CCTV surveillance is an established way to reduce the risks of break-ins, thefts and illegal intrusions. The use of CCTV itself is nothing new, however, all too often, the footage is not reviewed in real-time, meaning that business owners can only rely on their surveillance systems to try and identify intruders after the fact.
Cameras that record movements or are integrated with audio commands can be a powerful preventative measure, but remote surveillance adds a compelling number of advantages to your security stack. In effect, it means your company is proactively monitored rather than simply supervised by a passive camera system.
In this article Clearway explains how remote surveillance works, the advantages from a commercial risk prevention perspective, and why it can be the ideal solution for organisations without the budget to station a guard on-site around-the-clock.
What is remote surveillance?
Remote surveillance is as it sounds – a team of expert responders monitoring a CCTV system to capture and respond to live events as they are live-recorded. CCTV surveillance can also be set up with remote feeds transmitted to a mobile device or monitored on-site by security personnel.
Advanced security cameras feature a wide range of functionality that enhances the value of the footage, such as 4G connectivity for tamper-proof signalling, infrared and body temperature detection cameras and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).
Using remote monitoring means that an off-site response team has access to video footage linked with alarms and alerts that allow them to analyse the situation and decide on the appropriate response to deploy immediately.
Responders work in a central control room and can use cameras to zoom in, assess the movement that has triggered an alarm, and filter out false signals, such as an animal tripping a motion sensor or verifying that the activity is planned and authorised. You can see what our remote CCTV monitoring station looks like below.
The Commercial Advantages of Remote Surveillance
One of the primary benefits of remote surveillance is that it reinforces the value of your security systems. Rather than arriving at work on a Monday morning to find a theft has occurred, business owners will know instantly when somebody tries to enter their premises, stopping the threat in its tracks.
Reduced Security Costs
Businesses are most exposed during a weekend or overnight when a premise is empty, but the cost of hiring a security guard or patrol team 24/7 can be prohibitive. CCTV is cost-effective but with limited ability to prevent crime, whereas remote monitoring makes this a far more effective way to avoid intrusions.
The CCTV cameras work continually, do not require breaks or downtime, and can be programmed to trigger an alarm when any specific movement or activity occurs. For example, you might want a responder to investigate any motion within your perimeter during hours of closure.
Companies often find that always-on remote monitoring can improve their insurance premiums, acting like a digital security guard and significantly reducing the likelihood of theft or other criminal activities.
Real-time responses and audible challenges mitigate the potential for a crime, break-in, or theft to be successfully completed meaning a business is less likely to need to file insurance claims, cover the costs of replacing stolen items or vehicles, and over the long term, can further reduce their insurance premiums.
Eliminating False Call Outs
False alarms are a nuisance and can make it difficult for companies with a limited number of keyholders who are constantly called out in the middle of the night – the majority of alarms are caused by wildlife or weather rather than active intruders.
It is also inadvisable to have untrained personnel respond to alarms, with the slim possibility they might come face to face with criminals and put their personal safety at risk.
Remote monitoring means responders will check the footage whenever an alert is raised, determine the cause, and deactivate the alarm when there is clearly no risk.
Aiding Criminal Detention and Prosecution
Organised criminals are more likely to scope a property before attempting a break-in, often scouting the location to assess the vehicles, equipment, inventory and tools on site and establishing a pattern of opening hours to identify when the site is empty and without a security presence.
Intelligent CCTV monitoring may pick up on these routines, logging vehicles, number plates and even individuals who keep returning to the site, and allowing the business and local emergency services to take action to stop them from returning or attempting a break-in.
CCTV monitoring also allows a proactive response, as well as pre-emptive surveillance, where responders will communicate with the police immediately when a crime is in progress, greatly increasing the chances that the intruder will be apprehended.
The footage collected may be used in prosecutions as evidence of a crime. It can be a useful resource for risk assessors and security consultants to track patterns and determine the access routes or areas of the site that require more robust security measures.
How can Clearway help?
Clearway’s Alarm Response Centre, or ARC, is a high-security facility with NSI Gold Cat II status, equipped with cutting-edge tech and monitoring solutions, and staffed by a qualified and experienced team.
We monitor the full scope of alarms and security systems, from fire alarms for businesses and CCTV cameras to wireless intruder alarms, vacant property security networks and panic or lone worker alarms. When any device transmits a signal, responders immediately access the live feed to determine what is happening and whether it constitutes a threat.
Live CCTV cameras provide important information and context, such as using other cameras in the network to view the activity from a different angle or activating built-in speakers to warn intruders they are being recorded, and a security response is en route.
Smart cameras with analytical functions are ideal where anything unusual, suspicious or unexpected initiates an alarm, such as instigating an investigation when a vehicle has remained on site for several hours or when a person who is not recognised by facial recognition software as an approved employee enters the premises.
If the responder has any reason to believe criminal or unauthorised activity is taking place, they can contact your keyholder, security team, on-site guard and the emergency services as necessary to dispatch a swift and targeted response.
To speak to us about our remote monitoring centre, get in touch on 0800 085 8695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org