Neighbourhood watch groups sometimes get painted in a less than favourable image when it comes to the media. Accusations usually centre around their lack of effectiveness. Our experience is that the bad press is quite often unjustified as there are some highly effective schemes in operation throughout the UK.
We have worked closely with one such group in greater London and their success has been nothing short of miraculous. They have pooled information from our CCTV systems and managed to achieve detection and prosecution for crimes such as theft, armed robbery, fraud and personal assault. The most significant sentence handed out as a direct result of the group was 3 life sentences with a minimum of 17 years to be served for armed robbery.
Our involvement has centred around ensuring the correct equipment is used. Previously the group were sourcing from other online suppliers but was being sold products that simply didn't live up to expectations. The supposed IR range of the cameras bore no relationship to their effective optical range. Cameras supposedly able to read number plates at 20 metres were struggling to read them at 5 metres and it was impossible to identify individuals. We are happy to look at properties using internet mapping and advise on the most suitable cameras having listened to what you are trying to achieve.
Amongst other things, we have come up with cost-effective number plate recording solutions both at night and during the day for distances of up to 75 metres as well as more general-purpose cameras for shorter distances. We have educated key members within the group so they in turn can advise householders as to the most effective equipment.
Using CCTV means no one is put at risk. There is no need to confront criminals directly and there is no danger of people forgetting information, it's clearly recorded. CCTV empowers the private citizen and allows them to fight back against crime and anti-social behaviour. Good HD 1080P CCTV is now available for domestic installations, once again we can provide help & advice so you don't waste the advantage high definition CCTV brings.
The catalyst for success with the neighbourhood watch scheme is to pool resources. Don't just fit CCTV and think I'm ok now, share the resource and benefit from other people's CCTV systems. Use email alerts within your neighbourhood watch group. If an incident occurs alert members so they can check their own CCTV system. If members dedicate one of their cameras to cover roads or pavements outside their property vehicles and people can be tracked as they move around an area. This way even if criminals aren't captured at the scene of the crime they may be spotted going to or leaving the area.
We won an award at the IFSEC Global security awards held in association with BSIA, the British Security Industry Association for our work with community CCTV partnerships in particular the Hillingdon neighbourhood watch group.