One need not go far to pick up an industry publication addressing restaurant use of technology to protect against crime and costly incidents.
- Current industry statistics show that violent crime rates have dropped since the volatile 90’s.
- The number of employee deaths from assaults and violent acts in restaurants has declined over the past few years.
- Violent crime rates have dropped over 15 percent in the United States over the past decade.
Though noteworthy, there remain armed robberies, assaults, and homicides which continue to threaten the restaurant industry. In these days of lagging economic times, the security industry has prepared itself for potential spikes in violent crime. What is extremely interesting is that many in the security industry have yet to witness crime increases. Various studies have indicated that these falling rates of crime may be attributed to an increase in sophisticated technology that protects company assets, which includes people, property, and brand image. On the flip side, there have been numerous complaints to the FBI from various stores about an increase in White Collar Crime. These crime types encompass computer crimes, fraud (credit card, overpayment, miscellaneous), and spam.
The begginings of video surveillance
Looking at the first uses of video surveillance, we discover that it really became useful in a business regimen in the 1960’s. Its primary uses were for internal investigations and anti-shoplifting practices. The objective of such systems was to reduce the amount of privacy complaints in retail locations and to imply that the customer base was being monitored to reduce any criminal activity. System costs were extremely high. In most cases there were very few cameras present at locations. It evolved through the 1970’s with the use of a hardwired environment of analog security cameras to an image multiplexer. The imaging was black and white, and recording capabilities were to a VHS tape. It would usually take hours to synchronize activity to sales data. The video surveillance system continued to evolve and saw the creation of the digital video recorder which provided a network interface that allowed continuous recording, viewing and monitoring of events. Today we see color cameras, multiple camera possibilities, cameras that operate in low light with high resolution color, monitoring with recording capabilities over 30 days, and cameras that include audio surveillance.