One valuable tool that a business owner has in their arsenal of crime prevention strategies is the surveillance camera. The installation and advertising of cameras can be a deterrent for criminals as they look for the opportunity to commit criminal activity. In order for the surveillance cameras to be effective the following basic principles should be considered:
- Camera quality - purchase the best quality you can afford. A digital image will be far more effective in capturing and distributing photos of suspects.
- Placement of the camera(s) - ensure the view captured picks up common access and egress routes such as the front door, service counter and cash register. Be sure displays are not put up that block the cameras view.
- Lighting - ensure there is adequate lighting in the area being captured by the camera so that clear images can be captured.
- Recording - be sure the camera image is always being recorded and the recorded image is retained for a minimum of 7 days and preferably 30 days.
- Maintenance - regular cleaning and maintenance of equipment is essential for ideal images to be captured. If the equipment is broken have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
While the use of cameras is only one part of protecting your business and customers it is a very effective tool. The images captured have proven invaluable in identifying suspects and aiding in investigations. Unfortunately there are many businesses that have cameras that are broken or not hooked up to any recording device and when they are criminalized the police do not have access to key information that could assist them in their investigation.
I encourage all businesses in Mission to consider the use of surveillance cameras as a valuable crime prevention tool.
Crime Prevention Coordinator
Mission Crime Prevention Office
33131 1st Avenue, Mission, BC V2V 1G5
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