Crime prevention in public spaces. What do the numbers say?

The world economy is on the rebound and businesses in the banking, construction, warehouse, retail shops, shopping malls and healthcare sector are gearing up for increased activity. Unfortunately, with things opening up, crimes like robbery, assault and theft are bound to increase as well. Criminology Theory as published by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC)[1] is a very interesting perspective on crime prediction according to which, some forms of crime could even increase beyond their pre-pandemic level as a result of the additional economic strain caused by COVID-19 measures.

As more and more people get vaccinated, they will be moving around freely. This opens up the risk that more people may be either committing crimes or becoming a victim. In order to keep situations under control, we need to remind ourselves of the important measures to keep us and the property of our clients safe. As a security agency, the following statistics may help you understand that safety can not be taken on a lighter note.

In this blog, we will analyze crime statistics as faced by different security sites and how crimes can be prevented in these areas. By the end of this blog, you will have a general overview of the need for remote video surveillance in the global economy today. Let’s begin with a sector-wise look at the research.

The statistics we discuss in this blog will throw light on the crimes being committed on the more vulnerable parts of any property. Looking at numbers also helps us anticipate the changing nature of crime. Let me illustrate with examples how crime prevention and security services have changed in the past year.

Threats to vehicle security in parking lots

Parking lots are magnets for crime. Our agents have observed time and again that criminals are usually most active at night or in places where there are poor lighting systems. During these darker hours of the day, visitors may be apprehensive when walking into deserted parking lots and garages. However, sometimes such situations are unavoidable for many people. Live monitoring along with remote surveillance is an effective solution to hinder potential crime. Parking lots are hotspots for crimes such as mugging, robbing and vehicle or property vandalism. What do the numbers say?

 

threats to vehicle security in parking lots

How virtual guards functions help in crime deduction

If we dissect the latest carjacking incidents in Chicago, something interesting comes to light. You may have read or watched news online talking about how carjackers are now using face masks to commit crimes. In moments where such crimes are being perpetrated, the presence of video surveillance cameras can be a valuable tool for remote guards to let trespassers know that they are being watched and action may be taken against those who break the law. Dark Fighter technology cameras were covered in our previous blog in detail while talking about the use of remote security officers to anticipate crime. Remote guards can also choose to use voice-down features to de-escalate situations. A personalized warning can help prevent or delay the crime as the local authorities will be notified immediately.

Vehicle theft at auto-dealerships

With hundreds of high-value automobiles like cars lying around in outdoor lots, it comes as no surprise that dealerships are famously vulnerable to auto-theft. Wards Auto[6] quotes Andris Berzins, Special Investigations Unit team supervisor for Federated Insurance, “Low-tech crime poses a serious threat to dealerships too, even though high-tech crime gets most of the headlines.”

To what extent can a thief go? Well, they can pretend to be a customer, put a vehicle key in their hands, then make an exchange and return a fake key to the seller. The thief comes back later, gets into the vehicle with the real key and simply drives away. No joke.

Another infamous heist attempted during auto dealership theft is catalytic converter theft. Each converter is a combination of materials like Rhodium, Palladium and Platinum. Pure Rhodium fetched $14,500 per ounce in December 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Of course, these are isolated incidents, but when you look at the numbers together, you get a very clear picture. What do the numbers say?

 

2021 Vehicle Theft Statistics

 

Does the security measure fit the auto-dealership crime?

Offshore guards are trained to understand the gravity of the numbers we mentioned above. In the case of crimes like catalytic converter theft and vehicle theft, security measures like alarm monitoring, gatehouse and access control as well as camera surveillance systems come in handy. With the help of video surveillance, virtual guards can strictly monitor the whole property. In case of any suspicious activity, virtual guards can also raise alarm and escalate tickets as necessary. If a crime such as a robbery or domestic violence occurs, law enforcement professionals are notified immediately so that the perpetrators can be caught in action.

Construction site vulnerabilities

According to Research Gate[10], construction site theft and vandalism is a problem that impacts both productivity and profit. From a macro-level view, theft is more expensive for large companies but vandalism is more expensive for smaller companies. The only difference is that larger companies have more resources to combat theft and vandalism on their construction sites. In fact, the cost of replacing missing equipment is a very complex issue. The builder not only pays for the cost of new equipment but also for the time and money wasted sourcing specialized equipment and also the interim cost of the delay caused by the theft. Of course, anecdotal evidence abounds within construction security circles but statistics are more revealing. What do the numbers say?

 

Construction Safety and Security Stats

 

Can offshore security help construction sites?

A lot is at stake at a construction site. Constant surveillance is required and with dozens of entry and exit points, most of them unmonitored, keeping inventory and equipment safe is a gargantuan task. During the day, virtual guards can act as a safety net keeping an eye out for safety concerns caused by fire, equipment failure or mishandling of raw materials. Immediate tickets can be raised in case of trespassers or curious walkers loitering too long. With the voice-down feature, offshore guards can keep the site safe during the night as well. Night cameras and Bullet cameras are best suited to assist guards in keeping construction site equipment safe during after-hours monitoring.

