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Should You Hide or Publicly Display Your Security Cameras?

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Knowing where and how to display your security cameras can be a bit tricky. After all, you know you need them. And, well, you know you are going to install them. It is simply a matter of whether or not you want others to visibly see these cameras or if you should keep them secret.

Take the time to decide what matters most to you – recording a crime or catching bad behavior? Or, is it, perhaps, deterring crime or changing that bad behavior?

Cameras are powerful machines that can impact human behavior. So, should you hide your cameras? Or, should you publicly display them? Let’s find out.


A Crime Deterrent

There is a lot of proof to surveillance cameras deterring crime. But, while it may not stop it entirely, there is a good chance that someone with the intent to harm will seek out an alternative if your surveillance cameras are spotted.

Surveys of individuals who have committed such crimes have clearly stated these results. So, while hidden cameras may catch a crime – and help you prosecute the offender- the idea should be to deter the crime altogether.

For individuals who visit your retail chain with the intent of shoplifting will often be deterred if they see a surveillance camera. However, it is important that you make sure all areas are covered. Think about it – someone who wants something bad enough will find any loophole possible to get it. But, if you have all areas under surveillance, this behavior will likely cease – at least while shopping in your store.

No one wants to have to deal with legal proceedings and loss of inventory. Your business has enough work that requires your focus. Therefore, displaying your cameras publicly could deter a great percentage of crime, allowing you to focus your mind, time, and efforts on more important things.


The Change in Behavior

People are known to act differently when they know they are being filmed. If you are seeking to change this behavior, then you may very well want others to know your cameras are present. For instance, if you install these cameras in a place of business with the intention of having your employees increase their level of customer service and productivity, then you will want them to know that they are being watched, right?

Remember the idiomatic expression: When the cat’s away, the mice will play? This can be applied to the workplace. Meaning that while the owner, boss, or manager is not around or not looking, the employees may often slack off or let their guard down. This can result in a decrease in sales, a lack of good customer service, and a major lull in productivity.

Hidden surveillance cameras can establish this behavior. But, as a business owner, you want to change or deter this type of behavior. That is exactly why you will want to keep your cameras visible.

With the installation of publicly visible surveillance cameras, your employees will feel as though that “cat” is never away. They will not know when you are watching the camera or when you are not, resulting in a positive change in behavior.


A Major Benefit of Hidden Cameras

Just as the vision of publicly displayed cameras can lead to a change in behavior, it can also deter crime. So, if crime is what you are after, you won’t find it in view of the camera. However, that does not mean the crime will cease to exist.

Here’s why.

If you suspect that an employee of yours is stealing from the company, you may want to set up a camera to catch him or her red-handed, right? Of course! This is incredibly beneficial since recorded camera footage often helps law enforcement and prosecutors during court proceedings. But, what happens when that stealing employee sees the newly installed security cameras?

He or she will take a step back, re-work the game plan, and begin the stealing from a different perspective – literally. Outside the scope of the cameras!

Therefore, if you suspect that someone may be involved in causing harm to your company, it may be wise to set up a hidden camera – even temporarily – to get the proof that you need.


The Legalities

Knowing the laws surrounding your video cameras is important. There are a lot of gray areas when it comes to monitoring people in public places with cameras. The laws become even more cloudy when you are determining whether or not you will openly display the cameras or keep them hidden.

Before you make the decision to install surveillance cameras, take the time to do your research so that you know what truly is allowed and what is not. Privacy concerns should always be addressed and cameras should never, ever be installed in private areas in which an invasion of this space seems possible.


The Verdict

Let’s go back to the original question: Should you hide or publicly display your security cameras? Hidden cameras can be good and beneficial if you are seeking to record a crime as it happens. However, it is important to keep in mind that this will also result in a lot of red tape, legal proceedings, law enforcement involvement, and so forth.

The easier route would be to publicly display your security cameras. This allows you to show anyone that comes to your business – including the employees – that you may be watching. It is an eye when you are there and when you are not. These cameras can reduce crime and increase efficient employee behavior when it comes to customer service and productivity levels. It also means that you will not have to deal with a crime – and everything that comes along with it.


Security cameras are so important in our world today when it comes to protecting and monitoring your business. To help you benefit your business in a great manner, install your cameras publicly in all areas – including the remote areas. This will help you deter crime and bring about a positive change in human behavior. And, well, that is always welcome, isn’t it?

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