Caught on Camera: How Video Surveillance Can Protect Your Business

Security protection of your business premises is, in itself, big business. But did you know that apart from the obvious benefits of safeguarding your business premises against in general intruders, vandalism and theft once you’ve locked up for the night, there are several other ways in which video surveillance particularly can help to protect your business during those hours of work? And it’s not just the big businesses using this approach either: in a certain small shopping and business area close to my home, it’s the small businesses that are reaping these additional benefits of video surveillance.

Identification: Whatever the entry system for your business – an open door or a closed, entry-phone or code system, video surveillance can help to identify those coming and going. The local jewelry shop in the strip has an entry-phone system for customers to gain access the shop and, as well as video surveillance inside, there is a camera trained on the door too, so that before allowing a caller access, the staff can check to see who it is.

Of course, new customers are always ‘strangers’ to start with but, as well as offering an opportunity to use the video’s recording to identify someone after any unfortunate event inside the shop, the shop uses this video identification alongside local police and other shop security alerts. All security staff and any street-based police in the local area keep in constant touch and send through warnings, images and descriptions of suspected shop lifters or burglars in the area. With this information, as well as the video and entry system, the jewelry shop can best hope to avoid their own unwanted problems, add to alerts of suspects in the area as well as gain images which may help the police to capture suspects.

Verification and Evidence: Another of the local shops has their surveillance from video by Honeywell stationed at various points around the shop, as well as trained on the counter and till. In a recent event, a customer who had left the shop returned to say that she had left her purse on the counter and demanded that the shop-girl return it to her. The shop-girl was convinced that the customer had not left it behind and told her so. The customer then turned nasty and accused the shop-girl of stealing it … demanding to be recompensed with a sum of cash which she alleged had been in the purse. When the shop-girl offered to call the police to get the matter sorted, the customer refused (a sure sign that the ‘forgotten purse’ was a ruse to gain cash or compensation fraudulently) and instead went outside the shop, calling accusations out loudly and drawing attention to the shop in a very negative way, as a threat to the shop-girl to hand over some cash to compensate her.

The shop-girl kept her cool and went straight to the surveillance video tapes and rewound until she found the images of herself serving the customer. The video clearly showed the customer putting her goods, and her purse, into her shopping bag. Faced with this evidence, the customer quickly left the shop area without an apology, whilst stills from the video enabled the police (who the shop-girl had called) to alert other shops in the area to the possible scam, along with a photo of the scammer.

Protection of Staff and Customers: The final business in the strip to use video surveillance as an absolute must, utilizes it not just for the protection of their property, but also for their staff and clients. Being an establishment which deals with socially-challenged clients, the business takes its responsibilities for safeguarding these vulnerable clients very seriously and the video surveillance helps to reassure both the clients as well as enabling the business to protect its own staff against the minority of clients who become stressed and possibly aggressive.

As my local shopping and business strip shows, when it comes to security, video surveillance does not just benefit individual persons and businesses, but also the community as a whole!

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