There is little doubt that a burglar will tend to stay well clear of a property that has been fitted with good quality surveillance cameras in one or more locations where they out of reach and have a good range of visibility. But what about properties that are in neighbourhoods where there are – or where there appear to be – plenty of surveillance cameras about? If this is the case, can you relax and let the cameras do it all for you?
Apparently not seems to be the answer. It is true that the UK has become one of the most camera-rich societies in the world. Current estimates from the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) indicate that our streets bristle with somewhere between 4 and 5.9 million CCTV cameras. The trouble is, as the government’s surveillance camera commissioner has warned, of this very large amount too high a proportion are either antiquated or not working. Local councils have started to realise the problem and, for example, recently, when a West Midlands local authority conducted a review of its own estate of surveillance cameras and got rid of the ineffective ones, it was able to find a saving of £250,000. A handy sum.
There are various reasons for this degree of ineffectiveness including cameras that simply do not work, cameras that have disappeared under foliage and antiquated analogue equipment with very poor images – such that they would be fallible witnesses when it comes to identifying thieves. The situation has led to debate about the effectiveness of street surveillance. Currently, the Dyfed-Powys police, which covers more than half of Wales, might stop monitoring CCTV cameras following a review which has suggested that they have not deterred crime. In such circumstances, it is perhaps not surprising that there has been a rise in domestic and business surveillance cameras.
At Prestige Security Solutions we highly recommend making sure your house is secure at the first point of defence – which means making it impossible for thieves to enter through garages, doors and windows. If additional surveillance cameras would increase your comfort levels, it might be as well not to rely on local authority installations that happen to overlook your property – check they are working and fit for purpose first.