Installing Home Security Cameras Makes a Lot of Sense

There has been some debate over the years about whether home security cameras actually deter crime. Numerous surveys taken among convicted criminals seem to point to the fact that they do. But there is always a small group who say that home security cameras would not deter them. So which is it? That depends on the group of criminals you choose to believe.

Perhaps there is a better way to look at the question. Instead of surveying criminals and expecting to get the truth from them, step back and think about it from a commonsense point of view. How many burglars do you think really want to get caught? By the same token, how many do you think go out of their way to make sure they don’t get caught?

Common sense dictates that criminals try to get away with their crimes without being detected. Enter the home security camera. I am no psychologist, but I would be willing to wager large sums of money that most burglars who choose to avoid security cameras do so because they are afraid of being observed.

Real World Examples

You can find real world examples of criminals who either purposely ignored security cameras or did notice them and went on to get caught after the fact. Vivint Smart Home cites a couple of such cases in a post about security camera effectiveness. One of the cases involved a Florida burglary that resulted in losses of more than $1,000. But thanks to video surveillance footage, the burglar was identified, caught, and arrested.

Vivint cited another case involving multiple burglaries in states from Georgia to Texas. The last home the burglar hit was armed with a smart camera. The homeowner was alerted to the burglary and called the police. When the police arrived, they caught him in the act. He was linked to dozens of other burglaries for which he was prosecuted.

Video Evidence Is a Powerful Thing

So what is it that causes so many burglars to avoid structures equipped with security cameras? In a word, evidence. Modern security cameras capable of sending data to remote servers in real time produce evidence. That evidence is a powerful thing. It needs to be considered for two reasons:

  1. Identification – Few things make it easier to identify burglars than video evidence. A burglar who is careless enough to not cover his face gives plenty for investigators to work with. But even when faces are covered, skilled investigators can use other details video footage supplies.
  1. Prosecution – Once arrested and charged, video evidence can be used to prosecute a burglar. One would be hard pressed to convince a jury of his innocence when his face is clearly shown on recorded video.

Remember the supposition made at the beginning of this article? Criminals do not go around looking to get caught. In fact, they do what they do to avoid being caught. Home security cameras get in the way. Cameras increase the chances of being identified, arrested, and prosecuted.

You Don’t Need Dozens

What you might not know is that you don’t need dozens of cameras to deter burglars. Forget what you see on TV. You do not need to cover every single angle both inside and out. Rather, installing cameras in a few key locations can do the trick.

Here are the locations most experts recommend:

1. Front Door (exterior)

The first location most experts recommend is the front door. An exterior camera with a clear view of the front door offers maximum protection for the simple fact that the front door is one of the most common entry points for burglars. Not only that, but it is also pretty routine for a burglar to knock on a front door to see if someone is home.

2. First Floor Windows

Although the front door tends to be the most common entry point, burglars are not afraid to enter through first floor windows. As such, video cameras with wide angle views covering all first-floor windows can be very effective.

3. Patio Door (interior)

Some burglars attempt to enter homes through rear patio doors. If they see an interior camera facing such a door, they have every reason to turn around and walk away. An added bonus is that it takes some time to get through a patio door. If a burglar should try it, there will be plenty of video evidence for investigators to work with.

4. Master Bedroom (interior)

A typical burglar heads to the master bedroom first. That is where he is most likely to find small items he can steal and easily sell on the street. Should a burglar break in despite exterior cameras being present, an interior camera pointed at the door of the master bedroom provides additional evidence for investigation and prosecution.

Prevention Through Deterrence

It is true that video surveillance cameras will not stop a burglar determined to get in. It is also true that plenty of people like to point it out to bolster the opinion that investing in security cameras is a waste. But once again, allowing common sense to rule the day dismisses any such criticisms.

A burglar who truly wants to get in won’t be deterred by anything – not cameras, not motion sensors, not even heavy-duty deadbolt locks. But most burglars are not that determined. Most are looking for easy scores with minimal risk. That’s why home security cameras work so effectively.

Most of the houses on a given street are not equipped with security features of any kind. Therefore, a burglar with any amount of common sense will skip a house equipped with cameras in favor of another one on the street without.

Surveys taken among convicted criminals seem to support the idea that security cameras work, but they do not prove so unequivocally. That’s fine. Combine survey results with your own common sense and things should be pretty clear. Burglars who don’t want to get caught will avoid cameras as a result. It is as simple as that.


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