When should I use covert video surveillance?
The first thing you need to do before you have covert cameras installed in your retail premises is to decide whether or not you really need them at all! To do this must exhaust all your in-house methods of shrinkage identification first. Only when you are satisfied that you cannot identify the problem should you employ covert surveillance.
How do I go about having covert surveillance installed?
Once you have decided that covert surveillance is the best investigative method, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the problem – Stock losses/cash losses?
- How large is the problem? How many people could be involved?
- Where is the problem occurring:
- Cash office?
- Stock rooms?
- Locker rooms?
- Where does it occur:
- Day or Night?
- Certain days?
- After hours?
- Who needs to know about the covert cameras?
Who do I go to for assistance?
Our advice is to seek the help of a licensed professional company that offers a total solution to the problem. That is everything from initial consultation, installation, equipment hire, video tape analysis and probably the most crucial part is the interview of any staff members in relation to any incidents found on the videotape which require further explanation.
When you first approach your chosen provider ask this question:
Are they licensed security providers under the Private Investigations and Security Guards Act 2010?
If the answer is ‘NO’ do not employ their services. They could cause more problems that you already have.
If the answer is ‘YES’ ask to see proof. It is advisable to telephone two or three of their customers to ask about the service that these customers have received from them.
CCTV or Video Analysis?
CCTV is a great investment. It can dramatically reduce losses saving you thousands of dollars. But experience also shows that CCTV systems are far more effective when videotapes are regularly reviewed.
Four reasons why videotapes must be regularly reviewed:
- Regular expert videotape review helps to keep staff theft at lower levels: When staff know that tapes are regularly reviewed, they know there’s good chance they will be caught if they steal, so most don’t try.
- Reviewing helps to identify breaches of company policy and procedures: Identified early, this helps prevent on-going loss or further breaches.
- Regular analysis identifies incidents of shoplifting and other customer loss which would otherwise have gone undetected: this helps to recover losses and / or prevent repeat offending. It may also assist in identifying the offenders.
- Videotape analysis can help management resolve customer disputes.