Businesses of all sizes rely on CCTV for the security of their shops, offices, warehouses and staff. For SMBs, who are more likely to feel severe ramifications from a break in, the need to protect your property is even more important, but the ability to spend capital on expensive security systems may be a financial burden many find too difficult to bear.
However, trying to save money on security in the short term can cost your business in the long run. Here’s why you should consider CCTV systems for your small business.
Burglary is the biggest security threat to businesses
The chances are that burglary will be the biggest financial threat to your business, and certainly one of the most immediate. A report from the Office of National Statistics states that between April 2015 and March 2016 there were 400,361 police-recorded burglary offenses. That amounts to 1,096 burglaries per day.
Over half of these were against businesses and commercial property. Although locks, alarms and other security measures are vital for business, the most effective deterrent is having a CCTV system in place. Here’s why.
Different CCTV systems can work in every office and business type
As commercial properties are likely to be empty during the night, and are often located in areas that are likely to be quiet, they are particularly vulnerable to robbery out of hours. Whether you own a city centre office or a warehouse in a commercial estate, CCTV will play a key role in preventing, documenting and solving crimes against your business.
Businesses should consider the type of CCTV before purchasing as different workspaces have different needs. Fortunately, there are a number of different CCTV systems available for businesses. For example, dome CCTV cameras are usually purchased to survey one broad space, though they usually point in one direction; whereas bullet cameras are small and discreet, useful for enclosed areas or in areas where customers are likely to spend longer amounts of time.
Criminals are deterred by CCTV systems
Although good quality locks are essential to keep burglars out, nothing deters criminals like CCTV systems. A 2016 study by the University of Leicester found that CCTV was the best deterrent to pre-planned crime. The findings indicated that criminals actively avoid stealing from businesses that seemed knowledgeable about crime and prevention.
It’s hardly surprising burglars are more likely to avoid businesses with visible CCTV cameras. Being caught in the act on security footage is more likely to lead to arrest and eventual prosecution.
Cameras can be controlled remotely
Certain CCTV systems can be remotely controlled, which can give business owners peace of mind and extra security. Remote viewing enables property owners to continue monitoring from any location at any time. Essentially, a CCTV system acts as your eyes in the office when you can’t be there.
The sad truth is that CCTV may be necessary to protect your property against employees as well as outsiders. 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from at least one employer; similarly, 33% of all US businesses which have gone bankrupt have done so due to employee theft.
Employee theft dramatically reduces when employees know that the owner is keeping an eye on the business, even if they are not at the property themselves.
If a crime does occur, CCTV can be invaluable in court
If a crime against your business is perpetrated, CCTV evidence can be hugely important in court.
However, business owners should bear two things in mind. If employers do wish to use CCTV to monitor their workforce, it is essential to consider employee rights, and the risks involved. Your overall motivation should be the safety of your workers and the security of your business, not just an opportunity to spy on people.
There’s a fine line between preventing theft and being intrusive. A 2007 report found that most CCTV cameras are illegal and intrusive. That’s why it’s important to have your CCTV systems installed by professionals. Likewise, integral as it is, CCTV should be just one part of your business’s overall security systems.