CCTV is a big investment right? Systems can cost anything between $5k to $50K but how often does anyone use their CCTV cameras to good effect? “Not often” is the answer.
What tends to happen is that the CCTV camera footage is reviewed only if something is reported missing. So it’s always an “after the event” catch up as opposed to a proactive use of CCTV.
And who are the winners of this approach? The people who are stealing your stock and lining their own pockets.
Have you ever found a stock item in the wrong part of the shop or factory? Have you wondered why it’s there? It can be that someone is testing to see if the CCTV cameras are being watched. If no one puts that item back in its correct place then the thief will move it closer and closer to the door over several days, each time proving no one is taking any notice of what’s happening. Then one day it’s taken out through the door and no one is any the wiser. The CCTV system is now proven not to be operational.
So how should you use your CCTV system? Here it is, the Insider’s Guide To Catching Thieves With Your CCTV System.
The Insider Guide Rule 1. Look at your “live view” CCTV system every day. That’s right, rule 1 is just look at your CCTV system. That’s because most people don’t even do that. It only needs to be for no more 3-4 minutes a day, maybe over a morning coffee, but just use your CCTV system to view what’s going on in your business.
The Insider Guide Rule 2. Now that you are looking at your CCTV system every day, then start to look at the recorded footage of things happening at the same time every day. View opening times, closing times, lunch breaks, stock deliveries etc. The important thing is to look at the recorded footage at same recorded time each day for 7 days to see if there is a pattern. You only need to view for no longer than for 3-4 minutes a day, everyday.
The Insider Guide Rule 3. Look at the same recorded footage from last week or last month to see if the same things are happening. Sometimes there is a pattern and sometimes there isn’t. Your particular way of working will flag up your concerns at what you may see.
The Insider Guide Rule 4. Get your staff involved in reporting suspicious activity on the shop floor back to you, together with a time it happened. With your staff involved it means there is far more chance of finding out what’s happening as there are more pairs of eyes helping you look. Plus a reported incident means you now have something confirmed to look for.
The Insider guide Rule 5.Feedback, feedback feedback. When you are given an incident time to look up make sure you give the person who gave you the incident feedback on the action you have taken. Even if you see nothing of concern, by telling your staff member you reinforce the fact that you are looking at the cameras, and word soon gets round.
Incidents aside, it’s always easier to find a member of staff doing something good than it is to catch them doing something not so good. When you do see some thing good happening use every opportunity to tell people you “appreciate their efforts and to keep up the good work”. This does two things. It gives positive reinforcement, and also lets them know you are using the CCTV system to maintain standards. It is also saying you now know what’s happening in the work place.
Theft inside, and outside, the workplace costs business millions of dollars each year. So investing in a CCTV system is a wise move if you wish to reduce those losses. However, whether or not your CCTV investment is giving you a return which is worthwhile is a different matter completely. To get that return the CCTV system needs to be regularly used and reviewed whilst working together with your staff. Done well you will see big returns, reductions in theft and a happier workforce.
For more information on this article or any security issues contact myself, Philip Walsh on 0800 425576 or [email protected]