When we wake up in the morning, get ready for the day, bring the kids to school, and go off to work, we leave our houses, condos, and apartments vulnerable to anything. No matter how many locks and alarms a home may have, there is always the potential for a crime like theft, vandalism, break-ins, and other illegal activity. For parents with young children who stay home with a babysitter, or teenagers who come home from school by themselves, or elderly parents who are home by themselves, security cameras can help ensure that families and homes are safe.
Security camera systems for homes have tons of benefits, but here are just a few:
- Crime prevention and deterrence;
- Obtaining evidence of a crime;
- Obtaining evidence to be used in court;
- Obtaining evidence to bring to the police;
- Identifying an intruder;
- Monitoring children and teenager’s activities when home alone;
- Monitoring babysitters, housekeepers, nannies, tutors, and others inside the home; and
- Track activity going on in the backyard or surrounding area.
Many homeowners brush off the idea of having cameras installed because not only does it mean there are “watching eyes” all the time, but they feel that it is pointless. Homes that are in low-crime areas or wealthy neighborhoods may not even think about taking this extra measure of security because it may be unnecessary. This thought process may be a rationalization that many people use to justify not getting surveillance and convincing themselves that they are safe.
Unfortunately, homes in high-crime areas can be the target of crimes based on opportunity. When a criminal sees a home down the street that looks like no one is home and there are no cameras, it could be a good opportunity for them. Homes in low-crime or wealthy neighborhoods can be the target of crimes based on quality. Thieves will find homes that look “rich” where they can score big and get a lot of valuable items. Even mid-sized homes in average areas are the target of crimes, theft, break-ins, vandalism, or burglary. No one and no home is immune from crime and can be targeted at any time. This is why it is so critical to living by the phrase, “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.” This is exactly why surveillance is so important for homes and families to stay safe.
Although this is a discussion about security camera systems for homes, there was a study done in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington D.C. on the use of public security cameras and the degree in which they helped with the crime rates. The study particularly wanted to see if cameras actually deterred crime, or if it just caused crime to occur in areas that were beyond the cameras’ reach. The findings were positive and showed that cameras were a deterrent and did not merely displace crime. This study tells us that even in public places, were crime is more prevalent than in neighborhoods, camera security has an impact on criminal activity. When people know that they are being watched, they are on their best behavior.
Security cameras can be used for more obscure reasons other than just criminal activity. Each family has unique circumstances that it faces from infidelity, domestic disputes, suspected abuse, babysitter issues, and more. Security cameras can be relied on to catch anything and everything that can take place. Security cameras can also monitor teenagers when parents go away for the weekend, or be placed on a certain object, such as a safe or jewelry box. Cameras can also catch a cheating spouse or get to the bottom of missing items that go missing after people come to a home. Cameras can also be used to monitor garages, guest homes, sheds, backyards, vehicles, and boats.
Depending on the situation, different types of cameras may be used based on what they are “watching”. For monitoring tutors, nannies, or other people that work inside a home, inconspicuous, covert cameras are the best approach. For outdoor cameras or porch cameras, the approach may be to use a visible camera because it could help with crime deterrence. There are three main types of security camera systems that could be used including home security surveillance, property surveillance, and targeted video surveillance. All three of these options can also take photographs, instead of video, if needed.
Home security surveillance is typically covert and monitors the inside of a home, while homeowners are away. Property surveillance can be used to monitor the backyard, driveway, porch, and surrounding area of a home. The outside of a home can hold a lot of valuable property like vehicles, tractors, furniture, tools, and bikes. Targeted surveillance uses cameras or other imaging equipment to record a specific event or person. Typical situations that require targeted surveillance are cheating spouse, suspected abuse, individuals suspected of a crime, and more. Private investigators are highly trained in the use of all three types of camera surveillance and understand privacy laws that would affect the legality of the surveillance.
If you or your family believes that your home, property, or loved ones may be in danger, do not hesitate called Advanced Investigations to talk about what options are best for your situation. At the very least, speaking with an investigator could help you with your own surveillance needs or advise you on the legality of surveillance video or imaging.