Study says guards are better than CCTV

Oct. 4, 2011

Apparently people still feel more comfortable in scary situations if someone is actually there, not just a camera that may or may not be monitored. But surprisingly, even as guards beat out cameras, a video camera beat out an alarm system. From the press release solicited by Storage Options, a UK vendor:

"A new report, commissioned by CCTV and surveillance vendor Storage Options, has revealed a seismic shift in attitudes towards the use of surveillance equipment in the workplace as experiences of high crime, the recent riots, and the impact of Government funding cuts strike home.

The study questioned hundreds of business owners across the country into safety and security in the workplace, and despite the UK’s perceived ‘Big Brother’ surveillance culture, it seems that attitudes towards CCTV is moving towards acceptance and a common sense narrative – a trend matched by ever-increasing demand for Storage Options’ services.

Alarmingly, 44% of businesses questioned in the study admitted to being the victim of crime before, with more than a third – 36% - having been targeted more than four times. The top items stolen from the workplace emerged as computers (13%) stock or products (12%) or mobile phones (6%).

When asked what would help their staff feel safer, more than a third (36%) said a security guard, followed by CCTV (27%), coming above alarm systems (21%). And despite the majority of businesses – 65% - now having some form of CCTV system in place, almost half (45%) admitted wanting MORE security around their premises, with two fifths (40%) feeling their security set up was insufficient.

The study also revealed concerns over government spending cuts, with more than half (55%) of businesses admitting this made them feel more of a security risk, and 37% feeling this could compromise the police’s ability to do their job properly. Worryingly, the majority of people questioned – 65% - claimed they would consider some form of direct action if their business was broken into."

[Editor's note: No information on the validity of the research or who wrote the report was made available in the brief press release, so do your homework before you quote these numbers beyond what I did in this simple blog post.]

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