Security cameras, falsely safe?

Security cameras, falsely safe?


Frank Attivissimo is convinced that the security cameras which monitor the surroundings of his residence saved his house from a burglary. He is not the only one to trust these increasingly popular devices. But some still doubt their effectiveness.

A text by  Gavin Boutroy

It was at the end of his first coffee break that the worker heard the “ding” of a notification on his phone. The security camera on his front steps in Winnipeg’s Saint-Boniface neighborhood had been activated by a movement. Frank Attivissimo opened his phone to see what was happening, live.

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A man was ringing at his door, “which is not unusual,” he said to himself. But here is a second “ding”. And Frank Attivissimo sees on the camera fixed behind his house that the man had entered his backyard, and that he was looking through the window inside the house, where there was no one there.

A man in a cap in front of a lamp.View larger image(New window)

He asked his wife, via a text message, who this man was. She didn’t know. Frank Attivissimo, who works near his place of residence, then jumped into his van.

The intruder attempted to break down the door three times.

When she [my girlfriend] saw that he was trying to break the back door, she spoke to him on the intercom and said: what are you doing with me? He escaped.

Mr. Attivissimo is convinced that the man could have burgled his house if he had not installed two surveillance cameras. An expense of about $ 400.

“It gives me peace of mind. I can watch the house at work. If something happened, I could intervene right away. With an alarm, it goes through a call center, and they send the police. But how long is it going to take? The guy could come in, come out and go! », Launches Mr. Attivissimo.

A security camera integrated into a lamp. View larger image(New window)

Frank Attivissimo’s security camera that filmed an attempted break-in.

A large proportion of Winnipeg residents share this sentiment, according to Oakley Alarms Ltd sales and marketing manager Brennan Pratt. This alarm systems monitoring firm has recently turned to the sale of security cameras and home automation .

Brennan Pratt compares the benefits of a security camera to those of an alarm system: “With a monitored alarm system, if someone breaks into your house, you’ll know it instantly. And if you have a camera it might help, it depends on how smart the criminal is, ”he explains. Cameras can offer a false sense of security, he says, since “you  only need to put on a mask to outsmart a camera   .”

And then there is the price that comes into play.

I estimate 75% of homeowners want some form of camera. But that doesn’t mean most choose cameras – they find it is expensive.

A quote from: Brennan Pratt, Sales and Marketing Manager at Oakley Alarms

The electronic peephole: a popular solution

For the general public, one of the most popular security camera models is the video doorbell. This device acts as an electronic peephole. It allows you to see on a cell phone ringing at the door of the house.

This device also makes it possible to speak to the visitor, as does the intercom of an apartment. Except that in this case we can do it remotely, always using a smart phone.

“It’s an easy way to have a home surveillance camera without worrying about monthly fees,” notes Brennan Pratt. “So if someone rings your doorbell at 2 p.m., and you didn’t know it usually happens, well now you know it, and the camera records a 30-second sequence every time it detects movement.” », He explains.

A doorbell with an integrated security camera

BIL Security specializes in video surveillance, but also offers alarm systems. Sales manager Jonny Sontag believes that with current technology, video surveillance is better suited to businesses than to private homes.

“The alarm,” explains Jonny Sontag, “is a good way to [deter] people from entering the house. It is good for the safety of people. “

“Cameras,” he adds, “are good for security outside the building, for watching what happens and [getting evidence for the police to recover stolen items]. It’s good to help the police capture someone. “

With the permission of its clients, BIL Security shares videos of suspects caught red-handed on social networks. According to Jonny Sontag, this practice has an advertising vocation, and a practical reason. Yes, people are interested in videos like this, he admits, but their dissemination also gives BIL Security a reputation that can deter would-be burglars.

Oakley Alarms president and co-owner Tom Oakley says that in 20 years technological changes are such as to dictate the products security firms must offer. Due to the increased availability of video cameras, for example, his company now offers surveillance camera installation and maintenance services.

For Brennan Pratt, it is precisely this kind of phenomenon that encourages the public to desire security cameras. “Everything is online now,” he said. So it seems people think it’s very accessible, and anyone can have it. “

“Home surveillance cameras, I don’t find them unnecessary, but they tend to be glorified. People think they are more useful than they really are. They see a camera and say to themselves, that’s really cool, I want one, ”says Brennan Pratt.

What are the police saying?

A spokesperson for the Winnipeg Police Service is silent on the effectiveness of home security cameras. Their effectiveness depends on too many variables “beyond our control, such as quality, location, viewing angles”.

He says it is increasingly common for a homeowner to provide video of a burglary to the police.

And while these images can be useful, “even if a security camera records critical footage, it usually takes a lot of work on the part of investigators to get usable footage,” he says.

The police spokesperson would like to remind the public not to intervene in the event of a burglary: “We do not recommend that you go to the scene of an ongoing burglary, until the police made sure it’s safe, ”he says.

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