Can Video Cameras Prevent Shoplifting and Retail Theft?

The economy has played a large part in retail theft during this recession. This is not only causing customers, but employees to be involved in retail theft. Of all groups; customers, دوربین لامپی organized retail thieves and employees, employees comprise the largest group at 47% of retail thefts.

Customers do not usually plan to steal. Of this group 73% of adults and 72% of juvenile shop-lifters do not plan to steal in advance. These customers steal only when an opportunity is presented to them, an opportunity so obvious and safe that they can’t resist. By installing video cameras where the customer can see them you remove a great deal of opportunity they may have felt. Security cameras must be present though out the store. Trying to save money and only installing cameras over expensive retail merchandise will only cause the thief to pick up the article, take it to a part of the store without surveillance and then conceal the item.

You need to inform your customers and employees about your video surveillance cameras. This can be done by putting up signs, publicly displaying the monitors and making the camera obvious. Today’s surveillance cameras are very small, so putting them in larger enclosure or camera housing and placing them closer to the floor will make them more obvious and get better facial recognition.

Employees have the luxury of knowing where the cameras are placed, so they can move to the places where cameras don’t exist to steal. Even though more sophisticated cameras are being used, employees have comprised 47% of retail theft for the last several years. To prevent this, you need to use more covert or a hidden video camera. This camera can be in an exit sign, flood lamp or even a radio in the break area. Only upper management should know of the existence of these cameras. You can place a secret camera at break rooms, exits and ware houses, but not in restrooms or locker rooms. For convenience and secrecy you can purchase a hidden camera with a DVR integrated inside that records on a flash card in the camera. These are easy to set-up as you just place them where you want, plug into an AC outlet and retrieve the video card to view what was going on. These hidden cameras with a DVR installed are in objects that work like a radio, clock, sign, fan or flood lamps. Shamefully, along with employees, vendors can participate in retail theft as well.

Our final group is organized or professional retail thieves. This group I harder to combat as they usually will spot the cameras and avoid them. This means we need to have a mixture of visible video cameras and spy cams or hidden cameras. Some professional thieves will work in conjunction with employees, as the employee will under-charge for an item at the point of purchase or cash register. So it is imperative that cameras visible or covert be placed over cash registers.

Cameras may not be effective for several reasons, but these can be corrected. Buying cameras with poor resolution or placing them too far away makes them useless for facial recognition and viewing the actual crime for use in court. Cameras must remain in a good operating state of repair and checked regularly for proper operation. Analog cameras can create hours of recordings that will take hours to view. Digital cameras can be reviewed rapidly with no re-winding as the video is date and time stamped on the hard disc. Also there are video analytic programs that can look for missing objects, loitering or even count the number of people entering and leaving to help find an act of theft. The final reason for a video surveillance camera to fail is lack of recording space. Today our digital DVR has a large hard drives to record days of videos. Also using motion sensing can save hours of recording time.

Of course nothing will be effective if you do not do security and background checks on your employees, especially those involved in video surveillance. I have only talked about retail theft, but the cameras have many other uses. When you install cameras in your location, your insurance costs will go down. In fact you may be penalized by the insurance carrier if you don’t install video surveillance cameras. Cameras can be used to monitor employee compliance with rules and regulations and help to spot safety hazards or practices. Finally these cameras can monitor your building and surrounding premises while you are not there and you can view this in real-time over the internet. While a video surveillance system used to cost $10, 000 to $20, 000, provide poor resolution and record on analog tapes, today you can get a color video system with great resolution and digital recording for between $1, 000 to $3, 000 dollars. The cost will vary depending on the number of cameras and whether you want to get a wired or wireless system.

Be safe and participate in a security surveillance system and sleep well at night, knowing your business is being watched over.

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