August 25, 2017

Caught in the Act

There are very few feelings in the world that can compare to the sinking sensation you get when you realise you’ve been robbed. You leave the office one evening, get […]

Caught in the Act

There are very few feelings in the world that can compare to the sinking sensation you get when you realise you’ve been robbed.

You leave the office one evening, get into your car, spend a couple of hours in choking traffic, do a bit of shopping before getting to your house, park your car and walk up the stairs to your apartment. Loud music blares from one house, the sound of a running shower from another, nothing far from the usual. You walk up to your house and, when you put the key in the door, it swings open instead.

“I couldn’t have been that absent-minded when I left in the morning…” you think to yourself.

You slowly walk in, and slowly raise your hand to your mouth when you realise that years of hard work is now in someone else’s hands.

This nightmare scenario, sadly, is a reality for many Kenyan home-owners. From armed robbery at the gate to coming face-to-face with a burglar in your own house, homes remain a prime target for crime.

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Now, let’s consider a different setting.

***

“911, what’s your emergency?”

“Yes, hi, my name is Jean. I’m watching my home on live monitor from my office, there’s a man in my house and he’s robbing us.”

“He’s just walking around, picking things… he doesn’t even know that I’m sitting here watching him.”

“Ma’am, I’d like you to stay calm, okay? Officers are surrounding your house as we speak, he’s not going to get away with anything.”

Seconds later, the intruder was arrested and Jean watched all this unfold from her office. Live.

***

Here’s another scenario for you to mull over.

***

After a string of burglaries in your neighbourhood, you decide to safeguard your home by buying an Internet Protocol CCTV Surveillance system. You configure the system to start recording footage as soon as it detects motion and send images of any intruder straight to your email.

One morning, you’re sitting in your office hard at work when a bunch of emails start trickling in to your inbox. You open one and see the image of a stranger, an intruder, perched on your couch rummaging through your drawers. You immediately call the police and, within minutes, the thief is caught in the act.

***

Both of the above scenarios are real-life examples of attempted home burglaries reported in Florida and New York, in the US. Both scenarios also illustrate the value that a home IP CCTV surveillance system offers as far as deterring and apprehending of suspects is concerned.

As per our Technical General Manager, Manmeet Singh, most of us do not make use of CCTV surveillance to its full potential.

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“There’s a lot more to CCTV surveillance, especially with recent developments in technology. With Internet Protocol (IP) CCTV surveillance, one can set up cameras to cover key areas in their home and then monitor the on-goings in real time on their phone, tablet, laptop or any Internet-enabled device,” Manmeet explained.

Should you decide to go out and get yourself a home surveillance solution then how you position your cameras in your house could be what decides whether an intruder gets caught or goes scot free.

Cameras should be placed to cover areas of vulnerability and possible points of entry for burglars, like your front and back doors as well as lower-level windows. You should also consider placing cameras in the hallway, which would capture an intruder’s face as they make their way around your house or on their way out.

Now, in the past we have noted incidents where thugs attempted to tamper with CCTV surveillance before going on to rob a premise. Fortunately, with the uptake of technology in security, we can now mitigate this through the use of vibration sensors to make cameras tamper-proof.

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“These sensors are programmed to notify you should anyone attempt to tamper with your cameras. Advanced Network Video Recorders (NVRs), which come with the IP CCTV kits also send a “Video Loss” signal to your phone as soon as the system is compromised, making sure you do not miss a beat even while you are away from home,” says Manmeet.

For a more comprehensive security solution, CCTV systems can also be integrated with an intruder alarm system. In such a set-up, the cameras are programmed to begin recording as soon as motion is detected, taking images of the intruder and sending these to you and your security service provider, and also trigger the alarm, prompting your security team to respond.

With this, not only does CCTV give valuable evidence of a crime, it also enhances early detection and response to an intrusion.

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“Imagine being able to keep an eye on your nanny in the house, or receiving a notification on your phone as soon as someone so much as goes near your front door. The possibilities today are truly endless,” Manmeet concluded.

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