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School and colleges face a number of challenges when it concerns their ability to provide safety. Since parking lots are supposed to guard not only students but also their property, it is highly important to ensure that vandalism, fights, thefts, and break-ins are prevented in due time (Tilley 47). A system of properly chosen and installed surveillance equipment can considerably increase a security level of an educational institution.
Benefits of the surveillance system
Video surveillance features a number of benefits:
- It deters thefts and break-ins. No delinquent is willing to be recorded on camera when he/she is committing a theft; very few will dare take a risk. Besides, if the victim of the crime is present on the spot, he/she can point out that the offenders are being recorded, which usually makes them escape (Fennelly and Perry 23).
- Cameras prevent vandalism. Being watched usually stops teenagers when they want to break something bringing about financial responsibility (Taylor 77).
- The surveillance system protects the school staff’s vehicles. Cars can also be saved from break-ins and vandal actions. If they happen, it would be much easier to identify the source (Fennelly and Perry 26).
- It denies the access to unauthorized intruders. There are a lot of people who see students as easy targets and blackmail them for money. Such intruders must be detected and stopped before they enter the territory (Fennelly and Perry 26).
- In certain cases, video cameras help control remote entrances and exits of the building as well as its off-limit areas. It is not a rare case that parking lots are situated near staff entrances that are usually ignored by students but can present interest to potential intruders. Therefore, cameras with the motion detection technology will show if someone is approaching the entrance.
- The surveillance system allows watching parking lots during “rush hours” when students arrive and leave. The point is that a lot of minor offences and incidents happen in a crowd where people do not feel watched (Fennelly and Perry 27).
- It can deter sex offenders. These criminals are forbidden to approach schools or live within less than 1000 feet from them. Therefore, their presence can be deterred with the help of cameras (Taylor 78).
- Cameras will partially prevent bullying. Although this activity is universal for all schools and usually takes place is rest rooms, the surveillance system will at least decrease its occurrence at the parking lot where a lot of people can involve in it (Taylor 78).
- In cases of emergency (e.g. if there is a fight with dangerous consequences, someone is injured or just feels unwell), surveillance will help reach the spot in the shortest possible time and render necessary aid (Taylor 79).
- Surveillance cameras help monitor visitors distantly. This will not create any extra pressure on them if their intentions are peaceful while allowing security system to detect any suspicious actions at the parking lot (Tilley 89).
- The system will track students who have a habit of being late. Some of them also violate rules and leave school before the due time, which can also be detected by cameras (Tilley 89).
- Surveillance cameras give parents a peace of mind. Parents are usually highly concerned about the safety of their children. Moreover, they have the right to know that their vehicles are also out of danger while they are in class (Tilley 90).
Parking lots are usually considered to be insecure places, where a lot of criminal or undesired activity may take place starting from minor to serious offences. However, most of them can be prevented with the installment of security cameras. Although the price of the equipment is rather high, it is capable of guaranteeing the proper level of safety and preventing larger losses.
Fennelly, Lawrence, and Marianna Perry. The Handbook for School Safety and Security: Best Practices and Procedures. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2014.
Taylor, Emmeline. Surveillance Schools: Security, Discipline and Control in Contemporary Education. Springer, 2013.
Tilley, Nick. Crime Prevention. Routledge, 2014.