Video surveillance in public places is often incorrectly equated with a "big brother" mentality.
The fact is, however, that video surveillance in public areas is for everybody's benefit and increases safety. The risk of robbery or burglary can easily become a reality. Ultimately, it is the taxpayer who has to pay up for repairing damage to public buildings. In an urban environment, video surveillance helps to improve security – in car parks, on public transport, at cultural events, or in busy places such as hospitals, schools, universities or churches.
At large-scale public events, it is important to always have the situation under control, in order to be able to coordinate dangerous situations efficiently.
Video surveillance can be used to monitor normal proceedings at an event, in addition to spotting violent acts, theft or accidents. For example, is the cloakroom too full? Or is there a bottleneck at the entrance, a crowd control problem in front of the stage or are supplies running out at the bar?
Museums, gallery openings or exhibition spaces are being increasingly targeted by art thieves. However, when confronted with cameras, potential thieves, vandals or cheeky visitors feel compelled to behave correctly. This means that crime can be avoided from the outset, or can be reconstructed and solved if an incident does occur.
Health care facilities can use video surveillance cameras in a number of different fields. Firstly, to protect against thieves who target the daily takings (income) or expensive medical equipment and materials (dental gold, medicines). Secondly, personnel at the practice can use video cameras to keep a good eye on the waiting room, to optimise patient care, and quickly intervene in an emergency.
Schools and educational facilities are being increasingly targeted by thieves, burglars, vandals, and rioters, which is particularly unpleasant. This means that it may make sense to install video surveillance to protect pupils and teachers. The troika "Deterrence, live monitoring, investigation" are the main positive effects of video monitoring.
Churches, chapels and historical monuments are often the target of art and culture thieves, and of senseless vandalism. The reasons behind this disrespect for cultural artefacts lie in an increasing uprooting of religious beliefs among the public, and a lack of personnel in religious institutions. Churches are usually open during the day, but there is rarely anyone in them, so that valuable artefacts are easy prey. Video surveillance can put a stop to this.
Video surveillance has a number of applications in the area of road safety, ranging from video cameras on buses and trains to surveillance in multi-storey car parks. Many people feel at risk in underground garages and parking decks. Video surveillance provides the security they need. What's more, it can also help you to investigate a hit-and-run or get to the bottom of any damage to your car.