Let’s get the legal mumbo jumbo out of the way first. To answer your question: yes – it is well within your legal rights to install fake surveillance cameras at your business as a means of deterring criminals.
Now for the real answer.
The problem with dummy cameras is that they work too well. Not only do they convince vandals, trespassers, loiterers, intruders, and criminals that your property is under watch – but they do the exact same thing for your employees, customers, guests, and more. In other words, they give the “good” and authorized personnel and patrons at your business a false sense of security. In actuality, there’s no security at work, at all. This contributes to your business’s liability exposure and can result in theft and loss when team members let their guard down. Not only that, but in the past, courts have ruled that if business owners identify the potential for damage and/or injury that spur the use of fake surveillance cameras, they are beholden to implement actionable, bona fide security measures. Otherwise, visitors and residents who believe they are being monitored could cry “foul,” causing you all sorts of legal trouble.
Have you ever heard the phrase “two wrongs don’t make a right?” While turning to a dummy camera to deter criminals and save money at the same time would never be considered “wrong,” per se, the principle is similar. The purpose of a surveillance camera is ultimately to prevent the deceitful acts of others. Framed in that light, using a con as your only line of defense seems somewhat disingenuous. And possibly dangerous.
Here are a few more reasons to avoid using fake surveillance cameras.
- Criminals are on to you. While dummy cameras are frequently outfitted with blinking lights, savvy burglars have done their research and can call a fake from a mile away.
- The law still applies: Real or fake, surveillance cameras must adhere to strict laws regarding their location and placement. This means you have to put in the time learning these laws and staying current with them. At best, this is a silly waste of company time. At worst, it hurts your bottom line.
- No shortcuts, no savings: Sure, fake surveillance cameras are cheaper than the real thing up front. But factor in the time spent purchasing, installing, researching, and repositioning – not to mention the possible losses from theft when these decoys don’t deter anyone – and you’ve only added expenses, not subtracted.
Secom will help you protect your business and property for real. We specialize in implementing comprehensive CCTV solutions, intrusion detection, and more. Contact us today to get started.