Another Halloween has come and gone. The brisk Fall air has extinguished brightly burning candles inside intricately carved jack-o-lanterns. Children’s stomachs (and apparently their parents, too, as parents steal 1/3 of their children’s Halloween candy) are filled with sugary delights. Retail stores are selling the remnants of Halloween at 50-75% off. While the treats are disappearing, the tricks (aka crimes) of Halloween night are still lingering.
Attempted Halloween Crime Prevention
Some towns and cities anticipated an increase in crime on Halloween weekend this year, with attempts to increase security. Flint, Michigan, for example, deployed a helicopter to help deter crime, while many other cities across the U.S. increased police presence in strategic locations:
- Hyde Park in Chicago, for example, based on past violence and vandalism.
- Malls and shopping centers in Northern Virginia after police received information about potential public safety impacts.
- Hamden, CT increased bicycle patrols, motorcycle units and deployed the Crime Deterrent Unit.
Even volunteers got in on the action of Halloween safety and security. The Community Justice Initiative members in Rochester called on parents, politicians and others to help. The premise: Visibility and presence throughout a community helps to deter crime.
While these activities are positive in helping to deter crime, perhaps society, at large, is missing something. Yes, Halloween is filled with dressed up ghouls and goblins professing “trick or treat” at the doors of houses in communities across the nation. However, safety and security are needed 24/7, 365 days a year.
“Halloween is not a matter of more crime; it’s just a different dynamic happening in society at large,” Todd Brinkley, director of Monitoring, Stealth said. “We mostly see vandalism during Halloween, but not because of Halloween, just because that’s a high-priority crime for a lot of criminals.”
Crime During Halloween Weekend
Crimes were, in fact, reported during the weekend of October 30-31, 2021. However, these types of crimes aren’t new. They could have and do happen at any time. For example:
- A woman in Ohio was shot at a shopping center’s Halloween party.
- Following a Halloween Parade in New Hampshire, vehicle vandalism and theft of the “smash and grab” variety was reported.
- On Halloween night, a Louisville, KY restaurant’s final night before closing for good, suffered theft of TVs, vandalism to arcade games and an attempted ATM break in.
You see, crime – shootings, theft and vandalism – happens at any moment, not just on Halloween or times of national celebration. Being proactively prepared is crucial.
The Proven Solution to Deter Crime, Anytime
In the above-mentioned unwanted situations, all were reactive. Authorities were contacted AFTER criminals had already been on property and committed unwanted acts. Stealth Monitoring’s live video monitoring solutions, customized for various industries, are proactive.
Our highly trained security operators monitor specific areas of properties to help anticipate crimes before they happen. Suspicious activity is evaluated in real time and in some situations, our operators can activate on-site speaker warnings that typically send trespassers on your property running. This is because most of the time, suspects don’t even realize they are being watched.
Other situations call for police involvement. Stealth has developed positive, working relationships with local police in the communities where we monitor. This has resulted in quicker response times and many crimes-in-progress were deterred. In many cases, we prevented suspects from doing any damage at all.
Stealth uniquely combines advanced video analytics and human intelligence to create proactive solutions that can help deter crimes such as theft, vandalism and bodily harm. Stealth deploys video surveillance cameras, pre-programmed with advanced video analytics, to record and filter through video streams 24/7, 365 days a year.
These analytics enable the camera technology to detect certain activities without human intervention. However, when an activity that needs human interaction is identified, a highly qualified Stealth monitoring operator is alerted and takes over the unfolding situation.
During the Halloween weekend, Stealth operators were trained in advance, which further demonstrates our proactive approach to security and safety.
“With Halloween, it’s about the costumes and masks,” explained Brinkley, “although COVID already kind of ‘trained’ us for this. We have monitoring centers in locations that are not familiar with Halloween. We made sure they knew what was going on here … that people could be dressed up and acting differently so that the operators didn’t under or over report during Halloween.”
It’s impossible to say that Stealth Monitoring could have prevented the theft, vandalism and shooting that happened in Ohio, New Hampshire or Kentucky over Halloween. It is very likely, though, that had Stealth’s security solution been deployed at those locations, those crimes could have been deterred. Think about it. The woman who was shot at the shopping center.
Our operators would have likely seen the person carrying the gun prior to the shooting and could have been able to contact police immediately. The theft and vandalism of the vehicles at the parade and the items inside the closed restaurant … well, those crimes take time. So, while thieves and vandals were causing damage, our operators could have been contacting police who likely would have arrived while the suspects were still there, resulting in deterred crimes and potential arrests.
To further discuss Stealth’s proactive security solutions that help deter crimes at your property during holidays and every other day of the year, contact us.