Houston Video Surveillance Is a Humane Way to Deter Homeless Activity at Shopping Centers
Objects in public spaces are typically designed to enhance the environment and make it more functional, convenient and comfortable. However, in some cases, the opposite is true, and things are deliberately created to discourage use. This trend is used to prevent the homeless from sleeping and loitering on a commercial property.
“Hostile architecture,” also called “defensive architecture,” takes on many forms, from bolts and spikes on flat surfaces to sloping benches and seats with bulky armrests or protrusions that prevent people from reclining or sitting for long periods. No matter what you call it, there is a lot of controversy surrounding it.
Controversy Surrounding Defensive Architecture
Defensive architecture is not designed to be aesthetically pleasing. It is typically used as a security and crime prevention measure and has the potential to ward off customers and tenants who may feel it makes the property less inviting.
An even more dire issue is the criticism that hostile architecture is inhumane. Boulders have been planted in homeless gathering spaces. Sprinklers have been engineered for the presumed purpose of watering loiterers instead of plants. The city of Seattle installed bike racks under a bridge to replace a homeless encampment. These are just a few examples of tactics that have created growing public backlash.
A more humane way to deter vagrants at your commercial property is live video monitoring. A Stealth proactive video surveillance system combines technology with human intelligence. Trained security operators watch surveillance cameras in real time, so they can see if someone is on your property who isn’t supposed to be there and activate a speaker warning or call an on-site security guard, EMS or local police.