Recent Crime Wave Emphasizes the Need for Better IP Camera Systems

Improve IP Camera Systems
Improve IP Camera Systems

How to Improve IP Camera Effectiveness

When criminals trash and steal from businesses, it traumatizes customers and employees. You would like law enforcement to respond as quickly as possible, but how can you help? One crucial contribution is good video surveillance that allows law enforcement to identify the perpetrators.

This article reviews the basic requirements for providing good video evidence. It examines the IP Camera, the Video Recording Systems, and the installation of the IP camera system.

  Recently, organized retail criminal activity in California, Chicago, and New York City has been mainly smash and grab or flash mob crimes. Large groups of individuals break the glass of the retail stores, or they storm stores with multiple suspects overwhelming store employees and store security or contract security guards. These bold and violent crimes keep customers away, and the fear of physical violence upset store employees. The increase in crime requires a reevaluation of the video surveillance systems.

The Right IP Camera System Ensures Identification of Criminals

It is essential that the IP camera system capture enough detail so the police can identify the perpetrator. The right camera has the proper resolution, the right field of view, and adequate lighting to capture the incident. Each camera location needs to be considered. An IP camera viewing a doorway will be different from one viewing a parking lot.

IP Camera Resolution

To identify a person’s face, you need the correct number of pixels across the face. You can identify a person that you know with 50 or 65 pixels of resolution, but it’s safest to use a camera that provides at least 80 pixels across the face. The higher resolution provides “forensic” identification, which law enforcement accepts and allows you to identify a person you don’t know.  In some situations, you require higher resolution. For example, if there isn’t enough light, the image can be noisy, making it difficult to see who it is.  

Resolution of IP Camera
Resolution of IP Camera

If the viewing area is small, like a doorway, a 2-megapixel camera with a narrow lens should be adequate. Viewing a larger area, such as an auditorium, you need a higher resolution camera (over 5-Megapixels), so you can see a wider area.  For more details about camera resolution, please read What IP Camera Resolution Do You Need?

The Field of View for Each Camera in Your IP Camera System

The angle of the lens determines the field of view of the camera. The field of view is the area you can see with the IP surveillance camera. As the field of view increases, you require a higher resolution camera to see the same detail.

Video Recording Triggered by Intelligent Motion Detection

If you have a large enough hard drive, you can record the video for many days. Usually, people like to keep a record of the last thirty days. The size of the hard drive can be reduced if you don’t record all the time but rather record only if motion is detected. 

The IP cameras help the video management software (VMS) by providing intelligent motion detection in the camera.  The latest cameras detect motion and classify objects of interest, such as vehicles or persons. By using intelligent video capture, you record only the essential video. It reduces the storage required and makes it easier to find the correct recording.

Intelligent IP Camera
Intelligent IP Camera

The Right Camera for Each Location

If the cameras are not located correctly, you may miss the person’s face entering or leaving the room. The IP cameras should be placed so that you see what you expect. For example, if you want to identify a person’s face, the camera should be placed at a similar height and not on the ceiling where you only see the top of their head. Mount the camera on the wall or use one of the new covert cameras that mount on the side of a doorway.

The Correct Lighting is Required

 If the field of view is too dark, the camera will attempt to enhance the video, but this could increase the noise level, making it difficult to identify the person. There are cameras that use IR illumination and others with very low-light capability.

When selecting a camera with IR illumination, it is important to know the operating range of the light source. The more expensive cameras include more powerful IR illuminators and operate at very low-light levels. For example, the XNO-6085R includes an illuminator with a 229 ft range (70m). It can also see in color at 0.004Lux.  To learn more about how cameras operate at low light levels, read our article How Low-Light Sensitivity Works in an IP Cameras.

Summary of Improving IP Camera Systems

The recent robberies at high-end stores have prompted the need for better surveillance that can help law enforcement catch these criminals. The IP camera should be selected for each physical view. We must ensure that the camera has the right lens and resolution and is located in the right place.

To learn more about IP camera systems, please get in touch with us at 800-431-1658 in the USA or 914-944-3425 everywhere else, or use our contact form.