Three Components of an Effective Video Surveillance System
Do you have an effective video surveillance system? These days, a video surveillance system is a relatively common component of any business’s security plan. That’s because a surveillance system is relatively inexpensive in comparison with other security methods, such as hiring a security guard (Businesses can benefit from government-funded video surveillance grants.). Not only is a video surveillance system pretty affordable, it’s also very effective: video cameras can be used to record crimes and identify thieves, as well as deter criminals from committing crimes in the first place.
Video cameras can prevent crime, but only if your system’s parts are functioning effectively and collaboratively. The following are three components of an effective video surveillance system.
1. A Staff Trained in Your Video Surveillance System
Regardless of how many cameras you have or where they are located, having a well-trained staff to oversee what’s happening on these cameras is necessary for your cameras to do their job properly. Video monitors or camera operators should be trained in not only the procedures to follow when a crime is in progress or has occurred, but also in so-called “soft skills.” For example, according to the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, a surveillance team can often come to know the faces of local offenders, which can potentially help them in preventing crime. Being well versed in the community, the types of recurring local crimes and how to recognize someone who is high on drugs, can help your staff prevent crime at your place of business.
Not ready to pay a full time employee plus benefits to actively monitor your video surveillance system? There are now services that hire highly trained and experienced surveillance agents to actively watch their client’s camera feeds brought into the surveillance company’s operations center. Outsourcing this function is not only economical but can be even more effective depending on the company you hire. Just be sure to thoroughly vet the company you decide to utilize. Many of these companies have their operators responsible for 500 or more camera feeds at a time, naturally something is going to be missed with one person scrolling through pages of that many camera views. A more reasonable number of cameras per agent would be somewhere around 100 as long as there are camera analytics and alerts also in play.
2. Only the Number of Cameras You Can Manage
When installing your video surveillance system, it may be tempting to fill every corner with a camera. However, an unmanageable number of cameras can be just as bad as having no cameras at all. Start by placing cameras carefully and thoughtfully in locations that capture the most vulnerable spots in your business, like the cash register or the entrance. Then, as your staff becomes better about responding to activity on your cameras, you can consider adding more cameras.
3. Integration with the Right Technology
With all of the technology we have at our disposal, it’s crucial for business owners to integrate their video surveillance systems into technologies they are already using, as well as find new tech that makes crime prevention faster and easier. Consider streaming your video surveillance over your team’s mobile devices, setting up alerts to your phone. Discuss possible integrations with your local police department. Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips and really put your surveillance system to work. Talking with an expert at a video surveillance company can help open your eyes to what all is available on the market today in terms of technology.
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