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Are Chicago Business Security Cameras Really Worth It?

  • May 1, 2015
  • by Carlos Lopez

Security camera setups have become more common as technology has advanced. Where they were once reserved only for high-end stores it’s now possible for every store to set up its own wireless camera system that looks like something out of a James Bond film. The question that many people, from mom-and-pop store owners to those who run multi-story shopping centers are asking is do video camera prevent crime?

The answer is complicated.

The Factors In Crime Prevention

Video cameras can prevent crime, but according to this source you can’t just stick a camera on a pole and expect criminal activity to dry up. Cameras have to be visible, and people have to believe the cameras are being actively monitored in order for them to act as a deterrent. If someone is aware that he or she is being monitored, and that there is a human one the other end of that camera they’re less likely to commit a crime.

The City of Chicago, for example, spent $190,000 per month on its surveillance systems in Humboldt Park and West Garfield Park, but saved more than $800,000 on criminal justice costs as well as on the financial costs victims would otherwise have been subject too. The study that compared different camera setups throughout the city found that the cameras has to be properly installed and monitored in order to be effective, though.

The Additional Value of Cameras

While cameras are a deterrent in some cases they are always valuable when it comes to solving crimes that are committed. When crimes do happen (shoplifting, robbery, vandalism, etc.) a camera acts as an eye-in-the-sky that records the entire event without blinking or turning away. Footage of a crime is often instrumental in investigating the incident, and it ensures that while an incident may happen once that a store is prepared the next time it happens.

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