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  • Are cameras really a deterent?

    I found this article tonight: http://www.nbc4.tv/news/9841925/detail.html

    If I were a tax payer I'd speak to the council person. My experience shows that cameras DO NOT deter. IF monitored they help cut down the response time. They are good if you have a suspect & want to confirm that it was him. As for putting them on city streets Montreal experience seems to show that the criminals simply move to nearby streets that don't have the cameras.
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

  • #2
    I disagree. I have seen people come to the sites I have worked at ridiculous hours... (like 3 am when the business closed at 6 or 7 pm ). They stop and look at the big sign that says "Facility monitored by CCTV and Security" they glance around and when they see our cameras they turn around and walk off.

    Good thing too, because it is usually only my car that is in the parking lot.
    "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
    "The Curve" 1998

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    • #3
      Sometimes I really wish our "dummy" cameras were operational (they are real cameras, but the wires were all cut in an unknown place during recent construction). The cameras might deter adults and the like, but the kids around here completely ignore them, both now, and when they worked.

      Recently at my old college, Rutgers, the State University of NJ, over 30 security personnel were laid off and replaced by 700 some cameras. However it's becoming quickly obvious that drunk students care nothing about the cameras, and that a camera can't direct traffic, escort a student home during afterhours, or give immediate medical aid to an injured person.
      Further it's obvious that while one of the cameras might be out of view and catch a unknowing criminal in action, it can do little to stop an assualt or rape in progress.

      Camera's provide a feeling of safeness, and limited safety by deturrent, but in all honesty, once there are cameras everywhere, will crime stop?
      Last edited by cnick001; 09-14-2006, 03:49 AM.

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      • #4
        I think they help.
        On several occasions I have driven up on pedestrians and motorists loitering near the fence or gates of the plant where I work. Sure there's nothing illegal about walking or driving slowly along our fenceline but when I point out the cameras looking at us and mention that there are a couple of people watching and recording everything and those people want to know what they are doing along our fence then the pedestrian or motorist usually leaves the area never to be seen or heard from again. If they insist on hanging around I park nearby, make a point of watching them and wave at the camera occasionaly.
        If they know the cameras are around and are being monitored they are less likely to cause problems.
        Hospital Security Officer

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        • #5
          Very true, they do help, but it must be stressed that cameras are a tool, not a replacement for security and law enforcement officers.

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          • #6
            I use to work in assets protection so I can say that cameras are really a big help especially when you can't be everywhere at once, they also make folks think twice before stuffing something into their pockets. They are also a great help whenever you are accused of misconduct. We had a camera in our office and on many occasions police reviewed the tapes in order to invalidate claims made by detainees. but you gotta be careful because they can also catch any mistakes in procedure which can result in you leaving in cuffs.
            " You may make fun of us for what we do, but when it hits the fan, you'll be glad we were there"

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            • #7
              Correct me if I'm wrong, but if cameras were a deturant, we wouldn't have shows like ."Worlds Most Extreme Videos."
              Apparently a HUGE cop wannabe...

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              • #8
                I'm currently operating the cameras positioned at City Hall and I can always find the same people dealing around the property. Our cameras can go right down the main road in the downtown core. The people who live downtown are aware we have this ability, but most dont care. They'll urinate, fight, deal, use drugs, litter, drink alcohol, etc in plain view of our cameras. But at 0400 hours, nothing going on now....
                We've had City councilors propose the idea to have cameras on public streets but it didnt go well with the public. But if anything major happens within a few blocks of City Hall, police tend to come by here to see if our cameras picked anything up.....I keep the cameras focused on City property and ONLY move it off property if I detect something illegal is taking place.
                UK is having good results with thier public cameras in London. The cameras in L.A. will probably be a great tool for the LAPD...but they should add officers on the streets too.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sgtnewby
                  Correct me if I'm wrong, but if cameras were a deturant, we wouldn't have shows like ."Worlds Most Extreme Videos."
                  Cameras are a deterant, not a security solution.
                  "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                  "The Curve" 1998

