Solve These 7 Problems with Video Surveillance

Posted by Matthew Clark on January 11, 2021

When people hear "Video surveillance," their first thought is security. Yes, video surveillance is a proactive technology for deterring crime, but did you know it solves other problems businesses face?

Check out these seven problems and how video surveillance helps to solve each one. It does all of this while providing a quick return on security investment (ROSI).

1. External Theft

Almost every business needs to be concerned about theft regardless of industry. Construction sites are at high risk for the theft of heavy equipment, copper, cargo, HVAC, and more. The National Equipment Register reveals equipment theft costs between $300 million to $1 billion. It's important to note this estimate doesn't include theft of tools or building material, or damage to premises or equipment during a theft.

Apartment property managers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to protect their tenants. It may also be required by law as they vary by state.

For instance, Ann M. v Pacific Plaza Shopping Center, 6 Cal. 4th 666 in California says that a landlord "owes a duty of care to its tenants to take reasonable steps to secure the common areas under its control." Additionally, landlords must conduct occasional inspections of their apartment building for potentially unsafe conditions and remedy them.

Another issue with residential buildings and most commercial real estate properties is car theft and burglary. A San Antonio property reported 25 incidents of car vandalism in six months and 20 smash-and-grabs in one night!

Apartment buildings may contend with mail theft especially during the holiday season. Thieves believe if they raid the mailboxes, they will find a lot of gift cards. Fortunately, remote video surveillance helps deter mail theft as revealed in this true story.

Next up is retail. A whopping 92 percent of companies have been victims of organized retail crime (ORC). It costs retailers $777k for every $1 billion of sales. Additionally, the National Retail Federation's 2020 edition of its annual Organized Retail Crime (ORC) study says that inventory shrinkage has reached an all-time high.

Fraud is a problem and it is not limited to in-store-only sales. More than one-quarter of fraud occurs in online-only sales and almost 20 percent occur in multichannel sales. Because of this, a digital video recorder is one of the top five loss prevention systems used in retail. The year 2020 saw a four-point increase from 2019.

As if that's not bad enough, a Hiscox study reveals employee theft costs U.S. businesses an average of $1.13 million. That's not the last of it. The FBI reports thieves have stolen more than $450 million worth of office equipment. The recovery rate is only 5 percent. Think this doesn't apply to you because employees are working from home? Even vacant commercial properties are at risk for crimes and more.

2. Liability

You may have liability insurance, but it doesn't mean you don't have to worry about it. For one, the insurance company may not approve of your claim. If they do, they may not issue a payment for a long time. Waiting to receive payment may hurt your business. You can't move forward without the insurance payout because you need to buy a replacement or have repairs done.

Property managers have a responsibility to keep the area safe for employees, visitors, and vendors. Any accidents or injuries that happen on your property can turn into a liability issue. This is still the case when someone is attempting to do something illegal on your property.

This is a serious problem as revealed by the National Safety Council, falls and other preventable injuries cost companies and the government $696 billion every year! All the evidence points to the need to limit liability.

A few businesses think they can solve this by hiring security guards. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Security guards can increase liability for your property. News stories have repeatedly shown security guards causing bigger and more expensive problems.

Notwithstanding, security guards can't watch multiple locations at the same time. If they're posted in high-risk areas, they can miss something. Usually, it requires hiring more than one. The more guards you hire, the more the cost will rise exponentially.

Video surveillance helps solve the liability problem. It records all activities, which provide evidence to prove your company did not deliberately violate safety measures. The recordings will help with liability lawsuits and claims.

Best of all, you may lower your insurance premiums. The presence of a video surveillance system can lower the risk of your company becoming a victim of criminal or liability activity. Therefore, insurance can lower premiums.

3. Internal Theft

Commercial properties, shopping centers, and apartment buildings face different challenges, but they all share one thing in common: employee theft and internal threats. Employees aren't the only ones who steal. There have been news reports of security guards having a hand in theft.

The reason internal theft is a growing concern is because employees know how the security system works. They know its weakest points and where everything is located. It's not that your employees aren't good people. Some steal out of desperation to make ends meet when they're struggling financially.

Desperation drives people to do things they wouldn't normally do. The best chance of them obtaining what they need and getting away with it is at their workplace.

