Video surveillance cameras have been popping up in gas stations and parking lots for decades, but as budgets tighten and safety concerns rise, more organizations than ever are turning to them. As I travel around the country, I’m seeing them more and more in schools and retail stores.
IP Video Surveillance Systems Benefits
In Walpole, Massachusetts, high school officials had petitioned the town’s budget committee for funds to install additional security cameras for the past few years. Finally, in April, the town voted to approve the funds. Once installed, the surveillance cameras will be used not only for security from outside intruders but also for monitoring student behavior and inside threats.
Walpole High Principal Stephen Imbusch told Education Week that security cameras would prove useful in determining what might have happened in disciplinary or criminal situations. “They’ve primarily been used to solve any questions we might have,” Imbusch said. “And they may have some kind of quality I can’t assess—when people see a camera they may be less inclined to do something, so they’re preventive.”
The growth of IP video surveillance in the retail world is just as prevalent. While shopkeepers and mall owners have long used cameras to protect their customers and their merchandise, now they’re using them to protect the merchandise before it even hits the racks.
With more and more retailers accepting deliveries around the clock, delivery fraud has become a growing problem. To combat theft, many retailers tie their surveillance cameras into their access control systems to record every after-hours delivery. Video proof of events makes prosecuting fraudulent delivery services easy, and it helps collapse investigation time into a matter of minutes.
Because of the growing technical nature of IP video systems, the process of selecting and purchasing these systems is falling more frequently to IT professionals instead of security folks, according to IFSEC Global. “IT budgets are typically larger than the associated security budgets,” IFSEC said, citing an IMS study. “Instead of security managers buying an IP camera and speaking with the IT department about how to incorporate it into the network, increasingly the IT department will buy the security equipment from their budget and incorporate the device into their network.”
Moral of the story? Smile, you’re on camera!