Recently we dealt with an incident that highlighted the importance of remote monitoring in preventing crimes.
Remote monitoring is a reactive security measure – that means our security operators are only notified of an incident occurring when CCTV cameras and detectors on site are triggered and an alarm is raised. Remote monitoring cannot predict when an alarm is going to be raised or why it might be raised – but when we do receive an alarm we act swiftly to analyse the situation and react appropriately.
Yet that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for remote monitoring in preventing crimes from occurring.
When our operators responded to an alarm from a petrol station on Sunday 12 March at 01:26 they quickly spotted an individual acting suspiciously on a bike near the carwash area. The incident was straightforward enough. The police were called and consequently attended the site to move the individual on. No offences could be determined to warrant an arrest.
Although this incident is simple enough it made us think: what if that individual had been left to roam the site? Could they have continued to commit a crime?
Ultimately we don’t know the answer to that question – but the owner of the petrol station recognised the benefits of moving the suspicious individual from her site swiftly.
Mrs Gill, owner of the petrol station, said that Farsight’s “reaction was brilliant” and that she will “sleep better at night knowing [Farsight] are monitoring [her] petrol station.”
With all that in mind, exactly how can remote monitoring be of use in preventing crime?
1. Remote monitoring can stop incidents from escalating
As with the incident detailed previously, remote monitoring and the reaction of Farsight operators meant a crime may have been prevented. Although the individual may have been on the site in all innocence, they equally could have had gone on to steal from or damage the petrol station.
In this incident in particular, the site is classed as a commercial site – customers and visitors come and go from the site. However, Farsight operators work to distinguish well-intentioned visitors from those who could pose a risk. Immediately, the individual in the incident mentioned, raises a red flag – they are on a bike in a petrol station and not using the convenience store. They lingered on the site for a length of time and showed no intention of leaving.
It’s essential that operators are able to swiftly recognise a possible risk to a site. It’s not always possible to do but if it is, it can play a key role in preventing incidents from escalating and crimes being committed.
2. The presence of remotely monitored CCTV can be a deterrent
By simply having signs on site announcing that the CCTV cameras are remotely monitored you could be preventing a crime from taking place. Although some criminals will be determined to commit a crime, others may be deterred from a site by knowing security operators will monitor their movements if they trigger detectors and CCTV cameras.
Beyond that, if intruders have ignored warning signs and continue to proceed onto the site, triggering an alarm to be sent to Farsight, then – if possible – operators will issue an audio warning.
Audio warnings act as a further deterrent to intruders. They notify them, live, that they are being monitored and ask them to leave the site – in many instances, this is enough to make the intruder leave, potentially preventing a crime from occurring.
3. Remote monitoring can catch out repeat visitors
Occasionally, the more determined intruders will visit a site to have a recce and potentially plan a later theft.
Remote monitoring can be key in these situations. Essentially, operators are able to spot and recognise repeat visitors to a site in unusual circumstances – they are able to become savvy to their actions and watch out for them if they return to the site.
All in all, remote monitoring has many security benefits – and to some extent can prevent crimes from escalating. The key to it all is that if CCTV cameras are left unmonitored, footage from an incident can only be reviewed and potentially used as evidence. With remote monitoring in place, intruders can be stopped in their tracks before any damage is caused.
Find out more about how remote CCTV monitoring works.