Why Add Video Surveillance in Your Community
A Case Study
With one security vehicle patrolling the property and guards manning only 2 of the 21 gates of the 4000-property community, it became a challenge for this Owners’ Association to quickly identify incidents such as illegal visitors, loitering and gate damage. After complaints began to crop up from residents – ranging from allegations that the gates had damaged their vehicles to groups of teenagers loitering on the grounds – the Association realized that they needed additional surveillance.
“We desperately needed to increase our ability to monitor and record activity at all gated entry points,” said the HOA’s general manager. “The easiest and most effective solution was to add network surveillance cameras around the property to help complement our live security patrol.”
Before leveraging network video, the security staff could only hope to be in the right place at the right time. Now the Association can quickly dispatch its patrolling officers during an incident. They’ve seen a significant decrease in vandalism and gate damage, as well as loitering and illegal tailgating throughout the community. Shortly after installation, the security staff identified a teenager who had forgotten his access code and attempted to drive around the gate, causing costly damage to the gate and surrounding landscaping. Using the high-quality footage to determine the license plate number of the young man, the security team was able to easily identify the resident and hold him accountable for the property damages.
Additionally, thanks to quick video retrieval capabilities and high-resolution images, the HOA often provides video evidence to local law enforcement. The community’s security team has helped identify drunk drivers as well as charge perpetrators for leaving the scene of an accident.
“In order to protect our community, finding a system that would work for our specific needs was vital,” added the HOA General Manager. “The quality of technology we received from this network video system went beyond our expectations and has truly proven that there is no better way to monitor our community and provide our residents the level of security they expect.”
Protection of Your People and Property
Providing a Video Surveillance System for your community enhances the community’s existing gated access control system by creating a “second layer” of security to the system.
- Crime Prevention – The mere visible presence of CCTV cameras is often enough to reduce the rate of crime in a community. Individuals that think their actions are being monitored will not, in most cases, follow through on their criminal intents. Additionally, unauthorized entry into the community can be deterred if the individual believes their coming and going will be recorded. In the event a crime is committed, a recording of the events can be turned over to the authorities to aid in their investigation and prosecution of the crime.
- Compliance with Existing Access Control Systems – When your residents are aware that the use of your access control system is being observed and recorded, they are more likely to comply with the system’s requirements. The incidence of allowing access to the community and its amenities by unverified individuals is reduced and, when it occurs, you will have a video record of the incident to compare to the activity log that may be available from the access control system.
- Reduction of “Tailgating” – Tailgating, the act of a vehicle or individual entering the secured area by following an authorized individual through the access point before it is re-secured, can create a large vulnerability in any secured community. By creating a video record of all entrance and exit traffic through an access point, this activity is discouraged since the tailgating individual will often realize that their act will be caught by the system. In the event an incident occurs during the time a Tailgater is in a secured area, the community will have the ability to determine who the individual is and pursue that individual if they are liable for the incident.
- Verify Employees are Behaving Properly – When dealing with security guards, gate attendant, lifeguards, concierge and similar community employees, having video surveillance of the areas they are working in will give the community further assurance that they are doing their jobs correctly and professionally. In addition to improving employee performance when they know they are being observed, complaints or incidents involving these employees can be investigated more thoroughly when there is a video record of the incident available.
Providing a Video Surveillance System for your community can often pay for itself very quickly by reducing the cost of losses currently being suffered by the community.
- Reduce Losses from Vandalism and Theft - By recording areas of critical activity, your community can reduce the costs of vandalism and theft. Often just the presence of cameras monitoring of entrances and exits, swimming pools and other amenities will discourage individuals from committing acts of vandalism or theft and, when an incident does occur, will provide valuable evidence of those involved and the ability to recoup your expenses.
- Reduce Losses from Fraudulent Claims for Property and Personal Damages – By recording the actual sequence of events in the common areas of your community, you can more readily defend your community from fraudulent claims for damages to property or persons. If a serious crime takes place, it is very likely that the association will be named as a defendant, in which case being able to provide police and attorneys with video of the incident to support the community’s position is invaluable in sorting out exactly what occurred.
A Competitive Advantage
Providing a Video Surveillance System for your community enhances the community’s reputation in the marketplace.
- Shows You Care About Your Residents and Their Safety – The presence of video surveillance in a community indicates that that community takes the safety and security of their residents seriously. When a community incurs the added costs and services necessary to properly implement a video surveillance system, residents will take pride in their community and are more likely to recommend their community to others.
- Stand Out in the Marketplace – By “going the extra mile” and offering video surveillance as part of your community’s security measures, you will be an early adapter of this technology and perceived as a market leader. The premium nature of this feature often translates into additional revenues for the community as individuals see the value of the offering.
The Need for Video Surveillance
Whatever reasons resonate with you or your community, digital technology has made the necessity of video surveillance an affordable reality today.
Technology is an integral part of everything we do on a daily basis. It secures our airports, government offices, schools, and hospitals. It only makes sense to use technology in our communities. Technology can enhance existing security by being employed in conjunction with live guards, or alternatively, it can be used in conjunction with an access control system to replace or redeploy live guards in order to provide increased coverage in addition to cost savings.
You can’t intimidate a camera and the camera is always awake, is never sick and doesn’t take vacations. Advanced digital cameras equipped with video analytics can tell the difference between a tree branch blowing in the wind and a trespasser breaching a digital perimeter. Video surveillance can be done in parking lots, pool areas, tennis courts, tot lots, parks, inside and outside of buildings and anywhere else your community needs protection.
Communities have significantly reduced vandalism at their amenities by adding video technology. And the advantages of having video verification and archiving of people and events is invaluable to communities. Communities have found that by implementing technology at their gate points, they have enhanced security while staying within a reasonable budget.
While there are many sources for video surveillance equipment available today, Sunbelt Gated Access Systems has the expertise and experience in securing gated entries, pedestrian gates, swimming pools and other amenities necessary to provide you with an effective and affordable video surveillance system for these areas. Fully licensed and insured, we can combine resident and visitor access controls and video surveillance into “turnkey” solutions to the access control needs of your community.