Criminals are getting more and more brazen in their efforts to accomplish their insidious goals. The data supports it as violent crime is rapidly rising according to the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ). Gun assault, aggravated assault, robbery, and motor vehicle theft all went up in 2021 per CCJ’s news release. That is why the CCJ has created a Violent Crime Working Group.
What is the cause of the increase? A CNN news story reports experts say it’s a combination of things including the pandemic causing economic problems and social anxiety, de-policing as a result of the protests, the release of criminals for lower-level crimes to reduce crowding in prisons, and the shifting of police resources. The continuing supply chain crisis doesn’t help matters as thieves chase after high-demand, low-supply items.
Recent Crimes Affecting Businesses
Construction workers in New Orleans tell FOX 8 Defenders they fear for their lives as they describe how their work environment has become more dangerous. Apparently, vehicle break-ins, shootings, and threatened lives are a weekly occurrence at their worksite.
“In 2021, it seems like every single crew we’ve had out there has had three or four incidents, out of 10 to 12 crews working every single day,” says a superintendent. “There’s bullets flying, we’ve had to duck behind vehicles in the middle of shootings several, several times. I’ve actually had workers come up and quit right after their cars are broken into, all their windows busted out. They feel violated, very concerned for their safety.”
In some cases, management will have to temporarily shut down the construction site after a violent incident. The news story goes on to explain that many construction companies are bidding themselves out of jobs because of the added cost of the crimes. They also can’t afford to hire security guards because the hourly rate is too expensive.
In a KUOW report, a business owner in Seattle discloses her storefront windows have been broken more than four times. She doesn’t know exactly how many times because she can no longer keep count. She says they break things for no reason as they don’t even steal anything. Some districts aren’t able to qualify for insurance because of their location. The owner of a Seattle coffee shop has shared that her café has been broken into, looted, and set on fire. She also says employees have been punched in the face.
Police are investigating a theft at a storage facility in Ontario’s Halton Region in which crooks took $40,000 worth of items. According to The Star article, no one knows exactly when the robbery took place.
These are just a few of the many stories hitting the news. Don’t let your business become a news story. There’s a way to reduce the chances of a crime affecting your business.
Benefits of Surveillance Cameras
None of these stories mentioned anything about the security systems these businesses used if any. It’s highly unlikely they used the one security technology that can help deter crime and the costs associated with it. That technology is surveillance cameras with remote monitoring. Here are the top benefits of remote video surveillance.
1. Helps Deter Crime
Thieves aren’t biased. They go wherever the opportunities are located including construction sites, office and commercial buildings, automotive dealerships, storage facilities, and multifamily residential.
Most traditional security solutions are reactive. They don’t do anything until after the crime happens. Surveillance cameras with monitoring are more powerful especially when they incorporate video analytics and human operators. Analytics can catch something humans might miss and humans know how to respond to any given scenario.
Proactive video monitoring can help avert criminal activity and its associated damage. Trained monitoring operators watch surveillance cameras in real-time from a location away from your business. This allows them to see far more than a security guard can as well as areas guards cannot access. When operators see someone unauthorized approaching the property, they can issue a warning over an on-site speaker and call the police.
The advantage of operating monitors working from another location is they’re very unlikely to partner with an employee to commit a crime. Security guards have been found guilty of working with employees to steal from a business. This brings up the next benefit of preventing internal theft.
2. Helps Prevent Employee Theft
Construction sites, storage facilities, commercial properties, apartment buildings, and retail centers face different challenges. Yet they all have something in common: internal threats and employee theft. Employees aren’t the only ones committing the crime. It doesn’t take much of a search for news stories to learn many security guards are involved in some of the internal thefts.
A Forbes story quotes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has found that 75 percent of employees have stolen from their employer at least one time. Employees know what security system the business has along with its weaknesses and workarounds. They know where everything is located.
It’s not that your employees aren’t honest. Desperation can drive them to take things to help put food on the table or pay the bills when they’re struggling financially. They believe their best chance of obtaining what they need and getting away with it is by stealing from their workplace.
Unfortunately, businesses need to be watching everyone including employees. Remote video surveillance helps solve this problem. As previously mentioned, the monitoring operators have no connection with the business.
Adding surveillance cameras doesn’t mean you don’t trust your employees. Instead, you can reframe it by educating your employees that the cameras will help deter violent crime while boosting productivity.
3. Helps Reduce Liability
Even if your business has liability insurance, it doesn’t mean you will not need to worry about it. For one thing, the insurance company may not approve of your claim. Should they happen to approve your claim, you don’t know the payment will come in. Each day you wait on that payment is another day that hurts your business as you need the money to do repairs or replace whatever thieves stole.
Businesses have a responsibility to keep the property safe for everyone including visitors, employees, customers, and vendors. Any injuries or accidents that occur in your business can become a liability even if the person is doing something criminal.
Moreover, falls and other preventable injuries cost companies $744 billion every year as the National Safety Council reports. This is why your business needs to do what’s necessary to limit liability. It turns out that camera surveillance can help decrease liability. That’s because it records everything the cameras see. This gives you the evidence you need to show your business took steps to create a safe environment. The recordings will help with liability claims.
Additionally, installing remote video surveillance can potentially help reduce your insurance premium costs. Some insurance companies view security cameras as an acceptable way of reducing risks, which in turn, lowers premiums.
4. Find Ways to Help Improve Processes
One of the most surprising yet powerful benefits of remote video surveillance is the ability to improve processes and procedures. That’s because surveillance cameras provide bird’s eye views to help identify opportunities to improve operational efficiency. It can also help spot safety hazards.
Surveillance cameras can find bottlenecks that affect the business and customer service. They may show ways on how to better organize the business to send foot traffic where it needs to go.
Not only do video recordings support investigations of crime, liability, and fraud but they can also become a training tool. Companies use the footage to demonstrate the right and wrong ways to do things. That is precisely what Renfro Foods did.
How Surveillance Cameras Deliver a Fast ROI
Video surveillance is more affordable than you think. The cost of video surveillance offers one of the fastest ROI on security technology that deters crime and costs up to 60 percent less than the price of security guards.
Technology is constantly evolving to become less expensive, more effective, and more efficient. Innovative security technologies solve many problems. Companies that invest in surveillance cameras with remote monitoring can experience increases in productivity, enhancements in the customer experience, and maximize their profits. Experienced security companies who have worked with your industry have the resources to make it happen.
No single security system can be the sole provider for your security. It’s imperative to add multiple layers to your security. That’s another advantage of surveillance cameras. You can integrate them with other security technologies like an access control system to add layers to security. The more layers in a security system, the harder it becomes for intruders to break in. Most crooks don’t want to work hard to achieve their goals. With an integrated security system, you’ll need fewer people to manage it and that provides additional cost savings.
Remote video surveillance is flexible, so you can scale up or down as needed while improving business operations. Check out this case study to discover how video surveillance helped lower crime and save money.
If you’re not sure what’s right for you, meet with security consultants and ask lots of questions. A Stealth security consultant can review your requirements and property to design an effective surveillance camera system that fits your requirements and budget. To learn more about surveillance cameras, pick up your free guide “Live Video Monitoring: More Than Just Catching Criminals” or contact us.