Many discussions are being held lately regarding the possibility of using Remote Video Monitoring (RVM) to replace guards when providing asset protection. The question one needs to ask is, could RVM as a security system be good enough to replace guards, and will the overall risk profile improve by making this transition? There is no clear answer as to what is the best security solution. It must be determined after a careful assessment of the situation.

The technology used in a RVM security system has come a long way over the last 10 years and there are many examples of where a RVM system has improved a security situation. This does not mean all manpower is replaced. Sometimes it is a reduction in man-hours, compensated by the watchful eyes of good PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) cameras.

For example, recently a client had an issue with metal theft from several of their storage facilities. One of the facilities did not have much traffic and the security guards on-site did not have much to do. The service provider had established good post orders including regular patrols of the site, but it seemed difficult to keep the team alert. Despite having a security presence, the storage facility was robbed 3 times over the course of the year. The client decided to use a RVM system on a trial basis, replacing the security guards to protect the fence and the property. The solution that was implemented included high definition cameras, voice over IP speakers, video analytics and a solid backup from control room officers. Strict protocols were put in place with the control room defining the frequency of the virtual patrols, the interaction with potential intruders and when to call local law enforcement. An important key to the solution was the arrangement the client was able to make with local law enforcement regarding their response time to an incident. The result? After the transition to a RVM security system, the site has not experienced any more losses. There are many other successful examples of using RVM in industrial sites, commercial and residential properties, retail malls, and storage yards.

As stated earlier, RVM can work in certain situations and it is always a matter of designing the right security solution for each client’s particular situation. RVM systems and the technology involved have come a long way; it is now a matter of smartly combining technology and manpower.

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