Why should businesses invest in CCTV?

Companies may feel that CCTV is not worth the cost but as well as protecting you against crime and help with its detection it can be a useful tool in other areas of your business.

Why do you need a CCTV system for your business? Well, to be honest – you don’t – until you do. Many businesses pay for property insurance for years and rarely use it. However, if you have a breakage or theft you are thankful that you have it. CCTV systems work along the same premise – you never need them until you need them – so let’s look at the reasons why you need CCTV cameras for your businesses.

An effective crime deterrent

One thing is for sure: no criminal wants to be seen. Criminals do not want to take any chances that people will see them in their act of illegal activity. If a criminal sees CCTV cameras on your building it is likely they will be deterred from carrying out their criminal activity around your property.

Retail, which suffered from over £770 million of losses due to customer theft between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019, according to the British Retail Consortium’s latest Annual Survey, is one business sector that can benefit from CCTV as a deterrent. The use of cameras can be combined with a good shop layout, prominent signage (also required for data protection purposes) and the use of a screen showing images to strengthen the deterrent effect.

Additionally, in its guidance on reducing work-related violence and crime within shops, bars and restaurants the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said CCTV can help staff and customers feel safer.

Separately, internal theft is a larger problem for most companies than they realise. This can be employee’s taking things as simple as office supplies as well as stealing customer records or valuable company files – CCTV cameras can help deter these activities.

A record of crime perpetrated such as theft or vandalism

If a loss of goods or damage to property has been committed the CCTV footage can be used to trace the perpetrators or provided to police if they are investigating a crime that has been reported.

Worcestershire-based CCTV installer, Ecl-ips, installed CCTV across the headquarters of Gtech, which specialises in the design and manufacture of electric bikes and cordless products, when it moved into a new site four years ago. The work included installing external cameras on the cycle track and new car parking areas, as well as cameras with the ability to identify vehicle number plates at the main entrance.

The result was that the security of Gtech’s site was increased and any incidents that happened on the grounds were recorded and dealt with in an appropriate way. Evidence of any vandalism and trespassing were all caught on camera and were dealt with quickly and efficiently due to the CCTV system.

Monitoring machinery and production processes

Moving beyond security concerns CCTV cameras can be used to monitor machinery and ensure production quality is maintained.

A Coventry-based manufacturer has employed Ecl-ips to install CCTV cameras in its factory paint shop. The company has adopted an automated system for painting its products and these cameras monitor the process. This allows the company to be quickly made aware of machine failure or blockages.

Separately, a manufacturer could ensure quality assurance for their retail customers through the use of CCTV cameras. For example, installing cameras on production and packaging lines and stamping date and time codes on a box of products means the business has the ability to review the recorded video at certain dates and times if there are any queries or disputes.

The installation of CCTV cameras would also help manufacturing businesses improve their packaging procedures and enhance their reputation with retailers.

Health and safety

The use of CCTV cameras, particularly ones such as those developed by North American manufacturer, Avigilon, with self-learning analytics can be used to quickly spot overcrowding, hazards and incidents. The more advanced cameras can easily tell the difference between people and vehicles; thus, providing you with the ability to monitor sensitive areas automatically and you can be alerted if anyone enters a vehicle only area and vice versa.

The use of cameras to monitor manufacturing facilities can therefore ensure that costly accidents are prevented. Ecl-ips’s manufacturing client in Coventry is now using automatic forklift trucks which steer with the use of lasers. This is cutting-edge labour-saving technology but employees at the site need to be vigilant around them. This has led to more cameras being fitted where the forklifts are operating to provide health and safety monitoring for staff.

Aaron Kernaghan, managing director of Ecl-ips, said, “We believe CCTV is a great of part of your safeguarding portfolio for any site. We now install CCTV just as regularly for health and safety purposes as we do for security requirements.”

Evidence for accident claims and for improving working practices

CCTV allows for monitoring of employees and also contractors working on your sites. When incidents and accidents occur the video footage provides evidence that can help improve the working practices of employees and contractors as well as making sure you have the facts. You can find images quickly that will show whether that person really did hurt themselves in the way they are claiming or an accident happened in the way people are reporting.

This is particularly important if someone decides to make a claim against a company and increasingly loss prevention departments are using video footage to settle disputes and dismiss claims.

Himmat Rai of Sentinel Safety, which has provided Ecl-ips staff with health and safety training, said, “I have found CCTV footage extremely useful when investigating accidents.  In order to find out how an accident occurred it’s normally a case of putting together a sequence of events of which CCTV footage really helps.”

Setting out the purpose for your system

Companies need to know that if you are operating a commercial CCTV system you must ensure you comply with the latest data protection laws.

Your company will need to develop a policy for CCTV use and clearly state the purpose you are using it for. Businesses should then regularly review whether CCTV is still the best solution for its intended purpose. Additionally, businesses must ensure that their CCTV footage is held securely and only held for as long as is necessary.

As long as you employ a CCTV specialist to install your system and you manage it properly the advancements in technology mean that this is an incredibly useful security and monitoring tool for a wide range of businesses.