City & Towns

Video Surveillance for Cities and Towns

As cities and towns expand, security in common areas like parks and  downtowns becomes more and more important. A constant stream of  consumers and visitors are vital for the success of restaurants and  local businesses, and video surveillance is a great security tool to  keep consumers safe and towns thriving. Already in widespread use in  Britain, more and more cities and local governments in the US and  Canada are beginning to install surveillance cameras in public areas.

Benefits of Municipal Surveillance

Increased Business – Cameras  posted in high-traffic and risky areas can help reduce street crime and  encourage more consumer traffic to stores and restaurants, increasing  business and local revenue.

Reduction in Crime – Security  cameras in public places can help reduce crime and vandalism, and  assist law enforcement in apprehending criminals whose malfeasance is  caught on camera.

Improvement of Public Areas – By  bringing in additional business and encouraging use of public spaces,  public surveillance cameras can help make parks, public squares and  city sidewalks better and more hospitable for everyone.

Increased cooperation between businesses and government – One  unexpected benefit of surveillance cameras in public places is improved  relationships between businesses and local governments. An example of  this is Morgantown, West Virginia. There, the city government has begun  to offer incentives to businesses who install surveillance cameras.  Agreements like this one may foster better relationships between  businesses and governments while boosting security.

Risks of Downtown Security Cameras

Privacy – Make  sure that your public surveillance cameras do not point into any  private areas – like apartments, businesses or offices, or other areas  where the owners wish not to be recorded.

Damage – Outdoor  cameras can be damaged by a number of factors – including weather, car  accidents and vandalism. Store your cameras in environment-controlled  housings that can protect them from rain and extremes of heat and cold.

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Civic Surveillance System

Every  town is different, and no two areas will have the exact same security  needs. Consider the following when choosing and installing your  security system to ensure the right fit:

  • Are there areas of your town or city that you think would benefit from public surveillance cameras?
  • Have you had any issues with public gatherings in the past year? If so, where?
  • Where do you think surveillance cameras would be most beneficial?

Best Practices for Surveillance Cameras in Urban Areas

  • Place cameras in areas advantageous to recording, but also be aware of the camera’s safety.
  • Consider an incentive plan for businesses to install complementary security cameras.