How Security Camera Systems Deter Crime

By: Don Stephens

Security cameras, via CCTV (closed-circuit television), are a popular type of technology used to improve the security of an area through video monitoring. These systems are often used by law enforcement or private property owners to deter crimes, but they can also be used to monitor traffic flow on roadways or to supervise prisoners in a correctional facility. Today, surveillance cameras can be found in many places, from banks to schools to government buildings to homes.

In most cases, the purpose of installing a security camera monitoring system is to be a visible reminder to potential criminals that they are being watched and that they will be prosecuted if they break the law. The idea is to make would-be criminals think twice before engaging in criminal activity, and many municipalities have latched onto this idea, installing surveillance cameras to deter crimes in public spaces. Not only are CCTV systems a popular strategy for crime deterrence, but they can also provide peace of mind to law-abiding citizens, who can feel safer when they're out and about in areas where cameras are keeping an eye out for them.

Security camera systems are proving to be very beneficial in preventing crimes all across the country. In municipalities where these systems were not initially very effective in deterring crime, would-be criminals have since seen how surveillance footage can be a powerful tool used to convict a perpetrator after the fact. Even if the crime itself was not caught on tape, often, images of the crime scene can help police to piece together what happened or find witnesses to the crime. This has helped to lower crime rates over the longer term.

Home surveillance cameras are even more efficient when it comes to preventing crimes. As this technology has become more affordable, more homeowners are taking the initiative to make their properties safer against those who would do them harm. Criminals are less likely to burglarize a house if they know that cameras are recording their every move. Security cameras can be a great incentive for a burglar to move on in search of an easier target.

Retail businesses can also benefit from the installation and use of security cameras, which can be used to catch shoplifters in the act or monitor employees who might be stealing from the company. Theft can be tremendously harmful to the health of any business, so it's imperative that retailers take any measures they can to prevent it. Surveillance in stores is a proven tactic that can stop shoplifters in their tracks, making this technology a worthwhile investment.

However, it's important for those considering the purchase and installation of a video monitoring system to give some thought to how this technology can infringe on other people's right to privacy. For instance, while cameras can be effectively placed to catch an employee who is stealing from the company, they should not be placed in locations like bathrooms or changing rooms. Before investing in this technology, read up on any applicable local laws and plan out how to properly locate your cameras.

Keep in mind, too, that these systems work best when they are coupled with other measures to reduce crime and increase security. Adding warning signs and alarm systems can be particularly effective measures to take to ensure the safety of an area under surveillance.