It’s an unfortunate fact that unoccupied premises tend to attract unwanted visitors. Whether this is an intruder intent on stealing or someone engaging in antisocial behaviour, these are problems that may be avoidable.
Increasingly Irish schools and colleges are looking at the installation of CCTV security systems to protect their property and prevent damage. These type of buildings are quite vulnerable during the school holidays and at weekends when everybody knows they are unoccupied. CCTV recording can help in securing the perimeter of school property in the first instance by deterring trespassers with its presence. When CCTV recording is being used in known trouble spots it has proven time and again to reduce the incidents and in many cases eliminate the issue.
It is important that the cameras are located in the appropriate positions because of the nature of these premises. The cameras would only be used to prevent criminal actions, anti-social behaviour, theft and vandalism. Therefore, they would not be erected in places where staff and students would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
In the normal run of events, the footage from the CCTV cameras would be accessible by the principal or maybe a nominated school employee. An access log would be maintained by the school, stating who accessed the images, on what dates and times and for what purposes. It is important to keep the recordings for an appropriate amount of time in case they are needed to investigate some incident. Recordings should be securely stored in a locked location and the images deleted at regular intervals. A notice informing that CCTV is in operation should also be displayed in a prominent position in the area where the cameras are present.
If a security camera system is to be installed it is important that a PSA licensed installer is appointed to the project. They will ensure that only good quality cameras are used to provide clear images. The installer will instruct the relevant personnel on how to work with the camera and recorder system for best effect. Many systems now come with the capability of watching a live feed from a smartphone which may be accessed when away from the school building.
If a break-in or damage does occur when the premises is unoccupied the school will have some footage that they can share with the Gardaí that could help them identify the culprit and aid an investigation. The initial cost of installing the CCTV equipment may seem like a substantial investment. However, this when compared with the peace of mind these security measures bring one will surely outweigh the other. When damage and break-ins are reduced so is the hassle associated with them – the hassle of insurance claims, the inconvenience of downtime and mostly the upset of the staff and students being disrupted.
Northwood Technology are the Irish distributor for the Dahua range of CCTV cameras and recorders. For more information on the range or any of our security products please contact our Dublin office on 01 8601880 or our Cork office on 021 2066853. We can also put you in touch with an installer in your area.