How CCTV Systems Can Help Small Retail Stores Reduce Theft and Increase Safety

Apr 11, 2023

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Introduction to CCTV Systems

CCTV systems are now commonly used to boost and enhance security and surveillance in a range of industries. For example small retail stores or office spaces. These systems utilise cameras, monitors, and digital recorders to capture and save visual footage of a specific area. Overall, this enables live monitoring and the ability to review the captured footage later, if required.

Installing CCTV systems in small retail stores can be highly advantageous for preventing theft and ensuring safety. In fact, small businesses are often susceptible to shoplifting and employee theft. Over time, this can lead to a business suffering significant financial losses. By having CCTV cameras in place, potential thieves may be deterred from committing theft. If theft is committed, the footage captured by CCTV systems will be used to identify anyone involved.

Apart from theft prevention, CCTV systems can also be beneficial in promoting safety for both customers and employees. They can monitor the store for potential hazards such as spills, and can enable a quick response to emergencies. By implementing CCTV, our employees and customers can feel safe and secure whilst on your premises.

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UK Statistics for Theft and Vandalism

In March 2021, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported approximately 3.4m incidents of theft and 1.4m incidents of vandalism in England and Wales. Reported theft offences included theft of personal property, shoplifting, and theft from a motor vehicle. As CCTV becomes more popular amongst businesses, this number appears to decrease. This is shown through the drop of 10% compared to the previous year. Vandalism also dropped 9% when compared with the previous year. Vandalism offences included criminal damage to property, arson and graffiti.

Understanding Small Retail Store Security Challenges

Small retail stores in the UK face a variety of security challenges that can impact their profitability and overall success. For example, these challenges may include theft, vandalism, employee dishonesty and cyber threats. During your daily operations, your business will face security breaches. It is your job as a business owner to do the upmost to ensure the safety of your employees and customers.

All of the crimes listed above can cause a small business significant financial losses, especially through damage to property, loss of products and potentially any downtime in operations. Often, a small retail shop will have limited finances to invest in security measures. This makes it challenging for OHEAP to implement any comprehensive security plans. However, we have a wide range of security measures which will drastically reduce the chance of burglary and are suited for businesses of any size.

In summary, if your business is located in an area affected by high crime rates, then you are more susceptible to security breaches. As an owner, you must take proactive measures to protect your business. At OHEAP, we have the facilities to aid in supply and installation of security cameras, access control systems and intruder alarms. In addition, we are able to train employees on how to best use these security protocols.

The Benefits of CCTV Systems for Small Retail Stores

Deter Crime

Closed Circuit Television, better known as CCTV, is used as a tool to deter crime. For this reason, many businesses install cameras in the hope that those entering the shop are less likely to commit crimes. Especially if they know they are being monitored and recorded. Often, placing visible cameras in public places, such as shopping centres, can deter criminals from committing crimes in that area.

Some businesses even opt for a cheaper method, such as dummy CCTV cameras or signage. Putting up signs that say “CCTV in operation” can also be an effective deterrent. Customers will then know that they are being watched and recorded, even if they can’t see the cameras themselves.

Reduce Shoplifting

CCTV can reduce shoplifting by acting as a deterrent. For example, people who know they are being watched, are less likely to steal. Especially because they know the chance of being caught is much higher. Additionally, if a shoplifter does steal, CCTV footage can be used as evidence to help identify and prosecute them, which can act as a further deterrent to others who may consider shoplifting. CCTV is just one of many tools that can combat shoplifting, we also recommend having staff members present or improving the shop layout.

Provide Evidence

Thirdly, CCTV systems are often used as a tool to provide evidence in various settings. CCTV cameras are utilised in public spaces or in businesses to deter crime and capture footage of incidents that may occur.