It's a serious problem as Kroll's global fraud and risk report states more than 80 percent of executives say they've had at least one instance of fraud. The perpetrators in more than half of fraud cases turn out to be employees, former employees, and third parties.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has found that 75 percent of employees have stolen from their employer at least once, per a Forbes story. Moreover, one-third of business failures can be attributed to employee fraud and abuse.

Remote video surveillance helps to solve the problem of internal threats. A trained operator watches the cameras in an off-site facility in another city or state. This makes the monitoring operators very unlikely to work with an employee to steal from the company.

According to CNBC, employee theft costs U.S. business $50 billion every year! Unfortunately, companies need to keep an eye on everyone including employees. Installing video cameras doesn't mean you don't trust your employees. You can frame it to explain that the cameras will help deter external theft, improve productivity, and more. When outsiders and employees see the cameras, they're less likely to steal.

4. Vandalism

In 2015, almost 12 percent of all larceny-theft incidents occurred in buildings based on data from the FBI. A little math reveals this is more than 680,000 incidents in a single year. The damage or loss from vandalism affects business in multiple ways. Often, vandalism can cost more than the value of stolen or damaged property.

Here are more hidden costs associated with vandalism:

  • Forces closure of business for repairs.
  • Hurts reputation because the property looks unsafe or unsightly.
  • See fewer shoppers and visitors while under repair.
  • Forces project delays because you can't do the job.
  • Requires renting equipment to replacing stolen items.
  • Causes an increase in insurance premiums.

As previously mentioned, if insurance covers the replacement or repair, it will not happen fast because the paperwork and approvals will take time.

5. Employees Doing Jobs Inefficiently

Video surveillance makes a great tool for ensuring employees follow processes and procedures. It's not viewed as a tool to admonish anyone for doing their jobs incorrectly. Rather, it helps maximize operational efficiency and minimize safety risks.

The saved video recordings aren't just for evidence of crime and fraud. They make a great training tool. You'll have footage showing the right way and the wrong way to do things. Use it to educate employees.

6. Business Bottlenecks

With video cameras placed around the property, a trained operator can review the activity, comings and goings, foot and vehicle traffic, and more to spot bottlenecks. The monitoring operator works with management to identify opportunities for improvement.

The birds' eye views from the cameras can make it easier to identify a better way to organize the property. Some possibilities for operational improvement include reducing the number of trips, shortening walking distances, keeping foot and vehicle traffic separate, and preventing duplication.

7. High Security Costs

For most companies, the cost of security guards as security is cost-prohibitive. Even if a company has a budget for security guards, they can still present problems. With each security guard hired, the cost multiplies. They can only monitor what they see at any given time. It'd take multiple guards to have decent coverage of almost any property.

If a business owner personally knows the guards and trusts them, security guard liability can still happen and lead to a lawsuit. Besides, security guards can't do some things. It depends on the laws, training, and licensing requirements in your state.

Here's an example from retail. "One of the most misunderstood and abused shopping center practices is how to legally handle persons that have trespassed," writes Chris E. McGoey. In most states, security guards can't legally detain and process a trespasser.

Video surveillance costs up to 60 percent less than security guards. That means you keep more of your profits. Relying on a combination of artificial and human intelligence, a video surveillance system monitors more of the property than security guards.

You can integrate video surveillance with other security technologies like an access control system. Since all the security technologies are unified, you'll need fewer people to oversee it and monitor the cameras, thereby saving more.

The Value of Remote Video Surveillance

Unlike most security solutions including alarm systems, video surveillance is proactive. If a trespasser approaches the property, video cameras can spot it quickly. This is because analytics and human intelligence work together to detect suspicious activities.

As soon as there's an alert, the monitoring operator can issue a warning over the speaker. If that doesn't deter the suspect, then the next call is to the police. When the police are on their way, the monitoring operator can follow the intruder until the cops arrive.

Video surveillance technology is constantly advancing to be cheaper, more effective, and more efficient. Experienced video surveillance companies have the resources to make it happen. Some like Stealth have a relationship with law enforcement. The benefit is that law enforcement will typically respond faster when they get a call from the company.

Innovative security solutions like the ones at Stealth Monitoring can solve these seven problems. At the same time, they can boost the marketability of your business. Here's a case study of how video surveillance helps lower crime and save money. To get a customized security solution that fits your requirements and budget, contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Video Monitoring