Educational campus safety

Parents and guardians count on educational institutions for the safety and wellbeing of children, teens and young adults. Campuses, in turn, are dependent on the security providers to ensure safety. Examining the number of crimes and violations reported on campus can give us some insight into this hard-to-quantify variable of “safety on campus”. The following data was published in the Campus Safety and Security notice by the U.S. Department of Education[13]. Things have changed tremendously for campuses since the pandemic, but what do the numbers say?

 

Campus Safety Statistics

 

How do security measures ensure safer campuses?

In our blog last month, we highlighted how different functions of video surveillance like alarm monitoring, gatehouse surveillance, voice down features and patrolling work best for campus security. Alarm monitoring will be the most appropriate security measure in case of fire. The next best feature is voice-down, especially where crime or suspicious activity is involved. Lastly, gatehouse monitoring can also curb unauthorized access to campuses decreasing cases of vandalism and other threats.

Why are the numbers lying?

That’s right. After writing an entire blog about crime statistics, I’m going to talk to you about how the numbers don’t add up. Public institutions only have access to numbers relating to crimes that are documented and reported. From nearly a decade of experience in the industry, I can tell you that the above information does not take into account crimes that are classified or underreported. In nearly every public sphere, crimes are often underreported, so the numbers above only give you a general idea of the state of crime and prevention for each type of property discussed.

At the beginning of this blog, we set out to analyze crime statistics as faced by different sectors and how crimes can be prevented. Security providers need to understand that if the Criminology theory holds true and if the economy is back to being as unsafe as it earlier was, then we need to beef up our security measures to prepare ourselves.

After looking at the data out there, we agree with the UNODC observations. We are likely to see a significant spike in crimes over the next couple of years. Sites such as parking lots, auto dealerships, construction sites and educational campuses are vulnerable to crimes of theft, vandalism, assault and unforeseen circumstances. In our nearly decade-long run within the security industry, we have helped intercept everything from the start of a simple kitchen fire to the black hoodie dude stealing from construction sites. Less aggressive protocol is followed in the case of break-ins or trespassing. In case of a false trigger, virtual guards can also turn it off.

The numbers and crime predictions may seem foreboding. While this is not the time to be complacent, this is also not a time for fear and panic. With the responsible and anticipatory protocols for crime detection and prevention in place, we now have access to virtual guarding resources like never before. If we continue to monitor vulnerable spaces meticulously and continue to thwart crime before it occurs, we may just manage to keep our public spaces safe. For electronic security industries looking to consult with us regarding video surveillance, truck yard monitoring, field tech dispatch & management, access control management, remote intervention & voice down, false alarm elimination and more we would love for you to reach out to us at info@technomine.biz.

 

References:

  1. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on homicide and property crime”. N.D. www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/covid/Property_Crime_Brief_2020.pdf
  2. N.A, Bureau of Justice Statistics. N.D, bjs.ojp.gov/?tid=44&ty=tp
  3. Gary, Cook R. “Parking Lot Security”, N.D, Crimewise. www.crimewise.com/library/parking.html
  4. Pratt, Gregory and Byrne, John. “Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says spike in carjackings ‘top of mind,’ adding 40 more police officers to carjacking unit and gathering regional mayors”. January 27, 2021, Chicago Tribune. www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-chicago-carjackings-mayor-lori-lightfoot-20210127-2l7bl2jog5fgrii52l6zzr4fyq-story.html
  5. Department of Public Safety. “Crime in Texas, 2019”. N.D. www.dps.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/crimereports/19/cit2019.pdf
  6. Henry, Jim. “Dealers Threatened by Both Low-Tech, High-Tech Crime”. May, 17, 2021. Wards Auto, www.wardsauto.com/dealers/dealers-threatened-both-low-tech-high-tech-crime
  7. N.A. “U.S. Auto Theft Statistics” N.D. RMIIA, www.rmiia.org/auto/auto_theft/statistics.asp
  8. N.A. “Facts + Statistics: Auto theft”. N.D. Insurance Information Institute. www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-auto-theft
  9. N.A. “Dealerships, Auctions, Lots … Oh My!” October 8, 2020, Pro-vigil. pro-vigil.com/blog/dealerships-auctions-lots-oh-my/
  10. Berg, Robert and Hinze, Jimmie. “Theft and Vandalism on Construction Sites” July, 2005., Research Gate, www.researchgate.net/publication/245283626_Theft_and_Vandalism_on_Construction_Sites
  11. N.A. “Policy Research” N.D. Chartered Institute of Building. www.ciob.org/industry/policy-research
  12. N.A. “Construction Site Security is Under Threat as Crime Rates Surge by 50% During Coronavirus Pandemic.” June 3, 2020., Smarter Technologies. smartertechnologies.com/construction-site-security-is-under-threat-as-crime-rates-surge-by-50-during-coronavirus-pandemic/
  13. U.S. Department of Education. “Campus Safety and Security” N.D. OPE.ED. ope.ed.gov/campussafety/Trend/public/#/subjects

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