The past few years have seen a dramatic shift in our economy. From a change in spending habits of the unemployed to the extension of benefits leading to labor shortages, companies across the country have had to try to reconfigure their business plan to accommodate customers and still earn a profit.
But one problem has remained, unfortunately. Dishonest people still abound, and there are plenty of them all overlooking to take advantage of any hole in security they can find.
In recent years, crime such as theft has seen an increase in the U.S. With 2021 showing an increase in productivity and retail sales, criminals could be rationalizing excuses to even things out by stealing from hard-working business owners to line their own pockets instead. Even when stores were closed in 2020, crime within them rose by 14%, leading business owners to consider the best preventative measures to take to make sure their store did not become another statistic.
It is necessary to prepare for preventable damages. One major crime deterrent that every business should take advantage of is CCTV (Closed Circuit TV), otherwise known as security cameras. Several reasons attribute to the need for such action.
- CCTV can make a potential thief re-think their crime, knowing how easily they can be identified and caught.
- CCTV can be how you catch the thief, should someone still be bold enough to go through with the crime.
- Data from CCTV recording is reliable and non-biased and can be used to track customers for several other reasons.
Now that you have been assured of your need for CCTV in your business, it’s time to think of the best way to set it up. Since a wide view of the entire store might cause the finer details of the subjects in question to suffer, it’s a better idea to place multiple cameras throughout your store. Strategic points of location are necessary for your cameras. Make sure you have these spots in your plan:
- Entry/Exit Points
Other than the deterrent of being the first thing seen by those entering your building, having CCTV cameras at all of your entry and exit points can offer other benefits as well. It’s a way to keep track of all the people who come and go within your business. With this information, you can track data about the times of day when specific demographics of customers who do their shopping at your establishment. You can also analyze the tape to look for particular individuals you may need to track down. But of course, you can also use the recordings to give descriptions to authorities of anyone coming or going when your store experiences theft. As long as cameras are positioned so that light favors the recording, you should be able to give a good account to authorities of any suspicious behavior happening within your store.
- Storage Areas
The storage room or warehouse is another place that needs to be protected from internal predators. This area is where other employees need to keep their valuables, such as purses, unattended. Also, as an area not open and visible to many eyes, it’s easy to sneak off with inventory in a less than obvious manner while preparing to go home for the night. Employees who know their moves are recorded might be less inclined to rifle through others’ belongings and give legs to the inventory.
- Point of Sale
If you had only one camera to use, you would want it positioned to view the main area where transactions take place. The cash register, or anywhere else in your store where money is exchanged, is the number one place thieves target for their crime. If time is short, they will go for the one place they know they can find value. It is easier to implicate such a criminal from the exact spot of the crime than estimating who it could be from the front door camera. It’s also essential to have a camera here to deter employee crime or have a way of identifying such a problem should it occur since they will likely not be exiting through the front door immediately after their transaction. Beyond limiting theft, the footage from this camera can be used to settle disputes with customers as well, protecting you from a sneakier-type crime.
- Reception Area
Reception is the place where you get to know your customers. You can get to know who is coming and going from your establishment. Chances are this is also where your customer will spend a good deal of their time. Surveying over the tape from cameras located here can help you know who is spending time at your company and how much time they are spending there. Beyond identifying possible thieves, you could also ascertain other valuable information for your business, such as how long your customer is waiting to be seen, what your customers (and employees) do with their time while in the area, and how they come or go. For example, do you have customers leaving in a huff after waiting a long time? Are your employees greeting customers upon arrival? Good business begins at reception – see how well your company fares.
- Areas with High-Value Merchandise
It may seem obvious, but don’t overlook placing cameras in areas with expensive goods. This will likely be the main point of interest for potential thieves. It’s also a good way to get shots of the criminal’s face, as they are more likely to hide it after the deed is done and running through the door. If you are in a business where all your merchandise is of high value, you may need to purchase more cameras or position them to cover more ground with each one.
Why not take a preemptive approach and look for the bandits before they even enter your establishment? Few successful thieves are random or spontaneous in their targets. Many thieves prefer to scope out their victims ahead of time; however, it’s usually from a safe distance. If you point a camera outside of your place of business, you can look at sketchy dealings going on before anyone enters the building. You can catch the ones lingering too long, watching too closely, or deciding not to come in at all after a long look. Perhaps you can then draw in your employees to warn them to look out for those people or such suspicious behaviors to prevent damage from occurring to begin with.
Installing CCTV is just one component of a complete security system. Keep your business safe with a visit from Grand Slam. We’ll walk you through everything you need within your budget for a customized experience.