The Role of High-Resolution Cameras in Parking Lots
What good is it to have security cameras if the footage is low quality, blurry, or unusable?
January 15, 2024
WHY BUSINESS LEADERS NEED TO PRIORITIZE PARKING LOT SECURITY
When the “show about nothing” aired its homage to the parking lot, viewers instantly related to the perils of parking. Jerry had to use the bathroom, Elaine worried about getting her new goldfish home, George needed to meet his parents, and Kramer heaved a heavy air conditioner across countless spaces, multiple stories, and a long list of setbacks in search of his vehicle.
The foursome endured a modern-day Odyssey — the quest to find Kramer’s car in a multilevel mall parking garage. When nature eventually called, Jerry and George found themselves in the sights of a security guard, on the wrong side of the law, and facing public indecency charges.
The comedy of errors recounted in “The Parking Lot” delivered comedy gold in 1991. If producers wanted to tap asset protection professionals for a reboot, there are more dark comedic moments — and true crime stories — to mine for an entire season of parking lot episodes.
Helping shoppers find their parking spaces may not top the list of benefits of installing high-resolution cameras for clear parking lot surveillance, but deterring and preventing criminal activity is. Petty crimes and misdemeanors, like public urination, may be annoying to shoppers, but business owners understand the “broken windows theory,” and how these seemingly insignificant issues can lead to much more serious and violent crimes.
OVERCOME SECURITY CHALLENGES WITH HIGH-RESOLUTION CAMERAS FOR PARKING LOT SURVEILLANCE
Deploying business security cameras will help company leaders identify and solve problems, as well as protect customers and employees in the parking lot. However, there are some challenges to overcome when considering high-resolution cameras for clear parking lot surveillance. From hard-to-see spaces between vehicles to older architectural designs that allow people to lurk in the shadows behind columns, ramps, and walls, it’s imperative security plans assess and solve these issues.
One challenge that leaders must address is updating lines of sight in older parking structures. This pressing issue underscored what happened at Philadelphia International Airport, where a gunman fatally shot a police officer and wounded his partner in 2023. Since there are there are very few security cameras in place to monitor the activities in the various parking garages, it’s a sad, yet clear fact that vulnerabilities exist — that had devastating consequences.
“It’s a little bit shocking in a big city like Philadelphia that there’s no surveillance cameras,” Adjunct Criminology Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice Michael Alcazar told CBS News Philadelphia.
The retired New York Police Department detective said cameras are indispensable to protect parking lots.
“Surveillance cameras are number one,” Alcazar told the television station. “They’re there to help. It’s a good deterrent — and again with everything going on in the world right now, it's surprising they don’t have surveillance cameras.”
Unmonitored airport parking lots are not an issue isolated to passengers at PHL. People who park at Palm Beach International Airport in Palm Beach, Florida, or at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, likely think parking lot security cameras keep an eye on their vehicles, yet investigative reporters discovered that both airfields lack security cameras in both the short- and long-term parking lots.
PEOPLE EXPECT EFFECTIVE PARKING LOT SECURITY
With the increase of security cameras in the United States (there were an estimated 85 million security cameras across the United States in 2021) people have come to expect there will be video footage if a crime occurs. The recordings help investigators track down criminals and serve as vital evidence for law enforcement.
“One of the first questions officers are asked by crime victims is about the existence of video cameras,” Chief and Director of Public Safety Laura Wilson told Stanford News. “In addition to the potential crime deterrence impact cameras can have, the Department of Public Safety anticipates being able to use footage from video cameras to investigate and solve crimes committed against those who live, work, and visit Stanford.”
While the majority of surveillance cameras provide retail-theft security and business analytics, technology and software improvements enhance proactive policing strategies. Access to 24-hour cameras, as well as facial recognition, specialized vehicle tracking, and drone programs, are proving to be vital tools for accountability. Investing in surveillance cameras can deter crimes like car burglaries, break-ins, and porch thefts, and provides law enforcement with “more eyes on the ground.”
