The answer to Auckland's rising crime rates: CCTV cameras

Apr 2


Timofey Pavlov

Timofey Pavlov

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Auckland is facing alarmingly rising crime rates year on year, especially property crime like break-ins and robberies. The news are filled with stories about ram raids, and for a good reason - 2022 saw Auckland suffer almost 24,000 break-ins to homes and businesses. The solution to this worrying trend is in plain sight: well designed and placed CCTV surveillance systems.


How modern CCTV cameras fight crime

In the modern day,The answer to Auckland's rising crime rates: CCTV cameras Articles security cameras are one of the best layers of security for any property, residential or commercial. They are an excellent front line measure, spotting intruders and suspicious action, as well as providing solid footage to use in investigations and prosecutions. In the past cameras could not actively respond to crime, but this has changed with the advent of remote monitoring. There are now three fundamental uses for a CCTV camera to fight crime.

Powerful visual deterrent

First and foremost, security cameras act as a visual psychological deterrent. Whilst they are not a physical obstacle like a bollard (very popular in Auckland against ram raids), a security fence, barbed wire, or a gate, they create a mental stress for any would-be intruders. Their presence, especially if supported by dedicated "24/7 CCTV surveillance" signs, let burglars know they are under constant surveillance. That all their movements and actions are recorded and monitored.

Undeniable evidence of crime

A big part of the deterrent effect is the recorded security footage that cameras produce. However this evidence has a bigger part to play than simply being a deterrent. It deters because of what it will be used for: police investigations and legal prosecutions.

Well designed CCTV systems will be placed in such a way that all of the intruder's movements are constantly monitored. More importantly, it also provides a high quality picture of the suspect's appearance. Clothes, facial features, physicality, weapons used, vehicles and their registration plates, and even how the suspect walks (gait) are all valuable unique characteristics that help massively in identifying a suspect.

If all of this is captured, especially facial features if the person is unmasked, it makes investigations and prosecution a cakewalk. The more solid, undeniable evidence you have, the better. There are countless cases in Auckland where high quality footage was able to punish perpetrators of various crimes due to following their movements and identifying them and their getaway vehicles.

Active crime response through remote monitoring

Briefly mentioning remote monitoring above, this is a technology that has revolutionized the security industry. In short: it is the ability to view your camera feed from anywhere in the world in real time. Aside from providing you with great peace of mind that there are eyes on your property around the clock, it can and has been used as an active response tool.

Remote monitoring gives you the power of instant response. Especially if you are working with a 24/7 security monitoring service. As soon as an alarm is triggered either by your alarm sensors like glass break or motion detection, or by your CCTV camera's built in motion detection, you can identify and respond to the threat.

If its simply a bug or a shadow that fell across the sensor/cameras field of view, you will be able to connect to the camera and identify a false alarm. However if it is an intruder, you will be able to identify a real threat just as fast, and you can call out law enforcement within half a minute. Every second counts during a break-in, potentially costing you thousands of dollars every minute. The faster you can respond, the better.

There are cases from the recent Auckland floods where looters where apprehended by police in the act because business owners were keeping an eye on their camera systems from home.

How widespread CCTV will reduce crime

Individual properties having CCTV is powerful on its own, as case studies and statistics show. However there is an argument to be made for a widespread installation of CCTV to provide continuous footage around the area of a break-in or other crime.

Many criminals are not stupid enough to leave their vehicles in plain sight of the property they are targetting, often parking over a hundred meters away, or behind a corner. Usually this would be a lapse in the security evidence. However if other properties around the area also have CCTV, police can gather all the footage and create a long continuous trail of evidence allowing the vehicle and other associates to be identified.

This has already been used in the past in Wellington to catch a repeat daytime burglar in a single neighbourhood. The possibilities of a large scale continuous CCTV network are limitless.

Conclusion: CCTV to stop crime

High quality evidence is key to fighting crime. CCTV systems are an excellent tool to fight crime through their visual deterrent effect, as well as active response through remote monitoring, and providing said evidence for police investigations and court proceedings.

Business areas and residential neighbourhoods should strive to distribute security cameras on a continuous basis to raise the security of the entire area. This is a clear solution to Auckland's rising burglaries and ram raids that seem to have no end in sight.

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