CCTV is now accessible even to small businesses. In fact, it has become a must-have for businesses of all sizes. This is largely due to its ability to deter thieves. It can, however, be worth investing in CCTV cameras for use in areas where theft is less likely to be an issue. This is because CCTV cameras are useful for many other reasons.
Someone well aware of just how important commercial security is, is Nick Booth, Director at ISET Solutions, who specialise in smart technology for the corporate sector, shares his insight into why CCTV do so much more than just deter thieves.
Vandalism can be a double-hit for businesses. Firstly, there is the impact of the vandalism itself. Secondly, there is the fact that vandalism can open the door to further problems. In the real world, a lot of vandalism is fairly small-scale, with graffiti tagging likely the biggest issue most businesses have to deal with.
Even this, however, can be a serious issue for smaller businesses. Either you have to spend time cleaning it up yourself or you have to pay someone else to do it for you. Whatever you do you need to act quickly, otherwise, your problem could get even worse.
At a minimum, you can expect graffiti tags to be off-putting to people coming to your premises. If left unchecked, you can expect the tagger to return, possibly bringing friends, or rivals, with them. You could even find your business premises plastered with offensive slogans.
Once you get into more severe forms of vandalism, then you’re looking at more severe security issues. For example, broken windows are a health and safety hazard as well as a security hazard. Having CCTV monitor the exterior of your building can be a strong deterrent to vandals. If it isn’t enough of a deterrent, it can provide evidence to allow the police to act.
Protecting against violence
Theft is probably the most obvious crime businesses have to deal with. It is, however, far from the only one. Theft can often go hand-in-hand with other offences such as vandalism and various forms of violent crime. You’ve probably heard of armed robbery and may be aware that businesses are a prime target for this. This is particularly true in the retail sector for obvious reasons.
In the UK, guns tend to be less of an issue than knives. These are legal and hence easier to obtain. They are also relatively easy to conceal. While they may be intended more as a threat than anything else, this is probably going to be little consolation to your staff. What’s more, if a knife is used it can be deadly. Even when it isn’t, it can cause serious damage, particularly if infection sets in.
There’s also the possibility of your customers becoming involved in the attack. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that if your business gets the reputation of being a target for knife-wielding criminals, people will stay away.
Actively monitoring for safety
Some threats are more obvious than others. These are the ones you can, should and must take steps to defend yourself against. Many threats, however, are only obvious when they happen. Some are not obvious even then.
Having CCTV cameras allows you to monitor for safety proactively. This gives you the best chance of responding promptly if there is an incident. In the case of a medical emergency (or fire), this can literally make the difference between life and death. Interestingly, CCTV can also be useful if you need to prove that something didn’t happen. It’s at least one answer to the age-old question of “how do you prove a negative?”. This can prevent your staff (or customers) from landing under unjust suspicion. It can also prevent you from being called out unfairly for blame, for example, by an insurer.