I was looking through Facebook and a question arose in one of the groups we follow here at Briant Communications: “So, does CCTV deter burglars, or just make them think you must have expensive stuff?” but because it’s a sensible, helpful group and not full of sarcastic, unhelpful know-it-alls, many of the answers were quite enlightening.
A lot of people have taken up the use of CCTV to protect their property and businesses from intruders and thieves and have first hand experience of the benefits that can be had from simply keeping a 24 hour eye on your home.
Naturally there are some who elaborate upon apocryphal, anecdotal stories of gangs of burglars breaking into garages with angle grinders and look-outs armed with baseball bats guarding the thieves and keeping the homeowners at bay as they steal high performance motorcycles from the property. However, many commenters make remarkably salient points.
A year or so ago the premises next to Briant Communications were broken into and a laptop, cash and stock was stolen. The business didn’t have its own CCTV and while ours wasn’t trained on their frontage, the burglar was clearly visible as he prepared himself to break in. This footage was used by the police to catch the culprit who may otherwise have got away scot free. Commenters on the Facebook group had similar stories, others had experiences where the police hadn’t so far caught the intruder, but the evidence of their CCTV cameras had helped a neighbour claim from their insurance:
“My neighbour was refused his insurance payout when his Merc was stolen off his driveway because they popped his front door and took the keys. The insurance company said he gave them the keys. My CCTV footage proved they broke in and stole the car, he got his payout. It does have its uses.“
CCTV Cameras Help Solve Crime Not Committed On Your Property Too
It’s clearly not uncommon for police to ask for CCTV footage from neighbours if there was none at the victim’s. Brian tells us:
“I live in the country and farms etc are a target for thefts. I’ve had the police at my door a couple of times asking if my cameras picked up the vehicle in my direction. They’re trying to work out what way the went. Lol “
But the question was whether CCTV on your property acted as a deterrent and Brian’s account would appear to back that up. His property wasn’t broken into but his neighbour’s was after all. So we all assume that obvious cameras bristling from the house will put burglars off, but how do we know? We’re not burglars and don’t necessarily know how their minds work. If you’re a fan of the fictional burglar Raffles, The Gentleman Thief or characters such as Danny Ocean, you might think that a master cracksmith would see the array of security devices as a challenge and an advert that there is indeed a multitude of riches for which these defences are a cost efficient investment.
And perhaps there are such master criminals, but they must be few and far between and, like Raffles and Ocean, never get caught. Because, as Duncan says:
“I work in a prison and deal with a lot of inmates in for burglary , they admit 99% of their “jobs” are opportunities, scout an area, check out some houses, look for weaknesses and try their luck. You’d be surprised how many people forget to lock windows or doors. Every single inmate I’ve spoken to would usually avoid a house protected by a decent cctv setup. It shows the household takes security seriously and unless there’s something specific in that house they want it’s not worth their time and effort when another house will be an easier target.“
Security Cameras Collect All Sorts Of Evidence, Even Customer Service Issues!
It’s something of a departure from the intention of CCTV, and the question which was originally posed, but Maria brings up a good point too:
“I like to know who is approaching my house and doors. All linked to Alexa so audible warning goes off as soon as motion is detected. That’s quite loud so if it’s quiet you can hear it outside.
That I would thing is a deterrent in itself. Tbh though I have very little worth stealing. It is just peace of mind and I know when my teens go in and out and stuff.
I checked an alert on the camera via my Alexa screen this morning because an oil delivery set it off.
It has provided useful evidence for undelivered parcels.
It’s just handy and burglars are like to choose an easier target. I have PIR lights all round the outside of the house too and they don’t interfere with the cameras.”
Because we’re all shopping so much more online now deliveries and the associated “Porch Pirates” are becoming an everyday event. We know that delivery drivers will leave parcels outside where anyone can see them, they say they delivered at a particular time when they didn’t, or they will fail to take the appropriate steps to ensure a parcel marked ‘fragile’ isn’t damaged. And with CCTV all that can be captured and used as evidence if you need to claim on your insurance or dispute a damaged, failed or stolen delivery.
Cameras And Alarms Are Best As Part Of A ‘Holistic’ Anti-Crime Outlook
But cameras and security lights on their own won’t keep burglars at bay. Liam points out that you need to keep your property well maintained as well:
“Camera on its own not much of a deterrent IMO. As part of an obviously secure home tho, motion lights on the boundary, timer lights on the outside of the building, obviously well maintained doors/windows/gates/fences. This all makes your house much less appealing than somewhere else.”
So security technologies such as cameras and alarms are all well and good, but homeowners need to take a holistic attitude to security if they really want to defeat the burglars. Do everything you would do without cameras or alarms, and then add cameras and alarms seems to be the order of the day.
Even A Modest Outlay on Security Can Pay Dividends
The price of the technology does come up. Sam says:
“Couple of new nest cameras and a door bell and there’s £1k hanging on the wall “
But here’s the thing. Installing CCTV & burglar alarms helps keep your home & contents insurance down. Not only that, but if your security system is also helping prevent crime at your neighbour’s house then pretty soon you’re living in a lower crime area, meaning your house price goes up as the area becomes more desirable. So that thousand pounds on the wall could end up putting many thousands of pounds in your pocket, as well as meaning you get to keep all your stuff!
If you’re interested in a free, no obligation survey of your home, business, or property, why not give Briant Communications a call on 01273 465377 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org We can advise you on the kind of precautions you could take to protect your property, and the number and type of cameras and alarms you might need. Once we’ve done all that we can give you a cost quote, and if you’re happy with that, we should have you covered in a matter of days.