The month of October has been designated Crime Prevention Month for over 30 years. According to the National Crime Prevention Council or NCPC, "government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations have reached out to educate the public, showcase their accomplishments, and explore new partnerships during this special month [helping to create] safer, more caring communities."
One of the important topics discussed each year is the efficacy of surveillance cameras and their proper use. The Crime Prevention Council stresses that surveillance cameras are vital in helping police solve crimes, but that they are also able to help prevent crimes from occurring if properly installed and monitored.
Too often however, businesses believe the mere presence of security cameras will prevent crime, regardless of improper installation and a lack of live monitoring. Malls, shopping centers, auto dealerships, office buildings, warehouses, and other commercial businesses have many video cameras installed. But the National Crime Prevention Council stresses that nothing could be further from the truth. Unwatched video surveillance cameras record whatever happens in front of the lens. But if no one is observing what the camera is recording, then all you have is a video of whatever happened.
A properly trained staff that can identify suspicious behavior in a shopping mall parking lot and elsewhere is critical to achieve the proactive effects desired from surveillance camera systems. Effective crime prevention can only happen when police are dispatched to live crimes in progress and have the opportunity to catch criminals in the act. Sending police to the scene of the crime after a business has been vandalized or robbed or a car broken is not effective crime prevention.
The National Crime Prevention Council writes of the conviction of a woman in Baltimore who committed assault and handgun violations, noting that the success was achieved not through the later analysis of footage, but rather live trained video monitors. Her conviction was part of a larger study undergone in the city of Baltimore, known for its high crime rates affecting both businesses and homes. At the beginning of the study the city began to "monitor the [city's public and commercial] cameras' images nearly 24-7" and that the "experienced, skilled" real-time observers were able to "1) recognize a crime (e.g., a drug transaction) from the images on the screen and 2) communicate immediately to officers on patrol to capture or track down fleeing suspects." The Baltimore program has been considered a great success.
The NCPC also provides information packets on non-commercial crime prevention, an equally important topic during Crime Prevention Month.
Stealth Monitoring is a leader in proactive live video surveillance with over 16,000 video cameras watched. Real-time monitoring can detect and deter crime while reducing security guard and other expenses. A Stealth operator can see unusual activity, activate a speaker warning to deter criminals, and call the local police.
Celebrate Crime Prevention month and contact Stealth today for more information to protect your shopping center, apartment, or other real estate property. Visit our web site to see actual videos of criminals being apprehended.