Private Investigations and Personal Security/Security


Mr. Draper:

Are "fake" video cameras effective at home or at work in helping to prevent theft, etc.?  If we wanted to go with a real CCTV system, what types would you recommend for the home and a small business?

Hi Grace,

My experience is that "fake" or "dummy" cameras are of little benefit and introduce liability concerns in business situations.  The key to selecting the correct CCTV system is to understand the objectives for installing it in the first place.  If you are looking for it to be a deterrent just because there is a camera, there are very few situations where this is sustained (may appear to be initially effective, so it depends whether you want short term or long term benefits).  If you want evidence to identify someone doing something wrong, then you need to ensure you will get an image of the person's face that at least fills 1/9 of the screen (if identification is important and you don't already know the offender).  You also need to invest in good recording equipment, because what you see on the screen is usually not what is recorded (camera resolution is measured in lines - the more lines the better the image.  Using a standard VCR, the recorded resolution will be under 300 lines, yet most CCTV cameras will be rated well over this).  Regular monitoring and review of tapes is also critical to success.

I hope this helps, but feel free to ask further questions or tell me more about the application.

Very best regards,


Private Investigations and Personal Security

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Rick Draper


I can answer questions about Security Risk Analysis and Physical Security Reviews; Security Risk Management Planning; Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design; Forensic Security Analysis and “Expert Witness” Reports; Security Systems Design and Review (CCTV, Detection Systems, Information Security, Access Control, Security and Architectural Hardware); Security Awareness Programs; Security Risk Management Training, and Professional Development.


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