Should You Install CCTV Cameras in Your Community?

March 1, 2012
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Install closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras in the common areas of your community only if you have the staff and money necessary to monitor them. While the presence of CCTV cameras in parking lots and other common areas may help reduce crime in these locations, there is a downside—they need to be monitored and, if you manage a small community, you may not have the resources to do so.

If you’re wondering why your CCTV cameras should be monitored, the answer is simple: To avoid liability. While technically there is no law that mandates that all CCTV cameras must be monitored, two things could happen as a result of failing to do this: (1) if community members find out that you haven’t monitored the cameras as promised, it could lead to distrust and cause members to question whether you’ve misrepresented other things; and (2) members could have a false sense of security and take risks they otherwise wouldn’t have—and then sue you if they are victimized. Giving members the impression that they are protected when they’re not can lead to, at best, dissatisfaction, and, at worst litigation.