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Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



Why CCTV Cameras are Not the Best Security Choice For Restaurants

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jan 7, 2022 9:20:35 AM

In November, a Burnaby restaurant had a significant amount of money stolen during an overnight break and enter. The criminal was caught on tape, but no apprehension has been reported to date. A week after the break in, the Burnaby RCMP were asking the public for help identifying the suspect. 

The report states that the man was seen on several surveillance cameras in the area. He can be seen going through a loading bay after trying to enter through the front door of a local mall. It does not appear that the footage was from the restaurant itself, which raises questions about whether they had their own video surveillance. 

This brings up the first of two major issues commonly seen in restaurant security – not installing video or audio surveillance. While this is alarming, it is not entirely unexpected as security is not always a top priority for restaurant owners. But with so many valuable assets from equipment and cookware to alcohol and cash, security should be made a priority for all restaurant owners. 

The second issue has to do with the type of surveillance often used by restaurants and other businesses. Based on the collected footage for this case, it is likely that many of these cameras, if not all, were traditional CCTV. A quick search of restaurant crimes in British Columbia and you can find multiple articles with video footage, all of which appear to use CCTV. 

CCTV (closed-circuit television alarms) is a type of video surveillance that uses video cameras, recorders and display monitors to record activity on a site with the aim of enhancing security. The cameras transmit live video directly to a display monitor so companies can monitor what’s going on in specific locations of their business. Cameras and monitors allow for live viewing, while recorders archive that same footage for later reference. 

Traditional CCTV security systems have been around for decades and are often used by restaurants to enhance security. The problem is, they aren’t as effective as many users think. They simply record activity in the restaurant as it happens. 

CCTV doesn’t: 

#1 -  Stop crime in action

Unless you have a security guard watching your restaurant’s CCTV footage 24/7, the video recorded on your CCTV alarms won’t stop a crime from happening. It will simply record the event so you can watch the replay and potentially release it to the public for help. By that time your restaurant will have already been damaged or stolen from. 

#2 - Deter criminals from targeting your premises

Criminals know that as long as they have a disguise or mask on, then they have a minimum of at least 20 minutes to do what they want and then get out of your restaurant without being caught. This is probably why the criminal in the Burnaby theft walked so casually past all of the cameras he was caught on. 

#3 - Provide customized surveillance for your unique requirements

If you want a half-hearted security system, then throwing up some CCTV cameras on your restaurant’s walls is the way to go. The problem is every restaurant is different. Security solutions should be designed for your unique layout. Most CCTV alarm providers simply don’t take the time to analyze your restaurant’s needs.

#4 - Help identify the criminal

In most situations, the perpetrator of a crime will conceal any identifying features. This makes it incredibly difficult for police officers to identify the criminal and makes it far less likely that police will apprehend the criminal, regardless of the time and effort put in by authorities. As a result, crimes recorded on CCTV systems are often put lower on the list of priorities when it comes to deciding which crimes to investigate.

#5 - Provide quick police response times

With 98 percent of conventional alarms being false alarms, authorities have stopped giving priority to unverified alarms, which are often used in combination with CCTV cameras. This means, even if a criminal does trigger your restaurant’s alarm system, the police may not respond for upward of 45 minutes. Instead, they will choose to direct resources to crimes that can be verified. As a result, even when an alarm is triggered, criminals have time to do damage and take off with property long before the police arrive.

Instead, you should invest in verified security.  

Verified video alarm systems give you all the video recording benefits of regular CCTV, but with additional crucial features - professional operational management and verification. This means you:

  • No longer have to worry about false alarms, as alarms are verified by security professionals at Sonitrol.
  • Can feel confident that police will respond quickly (in just 3-4 minutes on average with Sonitrol verified security solutions).
  • Can increase the rate of apprehension while minimizing losses and damage at your premises. 

And with Sonitrol systems, you can trust that your security solution was specifically designed with your restaurant in mind. Want to learn more? Contact Sonitrol Western Canada today.

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Topics: Restaurant Security

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Joe Wilson, Owner of Sonitrol Western Canada

We provide our customers with the best commercial security solutions and quality service backed by our unique Guarantee and Commitment to Service. It's something unverified conventional alarm companies simply cannot guarantee!

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