Although using a CCTV security system can provide benefit in the form of catching all activity on video, its one major drawback is the limited visibility. Most of the time, these cameras are only going to catch certain portions of an area.
Knowing that the cameras are limited to catching video within a certain range, many thieves have become good at avoiding being caught on film. In some cases, if the camera is visible, they simply disable them by cutting cable or destroying the camera itself. This is why the view of the camera is often focused on key areas of concern such as entry points, vaults and any other area where valuables are stored or dealt with.
In the case of monitoring employees or customer activity, it’s very difficult to get widespread video coverage of all areas without the installation of many cameras. Not only is this aesthetically unpleasing to the eye, but can also be cost prohibitive for most smaller business owners to install.
Careful analysis of day-to-day operations and identifying areas of concern are essential to maximizing the benefit of a CCTV security system. In businesses where robberies are common, focusing on the front door might be a key area of concern. If employee theft is an issue, then monitoring the merchandise might be a more viable option. In some cases both types of monitoring might be needed. A qualified installer should be able to adjust the camera so that theft cannot occur without the camera catching it on film. Equally important is having the camera installed so that it cannot be easily moved or manipulated. This prevents employees or customers from adjusting the camera so that the view of the camera is out of range of key areas. This might occur where the would be thief comes in ahead of a robbery to look at the business and change the angle of the camera discreetly so that when he returns, he won’t be caught on film.
Monitoring the business using a CCTV system must make the most of the angle that camera provides. Although camera field of vision is one of the biggest disadvantages to CCTV, data storage can also pose an issue where space might be limited. Since most CCTV systems today record in digital format, these video files must be stored on a server or some other form of data storage. The higher quality the video, the more space the files will consume. Having enough space to store the recorded videos can become costly dependent on the desired retention schedule and the size of the files themselves.
The level of video quality that is needed should be determined with storage space in mind. Unless the additional cost of storage space is not an issue, then often a middle range video quality will suffice to provide quality video that won’t take up a lot of storage space.
Another disadvantage to a CCTV system can be one of reliance upon a local area network. If there are network outages or issues, the video may not be able to be stored on a network device or the cameras themselves won’t be able to communicate with the main controls for the system. This is why it’s important to allow for network redundancy in the event of a network issue so that there is always a path for cameras back to the main system.
Since there are disadvantages and vulnerabilities with a CCTV system, planning and analysis is essential prior to implementation to minimize risk and allow the system to record as much pertinent activity as possible. As long as these issues are addressed, a CCTV system can provide solid evidence in the event of theft as well as keep track of employee activity. Even with these weaknesses, many business owners may still find that one of these systems still offers value and might choose to implement one for video surveillance of their place of business.