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    For the guys that say cameras are a deterent almost all of you mentioned that they are being MONITORED which helps in your response to send someone to physically go to the area & confront the person. I'm talking more about unmonitored ones. I speak from vast experience on this. I have 2 hotels side by side near the airport. Both have open air free parking lots. One lot was covered with cameras & signs warning that we had cameras. The other had neither. We averaged 1 car theft a week at BOTH hotels.
                    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I see what you mean. Still, we have numerous sites, monitored and unmonitored. There are those who just dont care if they're on camera. They'll do it anyways. The only plus to this is the evidence we now have for court purposes.....Having patrolled private and public property over the years in both fields I notice a different personality of those who commit acts on property deemed public (municipal, etc) over those on property belonging to a factory or office building. Its like the "stick it to the man" behaviour. They belong to the streets (downtown) and they think they own it. Makes my job very interesting at times! Its more of a thrill to get away with commiting illegal acts on gov't controlled property over a private person's property....so I tend to see it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EMTGuard
                        I think they help.
                        On several occasions I have driven up on pedestrians and motorists loitering near the fence or gates of the plant where I work. Sure there's nothing illegal about walking or driving slowly along our fenceline but when I point out the cameras looking at us and mention that there are a couple of people watching and recording everything and those people want to know what they are doing along our fence then the pedestrian or motorist usually leaves the area never to be seen or heard from again. If they insist on hanging around I park nearby, make a point of watching them and wave at the camera occasionaly.
                        If they know the cameras are around and are being monitored they are less likely to cause problems.
                        EMT this is not directed at you personally, but you did make the statement and I have heard this same thing many times from many others and I have been there when it happened. So please don't take it personally.

                        What authority does "any" company security officer/guard have "outside" the fence or gate of any facility? This is considered "off Property". The job description (as far as I know) is protection of "company" property and personnel, and this is limited to a boundry clearly marked off by fences and gates (or otherwise).

                        I think that to approach someone "outside" mentioned boundries is a form of undue harassment. The security officer/guard is out of line. And to tell a person that is outside the fence they are being watched by camera and others are watching is an accussation this person is unduely considered a criminal element, without cuase, which is an insult.

                        When I am placed on assignment at a military installation or FEMA site, we don't concern ourselves with "outside" the perimeter because our assignment is "inside" the perimeter (fence, gate, etc..). Not that we are unaware or unconcerned about 'out there'. We will notify proper authority if necessary.

                        Just my point of view. I'm sure this will open Pandora's Box.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mh892
                          EMT this is not directed at you personally, but you did make the statement and I have heard this same thing many times from many others and I have been there when it happened. So please don't take it personally.

                          What authority does "any" company security officer/guard have "outside" the fence or gate of any facility? This is considered "off Property". The job description (as far as I know) is protection of "company" property and personnel, and this is limited to a boundry clearly marked off by fences and gates (or otherwise).

                          I think that to approach someone "outside" mentioned boundries is a form of undue harassment. The security officer/guard is out of line. And to tell a person that is outside the fence they are being watched by camera and others are watching is an accussation this person is unduely considered a criminal element, without cuase, which is an insult.

                          When I am placed on assignment at a military installation or FEMA site, we don't concern ourselves with "outside" the perimeter because our assignment is "inside" the perimeter (fence, gate, etc..). Not that we are unaware or unconcerned about 'out there'. We will notify proper authority if necessary.

