THE issue of security in licensed premises has been dragged into the spotlight this year, and it is arguably more important than ever that bar and pub operators have systems in place to keep their staff and customers safe.
Ensuring management has eyes on all parts of a venue can be a challenge – particularly at busier times – and so up to date security systems are a must.
CCTV, in particular, was said by security firms to be essential if operators want to ensure all areas of a venue are covered, and any incidents recorded.
Neil Fleming of Sims Automatics said there’s “not too many premises now that don’t have it these days, whether it’s pubs, clubs or hotels”.
“Like anything, it moves on over time and technology gets better,” said Fleming.
Tony Hamilton, managing director at ViewPro Tec, agreed: “Today, businesses realise the benefit of installing CCTV systems in their premises,” he said.
“They have been able to protect their staff members as well as their premises. With a CCTV system, business owners are able to identify shoplifters and even robbers. Furthermore, it helps to keep an eye on the employees as it provides a central monitoring location.”
Recent innovations in CCTV include the introduction of remote access, where licensees or managers can access the CCTV feeds from laptops or mobile phones, ‘till scan’ capability, which links cameras to till systems so licensees are able to keep detailed recordings of each individual transaction, and analytical capabilities such as face recognition and people counting.
All of this has been accompanied by general advancements in picture quality and the introduction of smaller pieces of equipment.
“To ensure that CCTV systems are more useful, they have been designed to be smaller and more sophisticated with many features,” said Hamilton. “For a business, this is great, as they have a wide range of choices to choose from.”
The evolving tech echoes advancements in other areas. “It’s like jukeboxes turning from vinyl to CD and from CD to digital,” said Fleming of Sims Automatics.
“We were recording from VCRs and the digital quality now is so good, even from some of the relatively cheaper systems.”
This advancing technology is also helping to bring costs down for licensees, according to Reg Pope, managing director of Vuterra.
He said: “The cost now isn’t as bad as it used to be. The costs are coming down. And the cameras are better quality, so you can sometimes have fewer cameras but still have a bigger image and a wider field of vision than the traditional analogue cameras. Particularly with the HD and 4K cameras, the quality is incredible.”