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Are cameras really a deterent?

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  • #16
    One item of interest I found when it comes to CCTV systems, is that I believe it has an effect on the general public and criminal behavior. I sadly, do not have much in the way of CCTV systems at my site, but you would be amazed at all the amounts of people who believe we do. It is not posted anywhere that we have anything, nothing is visible at all, but people still assume we have cameras everywhere. On a daily basis, people are always calling about an incident that occured and asking if they can get a copy of our video surviellance of the specific area. The shock that they have when I tell them this. I think its become a common thought by the masses that there are cameras eveywhere in shopping centers and other areas.

    I think that they help, but not in detourance, as much as evidence.
    Deputy Sheriff

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Mall Director
      One item of interest I found when it comes to CCTV systems, is that I believe it has an effect on the general public and criminal behavior. I sadly, do not have much in the way of CCTV systems at my site, but you would be amazed at all the amounts of people who believe we do. It is not posted anywhere that we have anything, nothing is visible at all, but people still assume we have cameras everywhere. On a daily basis, people are always calling about an incident that occured and asking if they can get a copy of our video surviellance of the specific area. The shock that they have when I tell them this. I think its become a common thought by the masses that there are cameras eveywhere in shopping centers and other areas.

      I think that they help, but not in detourance, as much as evidence.
      Why tell them and compromise the assumption? Simply tell them that you were unable to find anything on the video. After all, you can't find something that isn't there in the first place.
      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

      Comment


      • #18
        The big problem I have is the parents of a child victim of a non-violent related crime, such as auto vandalism. I pinched myself a long while back by stating we had them and were unable to retrieve data. The mother had her attorney on the phone to my corporate quick as lightening. I had a store not to long ago accuse a minor of shoplifting. The clerk, even though in Colorado, susupicion is enough cause to charge, told the child that she had witnessed it and had proof on camera.. Ohh boy, backpeddling that one was a challenge. Stepping in and defusing the volitile parent was a joy. The average youth that approaches us are given the "yes we have cameras" answer, which keeps them on their guard a little more, but where we put them is a different story. LOL
        Deputy Sheriff

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Mall Director
          The big problem I have is the parents of a child victim of a non-violent related crime, such as auto vandalism. I pinched myself a long while back by stating we had them and were unable to retrieve data. The mother had her attorney on the phone to my corporate quick as lightening. I had a store not to long ago accuse a minor of shoplifting. The clerk, even though in Colorado, susupicion is enough cause to charge, told the child that she had witnessed it and had proof on camera.. Ohh boy, backpeddling that one was a challenge. Stepping in and defusing the volitile parent was a joy. The average youth that approaches us are given the "yes we have cameras" answer, which keeps them on their guard a little more, but where we put them is a different story. LOL
          I can see your dilemma and it sounds like you "know when to hold and when to fold" so to speak when divulging information. My camera inquiries have been from residents in a non-commercial setting. That's when I told the individual that I couldn't find the vandalism to her car on video. The police aren't too interested in investigating criminal mischief matters around here. Even if they requested the 'tape,' I would have asked for a subpoena before revealing that the camera(s) are dummies.
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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          • #20
            With the large amount of cars stolen from our parking lots & our highly visable cameras we have a BIG problem with victims demanding to see the video of the theft. This drives me crazy! What do they expect to do after seeing it? It is a total waste of our & their time. So what if they see a 6 foot white male dressed in black stealing their car? Are they going to drive around in a rented car looking for him?

            Our lawyer has told us that in Quebec we should NOT show the video to victims. It can be a question of the Privacy Laws. Watch the tv shows showing crimes. The faces of the people not involved are usually obscrued. This is not done on our video. What if a victim sees something he should not see?
            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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            • #21
              I feel compelled to throw my two cents in here. This is my first post but I've been on a quest for more personal security for myself and my car since last weeks break in and robbery of my car here at the hotel I live at.

              Background - for about a year I have been living at a Hilton Homewood Suites here in Dallas/Fort Worth. Semi-nice area, obvious security cameras all around the parking lot. So far I have had my car egged by unknown people ($1000 dollars in damage) and just recently at 8am in the morning some one break into my RX8 and steal my briefcase right before work which containted a high end laptop.

              The security cameras here have done nothing... they havent deterred anyone and the cameras and quality themselves are poor. If they were better we could have gotten a plate number of the truck i saw speeding away from the crime. On top of that this Hilton hotel chooses to repaint the parking lot stripes and intstall granite countertops instead of getting a decent camera system.

              To the remark of someone getting pissed at customers wanting to see video of the crime committed against them or their property. I think it's pretty bad if a hotel or facility refuses to show what happed to their property. The first time I requested to see I was glady given permission, the 2nd time the manager scoffed at me and "had to check with the officer" that was investigating the crime at the time.

              For $1700 dollars a month you think they would be more accomodating especially since this is the 2nd crime within 30 days on my car. The cameras are useless anyways but I still want to see anything and everything I can about the asshats that did it. My thought (and no offese to any that may work in hotel security) but if a crime like this happens in broad daylight... I (the victim) am already pretty shaken up and distraught... the video that any hotel records isnt top secret material for the government or anything... its parking lot security video, if **** goes down, I want to see whats happening against my property.

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              • #22
                OK I don't mean to be blunt but this being my profession I have to speak up. You as a Security Professional should known better than to have left a briefcase in plain site in a vehicle.

                The time the hotel spends showing you the video could be put to better use patrolling to prevent further incidents from happening.