                          Just my point of view. I'm sure this will open Pandora's Box.
                          Great question. In reality we don't have any authority to tell someone who is in a public place to move on. But as someone who spent several years as a Corrections Officer before becoming a Security Officer assigned to chemical plants and industrial facilities I've spent many years learning that if someone is 'staking out' your facility, showing unusual or undue attention to the goings on inside they deserve to be discouraged and observed closely. I live in a City in Louisiana with 13 chemical plants within it's corporate limits. Many of these facilities have cameras which face the highways which run near them. One particular model camera takes digital photos of every vehicle traveling on the highway past the plant. While not ment to prevent an attack the images can be reviewed after an incident by law enforcement as part of any investigation concerning criminal or terrorist activity. When working for the Prison and then later as security at chemical facilities we are routinely reminded to make note of vehicles which make multiple passes along our fenceline. If they stop we are expected to drive out to the area and make it clear that we are observing them observing us.
                          Example, we see on our cameras a car pull over along the side of our facility from the highway. One of us will drive over in the patrol vehicle and approach the person while staying on our side of the fence line. Rool down the window and speak through the chain link to the person parked on the other side... "Good evening Sir or Maam. Our security desk was watching the cameras over there and saw you pull over and we wanted to make sure everything is all right. Are you broke down? Would you like us to call someone to come assist you or tow you home? Ok then, you seem to be getting that flat tire off pretty well. Ill just park over here and give you a little extra light with my headlights. Let me know if you need a hand."
                          Most of the time it's someone with a flat tire or minor engine trouble. Maybe they are pulled over checking a map. If they are up to no good they have learned that we are awake, monitoring our fence and are willing to respond to check on unusual occurances.
                          Of course, most times it's nothing. I go out to find a guy and his wife in an old pickup truck which just stopped running. I hand them my cellphone through the fence so they can call a family member down the road to come tow them home. While they wait we make small talk and I learn they guy is a plumber and before he leaves he gives me his card and says to call him if I ever need a plumber.
                          Another time it's a lady who has a flat tire and pulls over near one of our side gates. She insists she can change it herself so I tell her that I'll be "right over here if you need anything". Five minutes later she's struggeling with the jack and finally waves me over. I help her jack the car up, change the tire and get on her way and now I don't have to wory about some semi truck coming in with a load of compressed nitrogen running over her when she's parked right next to the entrance gate.
                          Of course, it's not always innocent looking. We've had equiptment, tools, even copper molds go missing from our plant. An employee will take the equiptment and toss it over the fence into the weeds along the ditch. Later one of his homeboys comes driving along and slows down to look along the ditch for the loot. They stop, get out and retreive the contraband then drive away. On a couple occasions we were able to go out to an area along the fence when seeing vehicles slow down and found equiptment from the plant.
                          Another time we had a pedestrian who was hanging along our fence near a side gate where the trucks going to our dock exit the plant, drive across the highway and up the Mississippi River levee to the dock. I drive out to see some skanky ho who is flagging down our drivers as they are going in and out of the plant and question her. "I was just trying to see if any of them would give me a cigarette" or "I was just seeing if I could get a ride to the store from one of them when they break for lunch". Of course, it's all BS since we have busted her in the past interupting our people trying to prostitute. Heck, we have a tape in the guard shack of a shipping employee who stood along the fence one night and stuck his penis through the chainlink so she could give him a blowjob. Guess he forgot the cameras in that part of the plant. Anyway...We point out the cameras and remind her that while we can't make her leave, as long as she's hanging around our fence we will sit in the patrol vehicle nearby while the cameras record us. After a while she realizes that she's not going to be giving any ten dollar blowjobs along the fence that night and moves on down the road.
                          Yes we pay attention to what's happening inside the fence but we also keep an eye on what is happening just outside so we can prevent what's "out there" from getting in and messing up an otherwise quiet evening.
                          Hospital Security Officer

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                          • #14
                            With all due respect, Hotel Security, I believe that cameras are a deterrent to some extent. I have successfully employed dummy cameras and even just a sign warning of video surveillance. To date, I have not had any trouble at those locations since.

                            Of course, a professional criminal can easily defeat cameras by wearing a mask, spraying the lens with black paint, or simply cutting the cables to the cameras. Cameras should be used as one of many tools to prevent crime. They supplement, but do not replace other security measures.
                            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                            • #15
                              Sure, a small percentage of people will always give you the most problems.

                              I am a bit concerned about dummy camera's false sense of security. Does the insurance provider not care? What about the legal department? Most of all, what about officer / employee safety, verification of RIGHT doing and investigation uses?

                              Some places still use VCR tapes (tape effectivness lessens with each over record), and now DVR's (perhaps with overwrite after 40 days) and only view if a problem occurred (was reported). Prices have come down and quaility has gone up making digital the better choice.
                              Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
                              Groucho Marx

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