Burglars only need 15 seconds to pry open an inadequately secured window. The wet, gray weather and the early twilight also help the burglars with their deeds. Do surveillance cameras help deter burglars?
Chief Detective Jens Fritsch from the burglar protection advice center of the police and Katharina Wild, a member of the management at Smartfrog – a manufacturer of surveillance cameras – ask the questions that our users are most interested in about surveillance cameras.
Do criminals plan their act and do you spy on your victims beforehand?
“There is no such thing as a ‘pattern burglar’. There are, for example, casual burglars who take advantage of the situation (a window left open or an abandoned house with a plot of land that is difficult to see) to break in. Burglars do not know whether you really are from your front or apartment door have valuable possessions, so you will break in even if you actually have ‘nothing’.
Other criminals in turn plan their actions – but this is often the case with break-ins in commercial properties, for example in office buildings or jewelers. “
Where should I mount a surveillance camera in my apartment? Visible for everyone or rather hidden?
“If the surveillance camera is used as burglar protection, it is advisable to mount it so that it is clearly visible, for example in the area of the windows and doors. This is where intruders most often break in and see the camera immediately.
Unlike alarm systems that trigger silent alarms – that is, independently inform the security service or the police – IP cameras provide live images of what is happening as well as sound recordings. If a notification is received, users can immediately check that everything is right at home and alert the police in the event of a break-in. “
Do dummies make sense?
“Every burglar protection measure makes sense. Dummies are very popular because they repel intruders without spending a lot of money or having to deal with the technology. But thieves are not stupid and can now tell whether it is a real surveillance camera or a dummy. Now even a real surveillance solution doesn’t have to be expensive and complicated. “
How should the consumer handle the material stored in the surveillance cameras?
“With many surveillance solutions, the video data is only backed up for a certain period of time and then automatically deleted. As a rule, the user does not have to do anything himself – unless he wants to download the video of the break-in and make it available for investigation, for example for police investigations .
Basically, as a user of a surveillance camera, you have to adhere to the applicable data protection laws. This also includes the reference to video surveillance. “
Can I make the material available to the police or does it not exist as evidence?
“Recordings on which the burglar’s face cannot be clearly seen can provide clues – for example through the person’s height and stature, clothing or voice. When choosing an IP camera, you should always pay attention to HD quality and a good night vision function, so that you can see important details at any time of the day. “
Do video cameras really prevent intruders from committing a crime?
“No, not always. Surveillance cameras on buildings can be bypassed, covered, turned away or forcibly removed by the burglar. In addition, the faces of the perpetrators are often not recognizable, the quality of the recordings is poor or the angle of view is unfavorable, which is why identification via the images from cameras is rarely possible outdoors. “
Do burglars come back when it’s “worth it”?
“Burglars tend not to come back because the valuables have already been stolen, victims may have taken appropriate security measures (additional locks, safe windows), are more careful (lock the door, do not leave the window tilted) and the neighbors are sensitized and therefore more attentive.
In principle, however, it cannot be ruled out that the perpetrators will return again or that other intruders who had nothing to do with the first crime happened to later also choose the same object for a break-in. “
How can I protect my home from burglars then?
“The most important thing in burglar protection are three pillars:
- Safety through the use of technology,
- Neighborhood help.
The technology includes mechanical security, for example for additional locks for windows and doors, or alternatively for windows the burglar-resistant mushroom head lock in combination with lockable window handles.
If this basic protection is given by the mechanics, then the security can be further increased with electronics, e.g. through burglar alarm systems. But the principle applies: mechanics before electronics.
But attentive and non-negligent behavior also increases the security of your belongings: Do not leave windows tilted and patio doors open – even if you only visit the bakery for a short time. Occasional perpetrators like to take advantage of any carelessness. Point three is always underestimated: attentive neighbors. Maintain contact with the neighbors, they exchange phone numbers. Sign out of the neighbors when they travel and ask them to empty your mailbox. When you are on vacation or at work, these people are the first who can immediately register and report suspicious situations. The following applies: Even in the event of suspicion, the police should be contacted on 911. If the alarm is justified, the neighbors will not incur any operational costs. “