When it comes to providing evidence, CCTV footage can be useful. For example, when a crime such as an assault or theft occurs, CCTV footage can be used to identify the offender. From this, we can then provide evidence to help bring them to justice. Similarly, in a workplace or business setting, CCTV footage can be used to investigate incidents of theft, vandalism or harassment. The footage can help identify the perpetrator and provide evidence to support disciplinary action or legal proceedings.

Improve Employee Safety

CCTV can improve employee safety in the workplace. For example, using CCTV, we can monitor potentially hazardous areas and protect our employees. Often this solution is provided to those working in construction sites, manufacturing plants and warehouses. We have however implemented these measures in retail shops too. Through CCTV, we can identify any safety hazards or spills and rectify these before they cause an accident.

Lastly, with the use of CCTV, we can deter unsafe behaviour from our employees. We can encourage those working to use PPE and avoid unsafe behaviour by knowing they are being watched or recorded.

Lower Insurance Premiums

Installing CCTV cameras can lower insurance premiums for businesses. CCTV cameras can deter criminal activities, which will subsequently reduce the risk of theft and vandalism. This reduced risk can make insurance companies more willing to offer lower premiums to policyholders who have CCTV cameras installed.

The impact on insurance premiums may vary depending on the insurer and the specific circumstances of the property in question. Some insurers may offer significant discounts for CCTV installation, while others may offer only modest savings. Moreover, insurance companies may have specific requirements for the type and placement of CCTV cameras, and policyholders should ensure they meet these requirements to qualify for any potential discounts. To compare contents insurance, click here.

Implementing CCTV Systems in a Small Retail Store

Assess Your Store’s Needs and Choose the Right Equipment

Firstly, consider the size of your shop. This will include the number of entry/exit points and the location of high-value merchandise. We must also take into account any previous incidents of theft or other security issues. Then based on your assessment, we can determine the areas of your store that need to be covered with CCTV cameras. We recommend installing cameras that offer high-resolution video, wide-angle views, and IR capabilities. Consider whether you want to use wired or wireless cameras.

Install the Cameras

Secondly, we focus on the installation of your CCTV cameras. Once you have chosen your cameras, it’s time to install them. At OHEAP, we will place the cameras strategically to cover the areas you identified. We will opt to place the cameras at entry and exit points, high-value merchandise areas, and points of sale. Also, it’s important to ensure the cameras are installed securely and cannot be easily tampered with.

Frequently Asked Questions for CCTV

Q: What is CCTV?

A: CCTV stands for closed-circuit television. It is a system of video cameras that are used for surveillance and security purposes.

Q: What are the components of a CCTV system?

A: CCTV systems typically consist of cameras, a video recorder with storage, a monitor, and cables.

Q: What are the types of CCTV cameras?

A: There are many types of CCTV cameras available, including dome cameras, bullet cameras, turret cameras, PTZ cameras, and covert cameras.

Q: What is the difference between analogue and IP cameras?

A: Analogue cameras use traditional coaxial cables to transmit video footage to the recorder, while IP cameras use network cables and transmit footage digitally.

Q: What is the resolution of CCTV cameras?

A: The resolution of CCTV cameras ranges from standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD) and even ultra high definition (UHD) or 4K.

Q: What is the best location for CCTV cameras?

A: The best locations for CCTV cameras depend on the specific security needs of the property, but generally, cameras should be placed in areas where they can capture clear footage of potential threats, such as entrances and exits.

Q: Can CCTV footage be used as evidence in court?

A: Yes, CCTV footage can be used as evidence in court, provided that it meets certain criteria such as being clear and unaltered.

Q: What is CCTV remote viewing?

A: Remote viewing is the ability to access CCTV footage from a remote location using a computer, smartphone, or other device.

Q: How long can CCTV footage be stored?

A: The length of time that CCTV footage can be stored varies depending on the storage capacity of the recorder and the settings configured by the user.

Q: Are CCTV systems expensive?

A: The cost of a CCTV system depends on the number of cameras, the type of cameras, and the features of the CCTV systems in question, but there are affordable options available for most budgets.

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