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Spy Camera Surveillance Tackling Crime

Adrian Mudd   July 16, 2015

From protecting your staff against abusive behaviour to catching serious criminals in the act, spy cameras can be used in a number of ways to help keep your business safe. Having these cameras installed provides peace of mind, even if their footage never has to be used as evidence. The BBC’s Crimewatch is full of clips from hidden cameras and CCTV, many of which prove to be the key to identifying a suspect and/or solving the case. Here are seven examples of businesses using the same tactics to combat crime:

Merseyside police use hidden camera name badges to tackle hate crime

Merseyside police found that spy cameras could be an effective way of combating hate crime. Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy purchased 48 extra-large name badges with built-in hidden cameras to give to shop staff who have reported receiving racial abuse. Racial abuse, or verbal abuse of any kind, can often be hard to prosecute thanks to a lack of evidence. The purchasing of these covert name badges was part of a range of measures brought in by Kennedy to help tackle crime such as racism, harassment, and domestic abuse. (source: Liverpool Echo)

>>>Spy Camera UK Statistics Infographic

Surveillance Spy CamerasCare home cameras help protect elderly residents

Hidden cameras have been a vital tool in the fight against care home neglect for several years now. Starting in 2013, the Care Quality Commission recruited undercover members of the public, armed with spy cameras, to infiltrate care homes that were deemed to be at risk (source: Telegraph). In the intervening months, many families have taken the matter into their own hands, installing hidden cameras in the rooms of their loved ones in order to accurately monitor their care. At the beginning of 2015, the CQC launched a leaflet aimed at providing advice and guidance to those thinking of using covert surveillance equipment. The issue has been hotly debated since a hidden camera caught three members of staff abusing residents at the Granary Care Home, Wraxall, in 2014. (source: Bristol Post)

Age UK uses cameras to combat thefts by volunteers

Several branches of Age UK have had to install secret cameras in an attempt to identify culprits behind a series of thefts. A small number of staff have already had to be dismissed from working in the charity’s shops. A volunteer from the Age UK store in Arnold received a 12 month community order after admitting to stealing £1,530 from cash boxes. In total, the charity has over 430 shops across the country. (source: Third Sector)

Covert filming helps Channel 4 catch money-laundering estate agents

For foreign criminals trying to launder large amounts of money, London’s property market is highly appealing. Multimillion pound homes can be bought with stolen or embezzled money by people using a variety of methods, such as offshore trusts, to keep their identities hidden. For over a decade estate agents have been obligated to report suspicious activity to the National Crime Agency, however many believe that London is still one of the leading places in the world for money-laundering. Using secret cameras and undercover reporters, Channel 4 filmed estate agents from several leading property companies who were apparently willing to go ahead with the sale despite being informed that they are dealing with dirty money. One estate agent even offered to recommend a good lawyer who could help keep clients anonymous. (source: The Guardian)

>>>Check out this article on the Top 10 uses of spy equipment to hit our headlines.

‘Capture houses’ allow police to tame burglary hot spots

West Midlands Police have been using a clever trap to catch burglars on camera in response to areas of the county becoming burglary hot spots. By fitting houses, sheds, or outbuildings with spy cameras and other covert equipment – activated by motion sensor – police can obtain video evidence of burglars committing offences. It has been a highly effective tactic, with the rate of burglaries falling by 57% in Wolverhampton over the last decade.(source: Daily Mail)

Spy camera shows bank manager to be responsible for ATM thefts

Installing a secret camera into the Kilmarnock branch of Santander helped bosses to reveal who was responsible for large amounts of money vanishing from the premises. The 25 year old branch manager was caught taking bundles of cash from the bank by the hidden camera. She admitted stealing £6,000, although a total of £33,600 was unaccounted for at the time of her trial in 2013. (source: Daily Express)

Undercover filming helps crack down on benefit fraud

There are plenty of examples where spy cameras have allowed fraud investigators to capture footage of people that proves they are lying over their claim. In 2011, George Nuttall was caught dismantling a metal trailer using an angle grinder, after claiming almost £30,000 in benefits because he was ‘unable’ to walk without crutches. (source: Manchester Evening News)

Adrian Mudd

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