AUGUST is a good month for break-ins, because many of us leave our homes unoccupied while we hightail it to Tuscany or Torremolinos . But a remotely controlled security camera back home can be as good as – or better than – a house sitter. The current fad for home automation products has spawned a raft of cameras that record what is going on and allow you to access the footage from wherever you are . They don t actively deter intruders but they do arm you with the evidence if you need it . More importantly, perhaps, they provide some peace of mind when home is far away. All of them work in more or less the same way, connecting to the internet and uploading footage to a cloud, from where it can be accessed by PC or phone . Most have sensors that can start recording when movement is detected, and some can be panned and swivelled remotely.
But while the technology is similar, the business models of the manufacturers vary greatly . In particular, some require you to pay a monthly fee to record and play video; others include everything in the purchase price. Recording and playing back your footage is a must for practical use . Any camera will let you watch live, and many will alert you when they detect something, but unless you can search and see events retrospectively, your evidence will vanish into the breeze. Less essential but still useful features on some models include the ability to store footage on an SD card in the camera itself, and two-way audio to communicate with someone back home. All security cameras have companion apps that let you watch footage on your phone, but the design and functionality of these varies enormously . The market has matured greatly in recent years, and the interface of my BT Smart HomeCam from 2014 seems rudimentary now. The Evo range from Y-Cam is among the newer entrants to the market, offering seven days rolling cloud storage of video clips for the first three years, as part of the upfront 129 . The range includes indoor and outdoor models, and can he had as bundles at a slight cost saving.
It is by selling you more than one camera that manufacturers try to lock you into whatever subscription model they are offering . The outlay is too great for you to replace them all and go elsewhere, they figure . But there are also advantages to you, since you can view and control all your cameras from a single app, like a security officer in a shopping mall. Security cameras typically record video in high definition, though not necessarily the highest available, and HD recording tends to be used as a sales incentive . In fact, for security use the definition hardly matters – the ability to compensate for bright sunlight and to shoot clearly at night is far more useful . A lens with a wide field of vision is also worth having, so you can position it without blind spots. Where to place these cameras is an art in itself . Nearly all need mains power, and it s a challenge to run cables discreetly along walls without compromising the view . It s also worth bearing in mind that if the power to your home is cut, so is the video feed.
Your intended use for a security camera – child minder, pet monitor, web cam – will dictate the functions you need, but even from those few examples, it s plain to see how easily they could become part of your life.
Security at Wigan market hall will be increased after yobs caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to traders stock. Wigan Council has said it has listened to stallholders concerns following an incident last month and has allocated more security staff to cover the busy summer period. Staff at Wigan Sofa Centre were disgusted to find that a group of teens had vandalised a trade stand just minutes after employees left. Outraged, they contacted police but were told that the crime was not a policing priority and that the investigation would not be taken any further. A letter addressed to Janet Ryding, who works at the furniture store, said: We are pro-actively looking to provide protection against child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, hate crime, high-risk missing from homes, serious sexual offences, critical anti-social behaviour, vulnerability protection, mental health incidents and significantly impactive crimes on victims such as burglary dwelling. This crime would appear to require disproportionate resources to conclude and impacts on ability to investigate other priority crime. Janet said many traders feel they are not safe at work.
The abuse is constant, she said . The costings of retail are hard enough to manage without this . It s becoming a nightmare.
James Morely, another market worker, added: Kids are unchecked, little to no security and what security there is can only do so much. After numerous complaints, the council has said that any extra security will be asked to tighten up safety in the hall. Karl Battersby, director for economy and environment, said: The acts of a small minority of vandals is deeply upsetting for the stallholders at Wigan Market who are trying to run their own business and supporting our local economy.
Wigan Market works in partnership with The Galleries to provide on-site security and during key times throughout the year such as summer holidays and Christmas additional security is brought in as additional support.
We are always listening to our stallholders and the extra security has been tasked to cover areas of concern they have raised with us as part of this pre-arranged additional cover.
Police Scotland has launched Operation Summer City as the capital gets set for the 70th anniversary of the International and Fringe festivals. It comes after it was announced anti-vehicle barriers will be installed across the city for the first time, in the wake of recent terror attacks in London and Manchester. Other measures planned for this year s festivals include an increased police presence, non-uniform officers, and the opening of the Unofficial Fringe Venue 999 in Princes Street Gardens. Superintendent Lesley Clark said: Come, have fun – it s a wonderful experience, but just think about your safety.
Think about your surroundings and, if you see anything of concern, if you don t think it s right, chances are it s not right . So please let us know and we ll follow that up. The National Barrier Asset (NBA) is in place purely and simply because, as we know this is the 70th anniversary, there will be an increase in the number of tourists.
We can see that already and the festival hasn t even begun. READ MORE1: Anti-terror barriers installed ahead of Edinburgh Festival So it s just a sensible and proportionate way to provide additional security to a crowded place. NBA includes high security gates, portals and barriers which are designed to prevent hostile vehicle attacks on key or busy crowded place locations. Horseback officers as well as dog units are among other increased security measures to be deployed. READ MORE2: Bag checks to be introduced at Edinburgh Festival shows
Police are aiming to concentrate on preventing crime by giving residents and visitors information about travel and where they can get help if they need it. Three command points where the public can access help and advice are located at The Mound, Princes Street Gardens and on the High Street next to the Fringe office. Ms Clark added: Summer City is the Police Scotland response to how we are going to provide additional facilities, additional visibility, to maximise the safety of the public.
We have the training . If we are responding to a major incident, irrespective of where it is, we would muster well and we would be able to deliver a proportionate and appropriate response. For the second year, the force unveiled a mascot for the summer operation, with Amanda the panda being given the honour.
The operation was announced at The Stand Comedy Club, which is one of the festival venues.