Security for Business: A Guide to CCTV and Intruder Alarms
The 2014 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) assesses crime against businesses in England and Wales. It estimates that ‘just under 40 per cent of premises across the six CVS sectors1 experienced crime in the last year.’ For the Wholesale and Retail sector alone, during 2014 there were 4,123,000 crimes with 41% of premises in the sector experiencing crime.2
Business security in the 21st century is a serious matter, and with this in mind, we present our guide to CCTV and intruder alarms for business, aiming to raise awareness of security issues and to assist in preventing crime to your staff and premises, increasing safety, reducing costs and increasing profit.
The report is created by Techcube Limited an SSAIB accredited CCTV, Alarm and EPOS installer that covers London, Essex and the M25 region.
What is it?
CCTV stands for closed circuit television and it’s a non-public TV system that is primarily used for surveillance.
CCTV requires strategically placed cameras throughout a property and the footage is viewed on monitors and captured on Digital Video Recorders (DVR), where it can be played back and used as evidence or to guide business decisions for example.
Why use CCTV?
Business owners use CCTV for a number of reasons:
- Protect business premises
- Protect external and internal stock
- Prevent theft
- Prevent crime against staff
- Prevent staff from committing crime against the business, such as theft
- Monitor business for day-to-day decisions, for example ‘aisle 4 needs stock’
What are the Benefits of using CCTV?
Peace of Mind
Feel secure, feel safe and feel great! Knowing you have a commercial CCTV system installed goes a fair way to ease your mind about the safety of your staff and business. This is one of the key benefits of CCTV for your business.
Deterrent and Crime Prevention
Criminals like the easy option and will pursue vulnerable property rather than the more difficult option of a secure business.
Prosecutions have a greater chance of success if you have CCTV footage, as it is compelling evidence for courts.
Modern CCTV systems enable remote monitoring from your computer, tablet or mobile phone via a secure internet connection. This is possible from anywhere in the world.
CCTV and Intruder Alarms, a Strong Combination
Remote monitoring is even more useful if you also have an intruder alarm. When your alarm goes off, you will receive a notification or call to your phone and if you are on holiday for example, you can view your camera footage and assess whether the incident is a false alarm.
Discounted Insurance Premium
Your insurer may reduce your premium if you have a CCTV installation. It’s worth contacting them to discover if you are eligible for a discount.
High Quality Low Price
Modern business CCTV is relatively inexpensive. The hardware and installation is cost effective, in the context of the benefits outlined above. Low quality black and white footage is a thing of the past and modern systems offer full HD (High Definition).
What are the Options?
There are several different CCTV options to be aware of and your installation company will advise on these.
Analogue cameras – standard definition and low cost. Records onto DVR (Digital Video Recorder).
HD cameras – high definition and a clearer image. These are common now. Maximum is 2.2. megapixels. Records on HDVR (High Definition Video Recorder). More expensive than analogue cameras.
IP cameras (network cameras) – internet protocol cameras, which can connect directly to your local area network (LAN), but also work locally. They can be wired or wireless. IP cameras are better quality than HD ones and have a maximum of 5 megapixels. Records onto NVR (Network Video Recorder). Higher price than HD cameras but the best.
DVR/HDVR – footage is recorded onto these devices and the hard drive size defines the capacity, e.g. 1TB would record for a week and 8TB for 8 weeks.
Footage for all camera types can be viewed remotely via a secure connection on the internet on your PC, mobile phone or tablet.
Privacy and Data Protection
Using CCTV raises a number of privacy issues and the Information Commissioners Office created this data protection code of practice for CCTV.
What is it?
An intruder alarm system monitors the entry and exit points of a premises as well as interior space. When triggered, an alarm sounds and there is notification to the owner or key holder’s mobile phone. Optionally, the alarm monitoring centre and police are notified.
Why use Intruder Alarms and what are the Benefits?
- Protect your business premises
- Protect valuables/ stock/ money/ tobacco/ alcohol
- Deterrent to criminals
- Peace of mind
- Audible alarm sounds outside premises and alerts neighbours if you are away
- As soon as a burglar breaks in, the alarm is activated and they have very limited time to steal from you
- Monitoring, alerts monitoring centre and police
- Alerts owner or key holder who can log in to CCTV and observe premises
- Save on insurance premium
What are the Options?
Wireless – no cabling between anything except a wire to the telephone line. Easier to install than wired.
Wired – cables run from components, including the bell, to the main control unit. Cabling can be hidden in suspended ceilings.
Bell only – when the alarm is triggered, the bell sounds and an alert is sent to your mobile phone.
Monitored – when the alarm is triggered, the bell sounds and an alert is sent to your mobile phone. The monitoring centre is notified and they will alert police who will visit the premises to investigate. Monitored alarm systems require that the installer is certified, for example with SSAIB. Monitored alarms are subject to a maintenance contract.
Monthly fees for monitoring range from 25GBP to 50GBP and there are a range of options, for example what signals are used to send the alert, e.g. telephone line or GPRS. BT Redcare offers a service where it alerts the monitoring centre if the telephone line is tampered with.
We’ve seen with the Commercial Victimisation Survey that crime is prevalent, with over 4 million crimes in the Retail and Wholesale sector in 2014.
It’s important to consider security for your business and we have reviewed both CCTV and intruder alarm systems that can help prevent crime and help to resolve security issues. These systems are relatively inexpensive these days and valuable to a business in today’s environment.
1 Sectors surveyed: Wholesale and Retail, Accommodation and food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, Transportation and Storage, Manufacturing.