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Video surveillance has become an important part of ensuring safety and security for many businesses. It offers the ability for businesses to protect themselves against theft, record evidence for use if theft does occur, and generally ensures a greater overall sense of safety. Many insurance companies even require that businesses have a video surveillance system installed. Though surveillance systems are not perfect, surveillance equipment often serves as a deterrent to consumer and employee theft. Yet, they may not always prevent crime and expensive equipment could be damaged during burglaries. Although systems are not inexpensive, their costs are minimal compared to the losses involved in shoplifting incidents.
Whether it is a single camera or a complex video system with multiple cameras and operators, video surveillance equipment can offer a business numerous benefits.
Video surveillance equipment acts as a deterrent to both customer and employee theft. According to statistics from the NYCVSS, 48% of all business losses are attributed to employee theft, with 31% of further losses due to shoplifters. These figures can be greatly reduced by the installation of video surveillance equipment. Individuals are less likely to steal if they believe their actions will be on film. If you have an incident of theft among your employees, video surveillance increases your chances of finding the culprit.
Should your business experience a theft, your video surveillance equipment will record all evidence. This can help identify the guilty party and provide evidence should the charges go to court. Video evidence is particularly important should a violent crime take place on your business premises. According to the Department of Justice, a robbery takes place every 46 seconds; however, this is less likely to happen where video surveillance is installed.
Some insurance companies require businesses to have a fully operating video surveillance system before they will provide them with various insurances. This is the insurance provider’s attempt to protect themselves from fraudulent claims and malpractice suits. Another benefit is that even if an insurance company does not require surveillance, when they find out you do have it in operation they may lower your premiums.
Video surveillance is not just for inside your business premises. It can also be installed outside. This helps view activity on your business grounds. This is a particular benefit for employees who leave their cars on your premises or work late at night. Again, any suspicious or criminal activity will be captured on the video surveillance cameras and can be replayed in a court of law to secure a conviction if necessary. According to the Department of Justice, video surveillance is one of the most influential pieces of evidence in a court setting.
Video surveillance is one of the tried-and-true methods of deterring theft and vandalism, as well as employee dishonesty. While implementing a surveillance system adds extra security, it can’t be relied on to provide 100% security.
Not Always a Deterrent
Security cameras aim to discourage shoplifting, burglaries, vandalism, and other crimes that can take place at your business. An extensive and proper setup of a video surveillance system can be incredibly effective in reducing the number of incidents that occur at your place of business. However, this doesn’t always act as a deterrent against crime. Individuals may seek to vandalize or burglarize your property at night, getting what they need and escaping before the police arrive. If the trespassers leave no evidence behind and are well disguised, it may be difficult for police to track them down with only shots from your video surveillance system. Visible security cameras can effectively reduce incidences of shoplifting, employee dishonesty, and robberies, but you should always be prepared for an incident.
Expensive Equipment and Damage
While cost-effective equipment is available for your budget, needs, and the size of your property, video surveillance systems for businesses can cost upwards of thousands of dollars to implement. This makes them a relatively expensive investment. Cameras and lenses can be damaged during a burglary, requiring a greater financial investment on your part to repair the equipment or replace the entire video surveillance system. Expensive video surveillance systems that use high-quality equipment are also susceptible to being stolen. The robbers may decide to take the cameras and corresponding devices. If this occurs, you would have to replace the surveillance system with a new one. Expensive equipment makes for expensive losses in the event of a robbery.
When you consider that, according to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, “shoplifting incidents average about 550,000 each day” in the U.S., and that “those losses total an estimated $13 billion annually,” the money necessary to install and maintain a video surveillance system is minimal compared to cost of not having one.
Cameras are actually not one of the most expensive aspects of a video surveillance system. Depending on your needs, you may choose either an analog camera, which runs between $300 and $500, or a more expensive IP camera, which costs between $600 and $1,500. Accessories, such as focal lenses that let you zoom in on a desired area, will also cost additional money.
You have several options here, depending on your needs. You can go with the least expensive, single-channel camera system, which can cost between $50 and $200. You could choose to use a DVR to record and store your video on internal memory, which will cost around $500 to $2,000. Your last choice is to use IP cameras, which do not need a DVR or storage device. These cameras tend to cost anywhere from $600 to $1,500.
As demonstrated above, video surveillance systems may seem expensive; however, their expense is minimal compared to the losses often sustained in a shoplifting incident. Simply by being visible, surveillance systems act as a deterrent against consumer and employee theft. They are also generally required by insurance companies and provide additional security on business grounds. However, video surveillance cannot prevent all crimes and equipment may be damaged if theft does occur, resulting in expensive repairs. The systems are also initially an expensive investment. Ultimately, however, video surveillance systems are a good investment in the security of a business and do offer protection against criminal activity.
A secure workplace is important to help keep employees as well as customers safe, but also monitor inventory and cash flow internally. Security systems have become increasingly popular among business owners because they help prevent burglary and theft. Video surveillance is much more inexpensive than it was ten years ago due to never ending innovation in the technology sector. The quality of video recorded by these small cameras has also increased significantly over time and some cameras even offer HD video.
Installing a video surveillance system is a smart idea for companies that have a cash register or valuable equipment on site. An up to date security system can ease the worries of a business owner by providing an extra pair of eyes on new employees and making everyone more accountable for their actions in the workplace. Surveillance is also a great way to keep employees safe that work late shift or solo shifts. There are different qualities of video software that escalate in price as the quality becomes sharper and depending on the needs of the company it may be advantageous to install multiple cameras.
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