To conceal, or not to conceal....

JDWX

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Ok, just throwing this out to ponder. Common sense would tell "me", a non-criminal... lol, that seeing cameras in plain sight indicate I shouldn't mess around here and should move on.

BUT.... I'm also wondering, in some areas, if seeing cameras around a house might attract attention and make criminals think there must be something "special" here or that if the property owner can afford nice cams, me must have other nice toys inside. hence, a tempting target. Some people don't care about being video recorded, lol... Certainly doesn't stop most store robberies etc.

If I lived in a nice area, I wouldn't hesitate to put cams out lol... Different public element. But here, it potentially seems I'd attract attention. I purposely keep my house low key so as not to attract attention as it is.

Maybe junkie looking (Costco/Sam's club) cameras maybe not so much. But the better pro looking cams, I wonder. I have one industrial cam that looks serious.

Thoughts?
 

icerabbit

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There's pros and cons both ways. Every person has to decide for themselves ... and while you can analyze and categorize crime/criminals; there is a very random element to it, and then there's desperation. You have people breaking in and robbing commercial places that are known to have surveillance.

I personally went with conceal for the start of my camera network. For both aesthetic reasons and practically, that hopefully the person(s) or vehicle(s) have already been recorded before they know it. I want to double the number of cameras, but, they're tougher to install and harder to conceal. So I'm procrastinating on them. But anyway. My preference is to not draw extra attention to a property by having cameras really stand out. Though I understand that can be quite preventive, for most things/cases.
 

JDWX

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Ahh, aesthetics, a side I wasn't even addressing that needed addressed, lol... We can add that to the question as well. I suppose I'd like to see the cams, but I imagine our significant others, might find them not so nice. I've seen/heard a lot of that.

Luckily, the cams would be the nicest thing on my house. Hence my apprehension, lol... :)
 

nayr

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all they have to do is put on a mask and go see whats so important he has all these cameras...

I am always in favor of concealment, average people dont need them in there face and it makes them uncomfortable.. and criminals too stupid to notice them even better, because they are either 1. going to see the cameras a mile away despite how well hidden, or 2. not see the cameras at all until its up in there face and they end up staring right into the camera when they find it causing a perfect ID shot if there close in... if they know its there all they have to do is get a hat and stair at there feet as they walk past and you wont get anything but what kinda hat he had on.

On a side note, here in Colorful colorado.. if I see a house plastered outside with a ton of cameras, and its not a particularly well maintained house.. I presume there growing a bunch of Marijuana inside, I doubt im the only one. There are people who roam the town called RIPPERS, who try to locate weed growing houses and empty them out.. You would not want to catch the eye of these guys, they will probably kick down your door with guns cocked.. Not a decade ago a local weed advocate went on news and showed off his plants, next day he was dead and the plants were gone.
 
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JDWX

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This.... Is probably what I was getting at. Was basically thinking more like typical burglary stuff, and not the "Rippers" thing. Strange I hadn't touched on that in my own thoughts. But had thought that people or authorities might think a meth house! So, similar....

The house isn't too run down. per the area, about a 6+ on a 10 scale. Kept clean and neat. but, low key. Doesn't stand out. But.... Yes... Excellent comment.
 

icerabbit

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It is also why I don't have a camera surveillance nor alarm sign out in my yard. Only a small note on the doors.

There's a rural property I drive past from time to time, might be something where the owner built a large several bay garage first and will build a house later, or possibly just lives down the road and needed a place to store toys, work on cars, etc. Anyway. The place must have been burglarized several times for tools and equipment, as you started to see some repairs to a brand new building, warning signs and finally spray painted in big letters splattered all over the garage door, the size you can read from the highway: keep out, camera in use! And so, best of luck to him trying to ID the next person who wants to snoop around and is possibly determined to grab some tools. Who doesn't have a baseball cap or knit cap & scarf, maybe mask for winter? A baseball bat or some spray paint to the camera and goodbye footage and maybe the camera (in case of a bat, shovel, ... hit) If it is the average kit from a big box store, the dvr probably isn't well hidden or secured either.

While I'm sure I'd be equally mad if I were victimized, especially repeatedly, I still think I'd approach things in an understated fashion. Plenty of physical reinforcements that can be made / upgrades that can be done. Reconfigure access. Limit road access with a gate. Tuck some dome cameras in the soffits outside and between the rafters inside. Wire up some motion activated flood lights. Install an alarm system. ...
 

nayr

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yep, its all about layers.. cameras are just one part of a much larger picture.

street logic concludes if your obviously paranoid, your probably doing something illegal your self.. and thus likely unwilling to get the police involved. Depending on where you live this could just encourage the odds of you being a victim of a more violent crime instead of a petty larceny.

the only security measures I advocate advertising are false/psychological measures, basically a honeypot to get a criminal to behave in a predictable way that helps you out in the long run.. like putting an obvious camera up with a obvious blind spot, then a well hidden camera in that blindspot.. advanced tactics for dealing with employees/staff/friends/kids whom test and learn ways to avoid the security.
 
