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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

What good are security cameras if no one is monitoring them?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (20332 points ) December 28th, 2013

Homes have them, banks have them, stores, and construction sites; security camera about the property. If there is no real-time monitoring of the camera how effective or useful is it? Even if you see the young man in the Gray hoodie come on to your property and steals your expensive lawn décor, if you can’t see his face what good is it? Even if you do see his face, you don’t know who he is, so how would that help you? The best most security cameras seem to do, IMO, is let you know you been ripped off, but does little to help you catch who ripped you off. Once the person has your goods and are gone, they are difficult to catch. Many times the quality of the video doesn’t even give you enough detail of the face, you may even have difficulty telling if it is a light-skinned African American man or a Hispanic male if he has a hoodie or a beanie on.

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Who stills MY purse, stills trash.

Judi's avatar

Well, we had them on our house and someone stole the cameras! We got a good picture of them. If they had stollen anything else the police might have pursued it.

hearkat's avatar

We’ve had images from security cameras help catch thieves in our area, after the images have been posted on social media.

jaytkay's avatar

Boston Marathon bombing?

LuckyGuy's avatar

The cameras can, and should, be set up to have a 30 second pre-trigger to record activity that occurred 30 seconds before the motion sensor picked it up. Once the motion sensing system picks up activity in the region of interest, some or all of the following take place: the images are recorded and stored on a HDD at a different location, a live video feed is sent to the owner’s smart phone, the live feed is sent to a monitor, an audible and/or silent alarm is activated.
All cameras begin recording to track the escape route and license numbers of any vehicle that are in the area.
Some systems might even offer a form of aggressive countermeasures.

YARNLADY's avatar

They are very helpful after a crime has occurred in catching the criminal. It isn’t necessary to monitor them constantly.

JLeslie's avatar

If they are recording they can help see a mistake an employee made, it could be for learning purposes. Catch an employee stealing. Help identify a burglar, or a bomber (someone mentioned the Boston marathon) or a petty theif. Help you find a lost item.

dougiedawg's avatar

They are a deterrent to would be thieves who aren’t stupid;)

bolwerk's avatar

For the pigs: evidence gathering

For everyone else: target practice

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@YARNLADY They are very helpful after a crime has occurred in catching the criminal. It isn’t necessary to monitor them constantly.
After the crime is over and all you have is the image of a person that is maybe between 17yr and 25yr, 5’9” or so, 170ish pounds in a hoodie, no clear view if his face, or is it a hefty her, what could be African American, Hispanic or Middle Eastern, how is that going to help? If you can’t I.D. the thief what good is the image? If you can’t get the cops or armed security over there before they get away, the camera is nearly useless. If you get a good screen capture you might get lucky posting it on social media and hoping someone drops a dime on him/her, but barring that, all you get is how they burned you.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central The police in our area aren’t even responding to burglaries in progress, or after the fact. They are too busy with higher priority crimes.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I once had a really, really nice Fuji bike. It was clean, light as a feather, stripped down to one front elliptical gear. Simple elegance. Very expensive. Perfect for a sweet ride on flat urban terrain. Day-Glo green. Sealed bearings, titanium, carbon fiber. Strong, almost zero maintenance. I loved it. Cherished it. If it was human, I would have married it.

I used it in my daily commute to my job at the St. Petersburg, Florida Health Department. The bike rack, used by both clients and employees, was just left of the front doors. Bolted to the wall just above the rack, there was a nice, re-assuring metal sign that read, ”This Area Under Video Surveillance.”

One day after work, I went out the front door to find my beautiful Fuji gone. Gone. The heavy cable lock had been Freoned and snapped in broad daylight during the height of business hours right there in front of one of the busiest doorways in downtown St. Petersburg. I didn’t even know you could do that.

After an initial moment of panic and loss, I went straight back inside to the security office which was just inside the front doors—just on the other side of the wall from the bike rack. I told them about my missing bike and asked that they review the tape to see who the son of a bitch was that stole my bike. My plan was to get a still of the guy—his face, if possible—and go to every department inside the building and ask if he was being seen there. We’d have a complete file on the dumb bastard. I’d get his ID, then address, then cops, then the return of my bike. No problem.

So these fucking minimum wage rent-a-cops tell me that they can’t help me. I ask why not. They say that there is no camera actually pointed at the bike rack, that the camera is pointed away from the rack toward the north corner of the building instead. I couldn’t believe these guys. I asked them what good that did them in solving thefts. They didn’t give a shit. They had no control over the placement of the cameras they said. I wanted to kill. I remember thinking that if I did my job like these slobs, there would be dead people all over Pinellas County. I went to my boss. He shrugged his shoulders. Sorry, not his department. I called the cops. They said they couldn’t help me. Suggested I go down to the park and look for it and if I found it, give them a call.

And that was that. Now, no matter what bike I own, no matter what the price I pay, no matter how beautiful its appointments, I paint the frame and all possible components flat, matte black. No brightwork. Nothing shiny and purdy for some lame son of a bitch to be attracted to. All my bikes look like B-2 bombers.

God, I can’t believe I’m still pissed off over this.

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dougiedawg's avatar

I once had some lumber ripped off my jobsite at the local resort. They had installed the cameras at both exits but I was told they weren’t in operation! I was pissed that no one gave a sh*t enough to protect a lowly builder from thievery. Had it been a break-in I’m sure the cameras would have magically started working since property owners pay dues. Lesson learned.

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