The security camera has evolved from being a relatively complex to install closed-circuit system to a part of wireless, versatile security system solutions that can be used to protect buildings as small as a bedsit and as large as headquarters.
However, this has led to the revival of one of the oldest debates in the security world; is it better to have hidden cameras that can gather information discreetly or visible cameras that can act as a deterrent in their own right.
The answer largely depends on where the cameras are placed and how important deterrence is in a particular business or home.
Why You Should Hide Them
Cameras that are hidden can be more effective if the ultimate goal is to record evidence of a crime being committed and the deterrence effect of a camera would not be sufficient to stop a security breach.
However, because they are hidden, they like the full range of view that a visible camera would have, necessitating the use of more cameras in a particular room, and naturally do not work to deter unprepared thieves.
The law must also be considered here. In homes, hidden cameras can be a breach of the right to privacy as described in the Human Rights Act 1998.
As well as this, there are particular Information Commissioner’s Office guidelines you must follow, such as making employees aware of the cameras and why they are being used, as well as letting the ICO know and not using them to monitor workplace productivity.
There are also certain rooms where hidden cameras can never be placed.
Why You Should Show Them
Visible cameras have a strong deterrent effect in many scenarios and can deter all but the most prepared criminals outside of high-value targets.
Being aware of security cameras often forces a criminal to try and avoid the visible camera’s field of vision, which in a cleverly designed system can lead them to another deterrent system.
However, this obviousness can be a disadvantage, as they can be damaged, disabled or avoided as it is clear where they can see.