Sunday, August 8, 2010

Slow Economy Spurring Investment in Video Security

Security investments are logically linked to the level of need. The most obvious rationale for the increase is related to the War against Terror, but also contributing is a perceived crime wave threat (real or not) from an economy in depression, and an increase from industrial applications whose enthusiasm for video security is at least partly because of the reduced cost of the technology over the last two decades.

Crime vs. Video Security
During our recent economic recession, both businesses and individuals have anticipated a crime wave from organized criminal gangs, but to date, the wave has not materialized in most regions of the U.S.

The level of property crime is still high. According to National Retail Federation's (NRF) Organized Retail Crime survey, 92% of companies report that they were victims of organized retail crime during the past year.

Shoplifting has risen dramatically in recent months. The value of goods lost by retailers was more than $36 billion. The profile of the average shoplifter has become much more "middle class" during this period.

The FBI reports a burglary occurs in the U.S. every 14 seconds with a total loss of over $17 billion annually. Police report that the average burglar is, on average, inside a property for less than 2 minutes.

Even though statistics do not yet indicate an increase in property crime, that does not mean that this phenomena will not occur.

“Every recession since the late ’50s has been associated with an increase in crime and, in particular, property crime and robbery, which would be most responsive to changes in economic conditions,” said Richard Rosenfeld, Sociologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“The unfortunate economic events of the past year have played an intricate role in how criminals continue to rip off the retail industry,” said Joe LaRocca, NRF Senior Asset Protection Advisor. “Organized retail crime rings have realized that tough economic times present new business opportunities by stealing valuable items from retailers and turning around to sell the merchandise to consumers looking for bargains.”

"One-third of retailers believe that more than 50 percent of “new in box” merchandise sold through online auction sites is stolen or fraudulently obtained”. According to Joe La Rocca, loss prevention advisor for the NRF. "It shows the need for focusing continued efforts on enacting laws to limit these types of crimes and educating the public about purchasing bargain items from questionable sources."

Industry Increases Investment in Video Security

Industry, especially "heavy" industries have implemented video security for many years. The value is found in real-time monitoring and from its use in forensic investigation after accidents (Examples of Industrial Monitoring).

Cities and States are similarly equipping public facilities like roadways with cameras, enabling more efficient management.

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