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pal251

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Keep your dvr hidden. Sometimes the thief will take the dvr, especially if it's in an open business location
 

pal251

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Another layer of security is to get an alarm system. It may take 20 minutes for the police to show up but at least you find out about the crime sooner than later. If it's a well setup system without false alarms all the time, you might try a loud alarm and or lights
 

JDWX

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So much to digest :)

Well, nothing illegal here, I'm pretty boring in my old age haha. But, I'm ex law enforcement, so, I have a grip on what happens in the area and am pro-active and hyper vigilant (maybe umm, paranoid, lol). Finances have me living here a while, so, hardening perimeters, and I do like being able to view the home when away. Some possessions to watch over that would suck to lose, but actually I think I worry about my dogs most when I'm gone haha. And, being able to see outside when I'm home is kinda cool as well. But that is probably more nerdy techy fun.

Alarms here in the city pretty much need to send alarm info to the resident and let them proceed with whatever course of action. CPD rarely respond to a residential alarm here in CLE very quickly, usually not for hours, and maybe even 6-8 hours, depending on when it is. Say an alarm hits at 8pm on a Fri/Sat, it may not be answered til it slows down at say 5 -6 in the morning. . However if "I" myself called with an alarm in addition to having a visual (camera view) on a burglary in progress, it would then get priority and likely a pretty quick response. They actually do like catching people in the act. But hate cold/false alarms etc. So, building a simple Ademco based alarm slowly and working on what will likely just be some sort of GSM Gateway situation to alert me or a neighbor directly. Currently using a few cheap Foscams with their email/motion sense reporting. Sad when you have to be your own police to great extent, but, is what it is. Taxes are cheap here, lol...

Having pondered and reflected upon the excellent advice here, I'm thinking concealed or particularly low key, is likely the best way. It's worked well in other areas all my life, always best not to show your hand until you reach out, so I understand the concept. I guess I knew this, but wanted to ask the people that are camera install experts and have the experience. Truly great input, and I appreciate it a lot.

Thinking the main obtrusive Hikvision cam is getting sunk into a soffet to conceal it as much as possible. Still happy to hear more input. Your opinion is more valuable than you might expect. I've learned a lot lurking here!
 

icerabbit

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Sorry to hear about slow police response. I know with all the false alarms, low staffing sometimes, etc that basic alarms are considered a nuisance and priority goes elsewhere. Officers can only do one thing at a time. But. My opinion on that priority differs in that it can be a great community building tool and will show the police being available to help residents and also translates into a message to criminals, that they may have as little as five minutes. (depending on territory, terrain, season etc) Getting the next shift to go, going 8-10-12 hrs later ... just does not jive with me from a response time aspect, unless they were completely swamped with one or more things that make news headlines.

With regards to sinking the camera into a soffit, if I think I know what you mean like a recessed ceiling light, you have to be careful with IR reflection from adjacent surfaces like the soffit itself back into the lens. So if you were to recess a dome, you may have trouble aiming away from the structure horizontally into the distance. So you have to keep location, angles and ir placement on the fixture ( full circle, half moon, single chip) in mind.

Thanks for the kind words. I'm not a pro when it comes to installing these things. Knew a bit in general. Read a fair deal. Found this forum when I started to look at hikvision as a value option for myself. Had some practical questions. Been giving / sharing back with other people since.
 

catseyenu

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Cameras like most defensive weapons are usually best not seen until it's too late for your opponent to react.
 

pal251

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I wouldn't be happy if it took the police 8 hours to get to an alarm call. Granted my town is a small town but we take priority over that unless there is another crime in progress. 99 percent of time it's bogus but its that 1 percent that gets you. Our response time is about 3 minutes from time that the officer gets the call unless we are tied up elsewhere
 

JDWX

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Yeah, seems Cleveland is just short of Detroit in police protection, lol... Lucky if they even come to lesser problems. I had a hit and run on a vehicle in front of my house reported at 12pm on a Sunday, and at 11pm they hadn't came yet and I called it off to go to bed. Technically these days, I'm not even sure if they even always respond unless an alarm company (or myself) can verify motion/video. So, cams and self monitoring it is.

Been playing around the last couple days making a somewhat camouflaged with siding soffit-like box that will blend in more.At least it won't stand out 'too" much. As for the less obtrusive cameras I wish to add, not sure what I'll do, but I think I can hide them a bit.

Again, thanks for all the food for thought. :)
 

paarlberg

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Luckily for me, we have quick police response. Our response times are 3-4 minutes max. When we were building our house, the police actually would call me if they saw unusual activity. They do vacation checks and will notify you if anything is unusual as well.

This was under 4 minutes from when I dialed the police. I was 2 houses away while were still building the house. In the next 6 minutes we had 10 officers on site. This was not a critical situation, just someone snooping around the house. The response was typical though, usually 2-5 officers arrive in a couple minutes. The officer with his back to the camera was the 3rd one on site, he was driving toward my house on the same road less than half a mile away. Makes you wonder where the other 2 were. The first thing they asked was if I had any video, I turned it over to them.

FPR.20130205_114154_1.jpg
I do have signs, but I use smaller domes for better concealment, they usually don't know the cams are there until they are very close and it is too late. That was my old Axis M3114-VE, great little day cam, but a bit pricey compared to the Hiks that I have now.
 

JDWX

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I remember seeing this pic. It was one that helped pique my interest in getting outside cams :) Very cool.
 
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