                I don't know about the privacy issues in Texas but here we have to be very careful. I'm sure you've seen news reports where bystanders at incidents have their faces digitally or otherwise hidden. There is a reason for this. Hotels have in the past had people that claim something happened to their vehicle as an excuse to see the video. Turns out they were divorse detectives or other types actually wanting to see if someone they were being paid to look for was staying at the hotel. Hotels can't afford to be involved in these things.

                My experience shows that the criminals that come to the parking lots with cars usually have stolen plates on them, so even with the best of the best in camera equipment you are still not going to catch who did it.

                And it proves my original point. Cameras in these situations do not deter.

                Sorry about the bluntness of the first statement.
                I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Well I've read everyones statements here on security cameras. This is my field of work. surveillance and communications. Here are some perameters that I use when consulting a client on camera systems.

                  1. Quality of video. Must be at least 640x480 digital for clear picture and some zoom function.

                  2. Area of view. Some companys want a camera to cover a wide angle when most traffic is 100' away or more. At the wide angle a vehicle is so small you can't get good recognition.

                  3. Cameras as a deterent. Cameras should be used for monitoring an area and video evidence. As a deterent I have found it does not work unless it is in their face. Bank robberies are a good example. Like most deterents cameras only deter people that normally would not cross the line. It does NOT deter a criminal.

                  4. Dummy cameras. If you place a dummy camera up with a sign that states property is under video surveillance you can be in for a lawsuit. If someone gets mugged or assaulted on the property and you state you have cameras you are stating that the person has some reasonable assurance of security. If the cameras are fake, the person may sue you for false representation and neglect.

                  As far as bad video on cameras. I run into that all the time. Especially in convenience stores and gas stations. Some businesses have the theory that the cameras are a deterent and the evidence aspect is of no concern. Also they would rather spend $2500 on a couple of cheap cameras and a recorder instead of $3500 for a better system. Although I have installed High-def cameras at a local convenience store for $34000. Before that system he had a really bad blurry system. He was robbed 12 times in 4 months. After, once in 3 years and the video was able to zoom in on a tattoo and positively ID the person (it helps when the investigating officer recognized the tattoo).

                  Just my 2 cents.

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                  • #24
                    Rooney,

                    I heard that the trend now-a-days is that if (like most hotels) you are not monitoring the cameras, only recording you should hid them so that it is not known that you have them. Have you heard of this?

                    Neil
                    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Rooney
                      Well I've read everyones statements here on security cameras. This is my field of work. surveillance and communications. Here are some perameters that I use when consulting a client on camera systems.

                      1. Quality of video. Must be at least 640x480 digital for clear picture and some zoom function.

                      2. Area of view. Some companys want a camera to cover a wide angle when most traffic is 100' away or more. At the wide angle a vehicle is so small you can't get good recognition.

                      3. Cameras as a deterent. Cameras should be used for monitoring an area and video evidence. As a deterent I have found it does not work unless it is in their face. Bank robberies are a good example. Like most deterents cameras only deter people that normally would not cross the line. It does NOT deter a criminal.

                      4. Dummy cameras. If you place a dummy camera up with a sign that states property is under video surveillance you can be in for a lawsuit. If someone gets mugged or assaulted on the property and you state you have cameras you are stating that the person has some reasonable assurance of security. If the cameras are fake, the person may sue you for false representation and neglect.

                      As far as bad video on cameras. I run into that all the time. Especially in convenience stores and gas stations. Some businesses have the theory that the cameras are a deterent and the evidence aspect is of no concern. Also they would rather spend $2500 on a couple of cheap cameras and a recorder instead of $3500 for a better system. Although I have installed High-def cameras at a local convenience store for $34000. Before that system he had a really bad blurry system. He was robbed 12 times in 4 months. After, once in 3 years and the video was able to zoom in on a tattoo and positively ID the person (it helps when the investigating officer recognized the tattoo).

                      Just my 2 cents.
                      Has this actually happened? Can you refer me to a case that supports your concern? A person can sue for ANYTHING. Wining is a whole different matter. Thus the term: frivolous lawsuit
                      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I've "heard of this before," but I have not seen relative caselaw. So, who wants to look this up on lexisnexis?
                        Some Kind of Commando Leader

                        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                          I've "heard of this before," but I have not seen relative caselaw. So, who wants to look this up on lexisnexis?
                          I recommend Rooney because he made what we call: "A statement of fact." That gives the hearer a right to ask how so?
                          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by BHR Lawson
                            Cameras are a deterant, not a security solution.
                            True, they can be part of an effective overall security plan, but used alone in some situations will not solve or displace problems.

                            Remember security 101 - detect, deter, respond (defend) = defeat
                            Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
                            Groucho Marx

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Eric
                              True, they can be part of an effective overall security plan, but used alone in some situations will not solve or displace problems.

                              Remember security 101 - detect, deter, respond (defend) = defeat
                              That's basically what BHR Lawson meant.
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by HotelSecurity
                                Rooney,

                                I heard that the trend now-a-days is that if (like most hotels) you are not monitoring the cameras, only recording you should hid them so that it is not known that you have them. Have you heard of this?

                                Neil
                                There are companies that prefer to have the cameras hidden in certain areas. Some larger hotel chains have went to IP based systems that are recorded off site through their wide area network to headquarters. Although monitoring is not always done I have seen monitoring during special events and on weekends. Most companies that have covert surveillance mainly do it for internal security reasons. Especially defense contractors or other companies that have trade secrets. Hotels may prefer hidden cameras within hallways and common interior areas, i.e. lobby, restaurant, lounge, etc. but have visible cameras exterior.

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