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Why Most Security Systems Are Just “Security Theatre”

You may or may not have heard of the term “security theatre”.

But you can probably guess what it means. 

Wikipedia defines it like this: Security theatre is the practice of taking security measures that are considered to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to achieve it.”

Sadly, almost all security systems that are currently installed fall under this definition. 

Let’s take a look into the reasons why… 

Standard “out of the box” Security Systems

Two large, wall mounted CCTV cameras

Most of our enquiries come with a reoccurring theme; The home or business owner already has a security system in place but it did not prevent a crime from occurring. 

The vast majority of these issues stem from the fact that the system being used is a standard alarm and CCTV setup. These are (in almost all cases) installed by a local company or electrician. But increasingly, we’ll see well-known, established security companies carrying out these installations. 

Little to no consideration is conducted before installation. We’ll arrive on-site to find that cameras are serving no purpose or alarms will only trigger and take action when a threat has already crossed the boundary and taken action. 

This is simply too late. 

There are some fantastic systems available “out of the box” but they still need a good deal of understanding about security to make them useful. There is also the issue that they pose no form of deterrent for determined criminals, who can take basic measures to avoid this type of security, bypass it, disable it or in many cases, simply ignore it and carry on with the crime as intended. 

So if your security system consists of a few cameras, perhaps an alarms, some motion activated lighting and basic measures, you may find that it is time to consider an upgrade. 

There should be no “standard security systems” because every environment dictates the system it requires. The level of protection is determined by the area that needs protection and what items require that protection.

Being Fit For Purpose

A stunning period home against a blue sky is reflected in its private lake.

Before any form of security is installed, a thorough site survey should have taken place. A genuine security installer will always need to know what is being protected, what the likely points of entry are and how a threat could cross the boundary to access the area for intended crimes. 

Depending on the size and scale of the site being surveyed, this process can take a while. But once that initial assessment has been undertaken, you can begin to see what systems would work best in which areas. 

In many cases, a combination of security technologies will be the most beneficial solution. When combined with ISS (Integrated Security Software), these systems can form one cohesive layer of security; picking up threats as they try to enter the property and taking immediate action to stop them from escalating. 

Having a smart system that is able to differentiate between genuine threats and false alarms will mean that action is only taken when a true risk presents itself. The level of action should always be determined by the level of threat. 

When a security system is fit for purpose, it will stop criminals from taking action. It may alert a security team or use automated security measures but it should always react the moment it detects the threat. Sadly, most systems are incapable of this. 

Budget Purchases

Security can often be an afterthought. 

Our team work with a large number of ultra-high net-worth individuals, large estates, big businesses and corporate properties. We often discover that given the value of the items requiring protection, the security system is rather basic. This is usually a budget system being used to protect extremely high-value items. 

More concerning is the high rate of violent crime that sees criminal gangs attacking home and business owners, or worse yet; family members in order to extract money or goods. 

The budget security system in place suddenly becomes staggeringly obvious in its flaws. The sad fact is, a crime and the anguish that comes with it could have been avoided, had the correct security system already been in place. 

If you are aware that your current system is basic compared to the lure of the property it is protecting then it may be time to consider an upgrade. Enticing properties will require robust protection which should always start at the perimeter. 

Criminals Targeting Specific Areas

CCTV Camera showing human image capture

We often find that entire neighbourhoods are targeted by organised criminals. 

Once a house has been attacked, you will see other homes in the area also see intrusions. It should often be a red flag if people in your location have seen such criminal activity, it may be time to reassess your own property’s protection. 

This will have usually followed some criminal research into the area, with assessments of the local buildings, homes, assets worth targeting and security systems that are in place. It’s very much based on risk vs reward. 

As soon as you hear about neighbours being attacked, you may want to review whatever security systems you have in place and what you have on display that may attract criminals. You should feel safe in your own property but some crimes can be avoided simply by not making it obvious that you are a valid target. 

Making Sure Your System Is Not Security Theatre:

  • There are some basic checks that will help you remain safe and secure:
  • Keep high-value items out of the line of sight.
  • Ensure entrances, exits and windows are locked and secure, especially at night.
  • Test existing security such as alarms, cameras and motion-activated lighting.
  • Walk the perimeter of your property to understand what points of entry a criminal may use.
  • Look for blind spots in the security network that might allow an intruder to gain access. 
  • Check motion sensors. These can often be incorrectly configured to activate at the wrong times. 

If the above checks do not set your mind at ease then it may be worth getting in touch with the team at Safe Security Solutions

Once you have your information we can: 

A luxury home from an aerial view with security perimeter lines.
  • Discuss any security problems that you are facing.
  • Arrange a full, on-site survey of your property.
  • Walk the perimeter and assess any viable entry/access points that need addressing.
  • Look at how your existing security could be updated.
  • Make you aware of advanced security systems which will detect threats and take immediate action.
  • Demonstrate these systems. From Magos radar and El-Far Fence-mounted systems to covert buried sensor technologies from SensoGuard.
  • Work with you to develop the best, most complete protection system for your needs.
  • Eliminate the causes of false alarms, forever.
  • Work with you on the arrangement of installation and setup of any new system you decide to install.
  • Configure complete protection using ISS to integrate all systems into one easy-to-operate protection platform. 

Our team takes security extremely seriously. 

We do not want you to wait until security becomes a priority. Taking action now will remove security theatre and replace it with viable, reliable protection. 

perimeter detection, security industry, SIA