If, it is the right equipment for the job, sighted in the right place, well maintained with good housekeeping of recordings and continuously monitored, CCTV can be a real asset to any workplace violence prevention programme – allowing simultaneous remote “viewing” of a variety of sectors of the workplace by one individual and for “informed” assignment of security personnel resources.
But, (be clear about this) on its own, CCTV won’t prevent violent incidents taking place!
CCTV is not a panacea for preventing violence
High profile cases like the abduction and murder of James Bulger and the arrest of Brixton nail bomber David Copeland have demonstrated CCTV can be useful in identifying and convicting offenders. These notable successes (and others like them) have helped promulgate the notion that CCTV is practically the “Total Cure”.
But, regrettably, CCTV is nothing like a panacea for preventing crime and, in particular, crimes involving violence.
It certainly doesn’t make people in Town Centres any safer!
Home Office research confirms that the effectiveness of CCTV as a tool to fight crime is greatly overstated.
Evaluations of 24 CCTV schemes in town centres, housing estates, public transport and car parks showed:
- A fall in crime at thirteen of the sites
- At seven sites the cameras seemed to have had no effect at all
- Four sites had actually suffered significant rises in crime rates
The report shows that while CCTV can help to reduce car crime in some car parks, Town Centre schemes have little impact on serious or violent crime underlining that vulnerable areas still need to be appropriately policed and patrolled.
It pays to get professional advice before investing
The CCTV Industry is awash with hundreds of manufacturers and installers of myriads of cameras and systems.
Choosing is a complex decision and not made any easier by the multitude of slick, smooth talking CCTV sales representatives and their glossy brochures.
It’s all too easy to get talked into purchasing the wrong system for your setting and also to pay far more than you really need to for features you don’t need.
Augmenting an existing CCTV is also challenging and full of potential pitfalls.
The solution is to get professional advice from an expert consultant who can present you with clear and concise facts and enable you to make an informed decision.
Experience has shown that engaging an independent CCTV consultant can reduce overspend on a CCTV system purchase by as much as 50%.