Editor’s note: SSI sister publication Campus Safety‘s 2019 Video Surveillance Survey asked campus security professionals questions about their surveillance systems and what types of challenges they face securing their campus.
Security professionals should use this information to tailor their offerings in the education and hospital verticals.
Previous studies conducted by Campus Safety magazine have found that video surveillance systems are extremely popular security solutions in our nation’s healthcare facilities, schools and institutions of higher education. According to CS’ 2016 Video Surveillance Survey, more than nine out of 10 K-12, hospital and higher education organizations have security cameras installed.
Some might argue that among their peers, CS’ audience members are leading adopters of security technology and that the nine-in-10 rate we found three years ago might be a bit high. Indeed, a 2015-16 National Center for Education Statistics study found that only 81% of K-12 campuses had cameras installed, compared to the 93% of CS school audience members. However, whether the percentage was 81% or 93% back then, the rate of adoption is still high and growing.
In fact, when we asked CS readers again this year if they have security cameras deployed on their campuses, 96% said they did, while 3% said they didn’t but plan on deploying them in the next three years.
Whatever the rate of adoption might be, there is so much more to video surveillance systems than whether a campus has them or not.
How well do they work? Are they reliable? Are they covering the appropriate locations? Can they integrate with other camera systems as well as other non-video surveillance systems, such as access control, intrusion and fire alarm systems? Do campuses plan on purchasing more video surveillance equipment in the future?
These and other questions were covered in the Campus Safety 2019 Video Surveillance Survey.
Below are some of the highlights of the report:
- Of the 96% of respondents who say their campuses already have video surveillance systems, 66% say their organizations plan on purchasing or upgrading their video surveillance technology in the next three years. Another 23% said their campuses might buy more of this equipment.
- Compared to three years ago when CS last conducted this same survey, 8% more participants now say the coverage of their video surveillance technologies is excellent or good — 62% now compared to 54% in 2016.
- Seven out of 10 respondents rate their system quality as good or excellent. That’s 10 percentage points higher than three years ago.
- Video surveillance downtime or data loss is a challenge, with two out of three respondents rating the significance of its impact as big (25%) or moderate (42%).
- System maintenance is more of an issue now than in 2016, with more than one in four rating this issue as extremely challenging or very challenging (6% and 20%, respectively).
- More than a third of our survey takers say video integration with other public safety/security systems is extremely challenging or very challenging.
- Institutions of higher education are experiencing the most maintenance and integration issues, compared to their K-12 and healthcare brethren.
- Across the board, old cameras continue to pose issues, with one in four survey participants rating this problem as extremely challenging or very challenging.
- In general, campuses aren’t experiencing as many problems involving policies and personnel as three years ago. However, college campuses were the respondents that most often experience policy problems.
- Compared to 2016, overall, 7% fewer respondents say not having enough staff to operate their security cameras is an extremely challenging or very challenging problem for them, but institutions of higher education are struggling with this issue more than schools and hospitals.
- Eight percent fewer overall participants say that staff not knowing how to effectively use their video surveillance system(s) is an extremely challenging or very challenging problem, but there is significant variance among the three sectors surveyed on this issue.
- Of all three CS sector respondents who already have security cameras deployed, 79% have purchased general video surveillance equipment in the past three years, and the 15% that haven’t done so in the past three years are considering doing so in the next three years.
- Healthcare respondents were the most likely to have purchased general video surveillance technology in the past three years (87%), while institutions of higher education were the least likely to do so (74%). Schools and school districts were in the middle at 80%.
The CS 2019 Video Surveillance Survey also asked campus protection professionals for comments on the successes and challenges they’ve experienced with their camera systems.
Overall, most hospital, school and university protection professionals appear to be very supportive of the deployment of security cameras and use this technology frequently to do their jobs and make their campuses more safe and secure.
These comments support the findings of CS’ 2018 Video Surveillance Survey, which found that 96% of survey respondents that have video surveillance systems installed on their campuses say these systems frequently (58%) or sometimes (38%) provide evidence for investigations.