Many municipal and law enforcement leaders credit video surveillance footage from high-resolution cameras in parking lots for reducing crime because it’s one of the best investigative tools for business-related criminal activity. And when business leaders work to integrate their security systems throughout a region, they can establish a broader community policing approach to security by pooling resources to:
Share intelligence with each other and local law enforcement
Create a network operations center backed by portable surveillance cameras
HOW HIGH-RESOLUTION PARKING LOT CAMERAS HELP TO FIGHT CRIME
From identifying potential threats and uncovering trends to collecting evidence and sharing information more broadly, investing in high-resolution parking lot cameras is a central component of effective security systems.
Video surveillance systems serve as a central component in discovering invaluable information about specific incidents, as well as discerning overall a business’s specific security trends. After an organized retail theft or an attack on an employee happens, high-resolution parking lot cameras can provide asset protection leaders and local law enforcement concrete details, including:
Visual Proof: Cameras capture incidents as they occur.
Establish Timelines: Cameras can determine how events unfolded and the sequences of a person’s actions.
Identify Details: Cameras can document people’s faces, clothing, and other useful information that describes suspects or victims.
Reveal Vehicle Information: Parking lot cameras also capture vehicle makes and models, as well as license plates.
Validates Eyewitnesses: Video recordings can substantiate or refute what a witness saw.
Recreates Crime Scenes: If necessary, law enforcement can recreate the crime scene using video recordings.
Reveal a Suspect’s Movements: Video surveillance can confirm alibis or track movements.
On an ongoing basis, video surveillance can help businesses develop a larger understanding of potential threats to their properties. Business leaders can also use this evidence to train future employees, influence asset protection policies, or even redirect their security efforts to better protect their employees and customers.
When the Community Action Services and Food Bank leaders needed to protect their community gardeners’ plots and harvests from thieves and late-night trespassers, they knew LVT’s high-resolution security cameras provided the solution. After deploying the 24/7 solution, the LVT Units eliminated all instances of theft and trespassing in the gardens.
Another unintended benefit?
“It has also been fun to see how much has changed and grown,” Volunteer Coordinator and Community Garden Manager Hillary Whittaker said.
Identifying criminals, or even their vehicles, makes stopping the crime much easier. For example, when thieves attempted to steal a moving truck, retailers used LVT’s video monitoring to send audio alerts while contacting law enforcement. Not only was the retailer able to detect the crime in progress, but they also provided officers with descriptions of the thieves, the truck, and the location.
LVT’S PARKING LOT CAMERAS SAFEGUARD ALL INDUSTRIES
From apartment complexes to critical infrastructure, LVT’s high-resolution security cameras deter and defend businesses in every industry, and deliver a 62% reduction in high-risk crimes.
Enel Group invests in renewable energy sources, including hydroelectricity, solar, wind, and nuclear power. These sites, located mainly in remote areas, can be targets for theft, vandalism, trespassing, and equipment breaches.
The LVT Unit, with its high-resolution security camera, provides an efficient solution that reduces break-ins and trespassing incidents, and also reduces the company’s live security guard payroll.
“We needed the ability to deploy security in a timely manner and the stability of working with a valued partner,” said Phil Brophy, Enel’s Head of Security Services USA and Canada. “It’s not just a security solution. It’s an operations solution.”
When Utah County Emergency Management needed more eyes, in more places, for more time across the 2,144-square-mile area of Utah County, they chose LVT’s high-resolution security cameras to monitor parking lots for pop-up vaccine clinics, voting sites, and known criminal hotspots.
By providing around-the-clock surveillance, instant monitoring, and the ability to deploy LVT Units across the county quickly, “LVT fills the monitoring gap that we had for significantly less than 24/7 human surveillance,” Utah County Emergency Manager Lieutenant Peter Quittner said.
Our customers trust LVT’s high-resolution cameras and mobile surveillance units to deter would-be criminals, defend their sites against bad actors, and help law enforcement investigate and prosecute crimes. But the best defense is a good offense—which LVT provides.
“Crooks seek the path of least resistance which is why an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of the cure,” said retired asset protection leader Mike Lamb about LVT. “The bad guys see it, get it, and ultimately fear it.”