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How Criminals Can Tamper With Your CCTV Systems

CCTV systems are an excellent deterrent for criminal activity and can provide high-quality camera footage to use in court once a suspect has been identified.

However, while CCTV is effective at reducing opportunistic and impulsive crimes, professional criminals often have the knowledge and skills to be able to evade and disable CCTV systems. They can use a wide range of strategies to prevent themselves from being identified, which may lead to dead ends in a police investigation.

In this article, we will explore the main methods that criminals use to disable or evade CCTV systems, and outline how you can tamper-proof your CCTV system to catch criminals in the act.


Criminal Method One: Damaging CCTV Cameras

Some opportunistic criminals may use the following methods to damage your CCTV system so that it is rendered non-functional:

1) Destroying CCTV Cameras - The most obvious (and the easiest) way for a criminal to disable your CCTV system is by damaging it, most commonly by smashing it with a blunt object such as a cricket bat. To do this, criminals will often find a blind spot where they can damage your CCTV camera without being seen.

You can prevent your CCTV system from being destroyed by investing in vandal-proof casing; this will protect your CCTV camera from any impact from a blunt object.

When you choose vandal-proof casing, keep in mind the following factors:


· Durability - The higher the durability, the better! Remember, some criminals may use objects that can apply a significant amount of force.

· Weatherproofing - If your CCTV camera is positioned on the exterior of the building, you may require a weatherproof casing to prevent damage from the elements.

· Visibility - For your CCTV system to be effective, you need to ensure that visibility is maintained. Therefore, choose a casing which does not obstruct the camera's field of vision.

2) Spray Painting Over CCTV Camera Lenses - Spray paint is a commonly used tool among vandals to cover the lens of a CCTV camera. It is lightweight and easier to carry discreetly than a blunt object, and it can block out a camera lens in a matter of seconds without causing any audible noise.

To prevent vandals from spray painting over your CCTV camera, you should ensure that it is positioned out of reach and in an area where criminals cannot climb up to it. For added protection, consider using anti-climb paint or fencing in the areas around your CCTV system.

Criminal Method Two: Disabling CCTV Cameras

Unlike opportunistic criminals, professionals may use more sophisticated methods to disable your CCTV cameras, including:

Hacking - Almost every system can be hacked by an experienced criminal, and this includes CCTV systems. You should ensure that your CCTV system is protected by using strong passwords, firewalls, and security software.

Using a randomised password is highly effective at reducing the risk of your password being guessed by an experienced hacker.


Cutting The Power Supply - Although it is rare and highly unlikely to happen, some burglars may cut the power supply to disable CCTV cameras.

To prevent this, you should choose a CCTV system that has a backup battery if your power goes down. This backup battery will supply power to your CCTV system if your mains power fails for any reason.

This also protects your premises in the event of a power cut, when burglars may take advantage of the situation to target your premises.


Radio Jamming - Many CCTV systems use a closed radio signal loop, which is an efficient way to integrate multiple security systems. However, with lower-quality wireless systems, criminals can use radio jamming to interrupt the radio signal, rendering the system ineffective.

To avoid this, consider investing in a high-quality CCTV system. This will make it more difficult to interfere with, providing a higher level of protection against intruders.


Maintain Regularly To Remain Safe

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring that your CCTV system is working to its full capacity.

You should routinely update your software to prevent vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers, as well as clean the lenses and carry out regular tests of the recorders and alarms to ensure that they are working effectively. Plus, make sure to check the cables to ensure they haven't become worn, frayed, or cut, which can disrupt the signal.

Regularly reviewing your CCTV footage can also help you identify any issues with your CCTV system, and may allow you to spot criminal activity that you might have missed, such as criminals casing your property to look for weaknesses.

Use Risk Assessments To Protect Yourself

Professional criminals will usually only target high-value properties and businesses that keep large quantities of cash on-site, or which stock valuable products.

Therefore, while it may be necessary to invest in advanced technology and high-end security systems for at-risk properties, many premises can be adequately protected through more simple solutions.

Carrying out regular risk assessments of your security vulnerabilities and accurately assessing the value of your products can help to inform you of your security needs, so that the proper level of protection can be installed at your premises.


Want to keep your business safe through alarms, CCTV systems, and other security measures? Contact Us! 


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