You may have noticed that many security companies have recently started to offer a new and very ‘cost-efficient’ monitoring service, which may have different names from ‘Alarm-Triggered Monitoring’, ‘Analyst Detection Monitoring’, ‘Motion Analysis Surveillance’ to ‘VCA Monitoring Method’, so what sort of ‘beast’ is it?
Broadly, there are two types of monitoring:
Real-Time Monitoring, where operators continuously review video stream images from cameras in real-time and can therefore detect a potential threat, and take actions, before any damage occurs.
Alarm-Triggered Monitoring where an image from a camera is only brought up on an operator’s screen after an alarm is triggered or motion is detected.
Whilst here at Armsec we are always enthusiastic about the integration of ‘smart’ technologies into the security industry, we have chosen to err on the side of caution and decided not to embrace this new monitoring method as ‘the way to go’, and for very good reasons.
The only truly good thing about Alarm-Triggered Monitoring is that it is cheap (you can probably get one for around £20 per month). Other than that, however, it is outweighed by a much longer list of disadvantages:
Limited operation – It can only work along with motion detectors or similar sensors or using a camera in-built video content analysis tools.
No advance warning – Motion detectors are as a general rule installed inside a property (otherwise false alarms would be an issue), so if the monitoring is activated, it means that the intruder has already caused damage by breaking the window/door to get inside.
No outside protection – Because monitoring is only triggered by motion detectors installed inside the property, it offers no protection against vandals causing damage to outside structures of the property or covering the walls with graffiti, nor does it protect against any damage to vehicles parked at the front/rear parking space.
Fire/Flood – For the same reason, Alarm-Triggered Monitoring is unable to give early warnings of any fire or flood danger, not until it is too late anyway.
Delay – Most CCTV systems can be set to send a notification directly to the property owner. There is therefore really little value in having a middleman (such as a security company) passing this information for a monthly fee.
Sabotage – Alarm-Triggered Monitoring is activated when a signal from a motion detector reaches a monitoring centre. A simple power cut (whether accidental or deliberate) may therefore easily disable it and prevent it from activating. Unfortunately, professional criminals are too well aware of this weakness.
Our view is that Alarm-Triggered Monitoring can be used as a secondary or back-up system for the Real-Time Monitoring, but not as a replacement, and that is how we do it here at Armsec. Equipped with the latest video content analysis tools, our highly trained and fully licenced operators review images from cameras in real-time to ensure that appropriate actions are taken 'BEFORE' not 'AFTER' a crime is committed or damage is caused to your property.
We are one of just a few companies in the UK that offer Real-Time Monitoring services and the only one that does so to small and medium-sized businesses and residential property owners at exceptionally good rates.