How To Efficiently Review Surveillance Footage

Surveillance cameras help you feel secure that your business is always safe and protected. If anything happens on the premises, you can look at the footage and find the problem. But, while having the cameras and footage provides you with security, it can feel tedious to have to sort through hours or even days of footage to find a specific incident.

Fortunately, there is a much easier way. Learn more about how you can better review your surveillance footage and video surveillance to keep your store protected and safe.

Look For The Telltale Signs

You don’t want to miss anything while skimming through your video surveillance footage, so it’s important to know what to look for so you can spot it quickly. Some telltale signs can help you identify potential moments of crime. Remember, these are potential signs, so they do not guarantee that something suspicious or criminal is happening.

  • Loitering– For each business, there is a different amount of time that is reasonable for customers to stay around before it becomes suspicious. Anyone who is hanging in or around your business with no apparent reason should be considered suspicious.
  • Attempts to Conceal Identity– Excessive headwear, sunglasses at night, sticking to shadows, avoiding eye contact with your cameras, and avoiding being seen by any employees can be signs to keep an eye out for when you are reviewing your surveillance footage.
  • Multiple People– Many criminals do not work alone, rather they work as a team. If a group of people comes in together and exhibits some of the other telltale signs, it could be a red flag you will want to keep your eye on.

Time Stamps

Having accurate time stamps on all surveillance footage lets you narrow down your review to a specific date and time.

Not only are time stamps effective tools in reducing the hours you have to spend looking through footage, but if anything does happen, they make the footage admissible in court. Footage without accurate timestamps that include the date and time may become inadmissible in a court of law.

Can Customers Request Surveillance Footage?

You might start to have customers requesting footage. Legally, there is no obligation for a business to provide any security footage to a customer. You can ignore the request as long as it is only a customer requesting the footage. As soon as there is a warrant or subpoena involved issued by the government, you are legally obligated to hand over the surveillance footage.

Some customers might have this law confused with public entities. It is possible to obtain video footage from public entities under the freedom of information act. However, private entities, like small privately-owned businesses, are not subject to that law.

How Long Should I Keep Surveillance Footage?

It is best practice to keep your footage up to 90 days. In some situations where multiple cameras are recording for longer periods and at higher quality levels, you can go down to 30 days. It is recommended to keep footage accessible for a longer amount of time because the legal process might be slower in some locations and not realize there is vital footage or even a crime, until after the first 30 days.

Boyd & Associates Live Video Verification

With Boyd & Associates, we have live operators available at a moment’s notice to review any suspicious activity in the event that an alarm is triggered. Our trained professional can quickly review your live feed and provide important information to first responders so they can prioritize your business security—likely resulting in a higher priority emergency dispatch. This gives you the peace of mind that a helpful eye is always looking out for you, so you can spend your time focusing on growing your business.

Check out Boyd & Associates Security services to help secure your small business today.