Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dummy Cameras - How Smart Are They?

By Roy Stephenson

Believe it or not, a customer called our technical support line the other day and insisted that his Dummy Camera was not working. This was a real person with a real issue, which begs the question. How smart are Dummy Cameras?

Closed Circuit Television Systems (CCTV) offer a very effective, highly visible deterrent to crime. The site of a Security Camera is sometimes enough to send would be criminals scurrying off to look for an easier location to rip-off.

So is a Dummy Camera as effective at preventing crime as a real Security Camera? Used in the correct application, the answer is yes. A high quality Dummy Camera installed in a noticeable location can offer an effective deterrent to crime.

Now before you run out and buy some Dummy Cameras and place them all over your building, there are some very important issues that you might want to take into consideration.

Consider the fact that, not only do CCTV Cameras provide a deterrent; the video recordings from CCTV systems can provide indisputable evidence of any number of illegal activities including robbery, shoplifting, muggings, assaults or even murder.

Video from a Dummy Camera has never been presented as evidence in a Court of Law. A Dummy Camera can not help you solve a crime after it has occurred and I can assure you that no one has ever caught a shoplifter with a Dummy Camera.

Another very important consideration that is often overlooked with Dummy Cameras relates to personal liability and lawsuits (clarification). There is something that lawyers like to call "Implied Security". This simply means that if anyone, including your employees, customers, tenants or even just a passer by, see a Security Camera, they can have a reasonable expectation that the area is secure and that someone is watching that camera.

For example, if a woman was raped in your parking lot, surrounded by Dummy Cameras, you could be held partially liable. This is of course, if the woman felt reasonably sure that she was safe in your parking lot because of the Security Cameras.

Beware, that "Implied Security" can apply to Broken Cameras as well as Dummy Cameras. If you have a CCTV Security System which includes some broken down cameras, you might want to get them fixed.

As an inexpensive theft deterrent, a Dummy Camera can be a wise investment, but it will never provide you with the protection and peace of mind that are an inherent benefit of owning a complete CCTV system.

Roy Stephenson is a Security Consultant with over 21 Years Experience Designing and Installing High End Integrated Security Systems. He is currently the VP of Marketing at www.Security-Kits.Com

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