- Now that we have invested in a really expensive camera how do we avoid that the camera itself gets stolen?
- Will the criminals learn to avoid the cameras?
- How about vandalism?
- If we hide the expensive camera won’t we lose the preventive effect?
These are all excellent questions.
The solution is to hide the real camera and setup visible cheap decoy cameras.
Both real and fake cameras has a proven preventive effect on premeditated crimes!
The more cameras the more prevention.
Only the real camera will catch the criminal.
Once mounted the $5 camera looked like a cheap Toy (click for larger image)
By using the right combination of hidden expensive cameras strategically placed and visible cheap decoy/fake cameras, neighborhoods can achieve a cost-effective combination of prevention and apprehension.The first decoy camera we tested cost only $5 on amazon including shipping, it looked good in the photo, but the real thing looked like a cheap-toy.
Dome camera is ideal for the front door (click for larger image)
The next camera tested was a $20 (now only around $5) dome style camera, it looks pretty realistic, and is ideal for indoor use and for above the front door installation. But for giving the impression of surveillance of public spaces it is not the right type.
The Dome Camera is recommended for Personal use, and can be ordered from amazon here: SE Dummy Security Camera, Dome Shape, 1 Red Flashing Light
The right Decoy Camera
The Real Surveillance Camera next to the Decoy - can you tell which is which? (click for larger image)
3rd time was the charm, the camera we got was a high quality plastic mold of a real outdoor surveillance camera costing around $10.
At that price it is worth putting up a lot of cameras.
You can buy the Decoy Cameras online from Amazon in single or in bulk.
- 1 pcs Outdoor Fake Dummy Security Cameras LED Blinks Camera
- 2 pcs Outdoor Fake Dummy Security Cameras LED Blinks Camera
- 4 pcs Outdoor Fake Dummy Security Cameras LED Blinks Camera
- 10 pcs Outdoor Fake Dummy Security Cameras LED Blinks Camera
The decoy cameras come with a short cable that goes into the wall mount, in your mind you have to determine where this cable is going. If you place the decoy on a tree or a light pole then you have to add a fake cable that goes away from the camera. The easiest solution is to place the camera on a wall where there it would be natural to run the cable on the other side of the wall. Don’t hide the decoy camera, but instead make sure that it can be clearly seen from the street and make sure it has a good view of the street/intersection.
=============== UPDATE May 13, 2014 ============================
Advice from Captain Jeffrey Israel, Oakland PD, place the camera in a place where it is lit and seen at night, e.g. in an area lit by an outdoor light or motion detector security light.
The well placed camera is mounted on a wall that can accommodate the cable while being visible and having a clear view of the street. (click for larger image)
Blinking LED or not.
All the decoy cameras above has a LED and a battery compartment for a 9 volt battery.
A 9 volt battery will last about 3 months before needing replacement.
We turn OFF the blinking LED on the real camera, a blinking red LED will make a camera very visible at night. So the question becomes:
1) “If the real camera does NOT have a blinking LED, will giving the fake cameras a blinking LED make them look fake?”
2) “if the neighborhood is not on its toes in regards to changing the batteries, you will create a situation where some of the cameras will have a blinking LED and some will not, will this make the all cameras look more fake?”
You will have to find that answer yourself depending on how likely your group will be running out with ladders every 3 months to replace all the batteries.