Video Surveillance for Courthouses
Tight security is important in courthouses where any disturbance can disrupt order and potentially turn violent. While such incidents are not the norm, the threat of fights, and even shootings in courthouses is entirely real, and does happen. Video surveillance installations can play an integral role in maintaining a proper level of courthouse security.
Benefits of Courthouse Surveillance
Deter Violence – The presence of security cameras in a courthouse can stop violent acts before they start, if potential instigators know they are under watch.
Monitor for Criminal Activity – Properly situated surveillance cameras enable operators to keep an eye on video feeds so that incidents of criminal activity can be spotted and responded to quickly.
Protect Employees – The sad reality is that tensions in courthouses can be extremely high, at times resulting in outbursts from suspects and other individuals towards court employees. Video surveillance can help to spot such incidents, helping to stop them before things get out of hand.
Provide Visual Evidence – Should an incident or disturbance of some sort occur in or around the courthouse, security cameras can serve to provide a visual record of what transpired, in case the situations requires close investigation.
Sophisticated Search Capabilities – With IP surveillance, video footage is stored digitally, archived on network servers, hard drives, or network video recorders, rather than on clunky analogue video cassettes. Digital video footage is much easier to scour through, when looking for images detailing a specific event.
Remote Video Monitoring – IP surveillance cameras transmit digital video feeds over a network, which enables authorized users to access video footage remotely via the Internet. Many IP cameras even allow the user to remotely control pan, tilt, and zoom functions for more detailed viewing.
Risks of Security Cameras in Court Buildings
Vandalism – There’s always a chance that someone will attempt to tamper with a security camera. If a camera is damaged, the signal could be lost. Other security measures should be in place in order to make up for the loss of coverage.
Configuration of Courthouse and Courtroom Surveillance Cameras
- When determining the appropriate video surveillance system for a courthouse and courtroom setting, consider the following factors:
- What type of physical security personnel does the courthouse have in place.
- What sort of security systems is the facility currently equipped with?
- Have there been incidents of violent outbursts within the courthouse?
- Has criminal activity taken place within or around the facility?
- What are the highest-risk areas for potential incidents in the courthouse?
- Have there been reported instances where courthouse employees were attacked or forced to endure dangerous situations on the premises?
Courthouse Video Surveillance Installation Advice
- Position surveillance cameras at all entrances and exits so anyone who enters or exits the court building is clearly captured on camera.
- Use video surveillance to monitor all public areas within the building such as hallways and lobbies for criminal activity and disruptive behaviour.
- Install security cameras throughout the courtroom in order to monitor all activity and to collect visual accounts of all that goes on within the facility.
- Provide comprehensive video surveillance of areas both inside and outside the courthouse.