Some business owners have chosen to install fake or “dummy” cameras on their properties under the assumption that the appearance of security measures alone will deter crime. Some may argue that a fake security camera is better than no security measures at all or that most criminals won’t act if they believe they are being recorded. However, a business is not actually protected by them, and their presence can deem business owners liable in the event of a crime.
Why Fake Cameras Don’t Work
Fake or dummy security cameras serve no other purpose than to appear as real cameras to deter criminals. While they are often cheap and easy to install, a fake camera cannot secure property and protect the people who enter.
A visible camera may not be enough to deter criminals. In fact, seasoned offenders may be able to detect whether a security camera is legitimate or not or even go to the lengths of destroying cameras they believe could incriminate them.
In the event that someone breaks in, steals, or attacks people at your business, there will be no security measures in place to prevent or intervene in the moment. Further, there will be no recorded footage of the event to create a timeline and assist police in identifying the people of interest.
Additionally, if employees, tenants, and visitors observe a security camera when entering a property, they may assume a false sense of security that the property is safe. In some cases, a business owner or property manager may be held liable for assaults or other crimes that may occur.
What Makes Fake Cameras a Liability
The presence of visible security cameras can give staff, tenants, and visitors a sense of safety and security by assuming that the business has taken adequate security precautions to prevent crime. When someone entering the property spots security cameras, they assume that either someone is regularly monitoring the cameras or that the footage is being recorded and can be reviewed at a later time if a crime does occur.
For residential properties, ownership or property managers often use security and safety measures as a selling point for prospective or current residents. When residential property owners and managers advertise security cameras or systems as an amenity, there is a certain expectation of safety.
Should a crime occur, like a break-in, theft, or even an assault, the resident may expect that someone is monitoring the security cameras in real time, ready to intervene in an instance. At the very least, a resident who is the victim of a crime may expect that the crime was captured on recorded video footage that can be used to investigate the crime and identify the perpetrator.
Failure to have working security cameras installed on the property when residents are under the impression that there is a reasonable level of safety in the area can subject property owners and managers to liability.
Are Broken Security Cameras a Liability?
Similar to fake surveillance cameras, broken security cameras can also bring liability to property owners. If a property owner knows that their security cameras are broken for an extended period of time with no efforts made to fix the issue, liability lawsuits can be pursued.
Types of Liability Lawsuits for Fake Security Cameras
When a business makes promises of security and safety on their premises, property owners and managers may be involved in lawsuits in the event of a crime occurring on their watch.
Breach of Contract
If a crime or dangerous situation occurs that could have been prevented or stopped by the promised security solution, someone could sue the property owner and management company for misrepresentation. When security solutions are deceptively advertised, especially within residential properties, people may be lured into signing a contract or lease under the impression that the property is reasonably secure.
If someone knowingly made false statements to a resident about the security measures and safety expectations of the premises, it is considered fraudulent misrepresentation. Additionally, if the false statements made about the security features were made carelessly it is negligent misrepresentation. In both cases, the property owners and management company are liable for crimes that happen on the property. In the case that the misrepresentations were innocent, like if the home security cameras were unknowingly broken or malfunctioned shortly before the incident, they may be able to escape liability.
A victim of a crime that occurred on the property can sue the property owner or manager for failing to reasonably secure the premises after advertising its safe condition or allowing the person to be lulled into a sense of false security. If a break-in, robbery, assault, or other safety breach occurs, it can be argued that proper security measures could have prevented it.
Improve Your Security Measures with VirtuGuard™ Remote Video Monitoring
Even if there are real security cameras installed on a property, they may not be effective in preventing dangerous or criminal situations. That’s where VirtuGuard™ remote video monitoring steps in.
From our Command Centers, headquartered in Athens, Georgia, VirtuGuard™ Agents have access to live video surveillance streams and recorded video from your locations through security cameras and other infrastructure installed on your property. This security infrastructure combined with the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies, alerts Agents in our command centers to activity/events as they occur, in near real-time. The Command Center Team then reacts accordingly to your site-specific protocols.
A Proactive and Preventative Approach
VirtuGuard™ is different from unmonitored security cameras or traditional security systems because Live Agents proactively monitor a property for suspicious activity in real time. Additionally, AI can be applied to a security camera to send alerts into a Security Operations Center when activity is detected. This allows VirtuGuard™ Agents to react to a situation before it escalates rather than after it has already occurred.
Live Agents are empowered to intervene instantly in events through two-way audio speakers installed throughout a property. If suspicious behavior is detected, VirtuGuard™ Agents can deliver an audio message in real time to address unauthorized people at a property and instruct them to stop their behavior or leave the premises.
Alternatively, if a crime is in progress, VirtuGuard™ Agents can choose not to alert suspects that they are being monitored and recorded. VirtuGuard™ can dispatch local law enforcement to the area where a crime is being committed, providing the exact location, descriptions of the suspects, and details of the ongoing activity. Crimes like break-ins, robbery, or attacks can be stopped and suspects can be held accountable with remote video monitoring.
If a crime goes undetected, VirtuGuard™ can conduct a thorough investigation of an event by reviewing the recorded video footage. Live Agents compile reports of an event, including the timeline, photo evidence, and detailed descriptions of an event and the people involved. The reports and video footage can be turned over to the police to assist in their investigations and hold the parties responsible.
Security Camera and Security System Health Monitoring
VirtuGuard™ monitors the function of the real surveillance cameras and other security infrastructure on client sites to ensure that all equipment is always working properly. Our team can remotely troubleshoot technology issues at a property. For issues that cannot be solved remotely, VirtuGuard™ collaborates with security integrators across the country to resolve problems with security infrastructure.
Try VirtuGuard™ Remote Video Monitoring
While a dummy security camera may give the appearance of a secured property at a low cost, they are not effective in preventing criminal activity and can cost your business much more in liability lawsuits and damaged reputation. An outdoor fake security camera cannot actually prevent crime from occurring on a property and can’t be used to investigate an incident and hold perpetrators accountable.
VirtuGuard™ remote video monitoring is a proactive and preventive approach to security. By proactively monitoring live streams of a property through security cameras, Live Agents can react to suspicious or dangerous activity immediately. While operable yet unmonitored security cameras can be used to investigate incidents after they have already occurred, VirtuGuard™ has the ability to prevent the behavior from occurring at all or escalating into a more serious crime.
Protect your business from liability and your property from unwanted or criminal activity with VirtuGuard™ remote video monitoring. To learn more, contact us using this link.
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