From our leaders doing scams amounting to crores of rupees to employees stealing staplers and gums, our levels of dishonesty seems to have no limits. It is common that people visiting supermarkets and retail stores pilfer shopping items and manage to get them out of the stores without paying for them. CCTV installation has lessened theft in retail stores but certainly, it has not been able to stop them completely. But when it comes to the thefts in office, it is a different ball game altogether.

In a survey conducted on 3000 British workers, people have revealed that they have tampered with expenses for office purpose to get higher reimbursements. The study also revealed that many workers have stolen office merchandise.

People take office merchandise home for their personal use. It includes stationaries like stapler, pens, notebooks, gums, tables, chairs and even laptops. But above all these a new generation of theft has come up. It is the theft of personal data of the employees. Stealing personal data is as easy as copying the database into a removable usb disk and finding the right people to sell them to. Many people and organizations are looking for personal data like phone number, email accounts and bank accounts for various purposes including marketing and sales promotion.

Another study by an investing company showed that installation of CCTV cameras in office premises and monitoring the situation in the office by security agency lessens office pilfering. When employees know that they are under CCTV surveillance they think twice before lifting office stuff in the fear of losing their job. But whether CCTV surveillance will decrease theft of personal data is a different question. CCTV cameras may not be capable of spotting theft of personal data directly but when combined with other data like which machine was used and when to steal the data, it can be used to nab the miscreant.

CCTV surveillance is now common in retail shops and places needing high security like airports, banks, jewelry stores, etc. It is coming up in many offices too.

But there is a subtle problem regarding CCTV surveillance in offices. Many employers don’t know what they want to do with the CCTTV footage. Whether they are going to use it to spot people hanging around in various places in the office or they are serious about spoting theft and other crimes and taking legal action is a big question. Often the CCTV footages are not clear enough due to inefficient or low quality camera which makes it difficult to identify a person. Or it may so happen that the cameras are not fixed properly giving a very poor view.

Also sometimes the wireless CCTV cameras work in the same bandwidth as cordless phones or they are left with factory settings making the user id and password to access the footage easy to decode. This causes any outsider to look into the CCTV footage. So it is always advised that only an expert person or company, having the required knowledge and resources, set up the CCTV installation. CCTV is an important part of office security and it cannot be ignored or trifled with.