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NIGERIA: Surveillance Industry, Key to Crime Prevention

Raheem Akingbolu writes on video security surveillance which has become a major tool  of combating crime and fire outbreak in many countries and the need for Nigeria to toe the global trend

Despite its relevance to protection of human lives, the surveillance industry is yet to appeal to millions of people, especially in the developing nations. As a result of this, only a few people have the consciousness of the benefits the security surveillance presents. But with the emergence of internet in the business world, which has helped globalisation, awareness is daily being created. This obviously explains why security enterprises are now becoming a major feature in Africa and around the world.

To raise the stake and add more values to human existence, experts and researchers in the field have resorted to video security surveillance because of its ability to detect crimes or source of any unforeseen incidence. It is believed that adapting the system can help resolve a number of crimes or prevent accidents in homes and offices.
Every day in Africa, people are subjected to living in fear and with little or no confidence in the ability of the institutions of law and order to protect them and their properties. With different security needs the surveillance methods recommended by security agencies will surely differ.
In the last 10 years in Nigeria, there have been a number of fire outbreak, robberies and murder causes of which are still shrouded in mystery. Also there have been car thefts that could not be traced.

Aside from mischief and security related issues that various security surveillance systems and cameras are often useful for, experts have argued that these new technology – video cameras – can also be used as a tool for boosting businesses. According to Business Development Manager, Axis Communications, Roy Alves, this is possible because such cameras will help in monitoring customers’ purchasing patterns to get a sense of their purchase patterns and demography. He said this will help support the store owners in making decisions on stocking of fast selling items.

To Alves, adapting theses sort of security measures and tools in a country like Nigeria, will help bring about a more secure nation, reduction in crime and corruption.
Though it has often been argued that adapting security surveillance systems in the world cannot stop these delinquencies, nobody has contested the fact that such move can reduce it.
With the recent findings that video surveillance system will keep business, property and family safe, not a few people have advocated the solution. So far, three methods have been adopted; surveillance DVR, CCTV security cameras, and remote internet access and monitoring.

Speaking on the devices, Alves, described Surveillance DVR as a digital video recorder (DVR) that is similar to the PVR of old, but that the new system allows users to record much more with clarity, color and great picture quality.
“That means that you can record days at a time, especially when you are away and someone breaks in, your DVR will catch their face with perfect clarity. The DVR is a great advancement for security systems. As more security companies emerge, the quality of security systems have greatly improved compared to back in the days when it was impossible to get a face off the surveillance system,” he said.
He also stated that CCTV security cameras, which are useful for both indoor and outdoor uses, come with amazing features like waterproof durability and infrared imaging that will allow users to see what is going on in the dark.

On remote internet access, he said it allows users to monitor their businesses and property on the go. “This wonderful feature is in existence through the high-speed internet access. In developed countries like the US and UK, where internet access is at the speed of  light, people are able to surf the net at high speed, and monitor their house from a computer, especially while they are on vacation, so that they can have the peace of mind knowing that there is someone watching. If they see someone break in, all they have to do is call the police and watch them pick up the thieves,” he pointed out.

However, one of the challenges, according to him, is that when using security surveillance cameras, it is important to be able to access and view it over the Internet. To do this, he advised that a high speed Internet connection must always be available both at the location of the surveillance system and the location where the user wants to view the cameras from.
As a result of these challenges, some observers have concluded that this might be one of the major hindrances of adapting video security surveillance in Africa and indeed Nigeria as cost of internet and the dawdling internet access may be a stumbling block.

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