In The Trenches Video Series

What is active deterrence in security cameras?

In this clip, from our turret camera In the Trenches episode talks about what active deterrence security cameras are, the idea behind them, and the use cases.

Our speakers today are:

  1. > Matthew Nederlanden
  2. > Benjamin Larue
  3. > Michael Bell
  4. > James Campbell

Ben Larue:

I think we should actually define active deterrence because we keep using that term often, and I'd love to unpack that a little bit more if we can.

James Campbell:

Yeah. So active deterrence, for years and years, security cameras have kind of been a very passive deterrent. So the idea is maybe if somebody has a camera on that building, obviously, it's like... somebody might not want to break into it because they see the cameras, that's kind of the idea of them being passive deterrents, but there's nothing there to alarm or do anything as far as... alerting the person that they're on video. They may not even see that camera. So active deterrence is almost like it's something you have to reconsider the way cameras are actually used, in a way, to understand them, because active deterrence cameras usually have some kind of function, like a speaker, to give a big loud alert to it. They may also have a different kind of light, and even some of them, like our Mini PTZ actually has a red and blue light that lights up [inaudible 00:00:58]-

Speaker 3:

You are in the alert area. Please leave.

James Campbell:

... like that. And the idea is not just to be passive during recording and getting evidence, but to also potentially try to prevent something. You can see on the Deputy 8.0 V4, we have a white light there that can alert and then put a speaker to say, "Hey, you're in the alert area. Leave." And so that way if somebody knows they're on camera and they know that they're being recorded and potentially being watched, that hopefully will scare somebody away from doing something and deter them away. So [inaudible 00:01:32]-

Matthew Nederlanden:

Yeah, it's the idea that if you put cameras up, people won't want to commit crimes here. They'll still commit crimes, they just won't do it on your property because they know they're recorded. But that relies on them noticing that the camera is there, and so this adds another layer to that. It makes it very obvious, it might make a alarm noise, it might say something, you can do some pre-recorded messages, it might light up, but it makes it very clear like, "You're here, you're noticed. Go away."

Michael Bell:

And just so we're clear on the lighting up part of it, it's going to flash, so the active deterrent is the white light actually flashing when somebody enters an area or crosses a line or whatever setting you have set up for this particular camera. And it's not something like motion where when the camera detects motion, the white light just comes on and stays on, it flashes at you, so it's going to be very noticeable.

And I would also like to add that some of the prerecorded messages, not only is it active deterrent, but it's active warning as well. So you go into a certain area, there's one on there for deep water. There might be a river somewhere that they need to let people know, "Hey, there's... rushing water, there's deep water. Danger warning. This area is restricted for whatever reason." It's just a good way to get somebody's attention to keep themselves safe, not only for protecting your property.

James Campbell:

I think that's a great point. Yeah, I mean you could have dangerous equipment, dangerous areas. [Inaudible 00:03:11]. You don't have to really think about that as much. But yeah, there's lots of examples we've had. I think one of the best examples I've ever seen of active deterrence was we had somebody who had catalytic converter thefts going on in their parking lot and... the cameras recorded it, he was able to get the evidence, everything he needed for that, that's all great, but he was trying to do something to potentially deter people away from even doing it again. And there's lots of ways to do that. You could talk about fencing and all that kind of stuff as well, but he installed some of our Mini PTZ, similar function, and is using that to hopefully not just record when somebody's doing that, but hopefully scare them enough to be like, "Hey, I'm out of here. This place is obviously being monitored and all that kind of stuff." That's a good real world example of where active deterrence fits in, I think. And after hours stuff as well, so if somebody shouldn't be in a certain part of the building, they could turn that on and get both a notification and let the person know that they're being watched or whatever you need to do. So limitless applications in a way, but...

Ben Larue: