointless security system (do you really want to watch a video of someone breaking into your house?). With monitors and responders it becomes prohibitively expensive.
All in all, selling CCTV as “security” is tricking fools out of their money. CCTV has value in identifying criminals and will have some deterrent effect but it certainly is not a remotely cost effective method of improving your security.
If you want real, tested, cost effective security advice, my rates are reasonable 🙂