Off-site live server backup saves the day in Forfar burglary

Off-site CCTV

How can you make your CCTV system more resilient to attack by burglars?

The shocking burglary of 10 Angus industrial units in the early hours of Boxing Day by a team of hooded criminals not only resulted in the loss of a considerable amount of cash and an expensive pick-up truck plus damage to the premises, but also an important lesson for anyone using a CCTV system to protect their premises.

In the 20-minute raid, reported by The Courier, the gang made their way round each of the units looking for ways to break in and steal what they could. They managed to escape with “thousands of pounds” in cash and a Ford Ranger pick-up truck. They even pulled a safe off a wall to get the cash from the coach firm.

Crucial CCTV set-up lesson

All of the units had CCTV systems installed, but the raiders found the control boxes for each of them and ripped them out, rendering them useless to record the crime from that point on.

Crucially, though, one of the businesses had invested in an off-site live server backup of the footage from its system. That enabled police to quickly recover footage of two of the criminals searching the premises and begin the task of trying to identify them.

Fortunately, in their rush to escape the scene of the crime as quickly as possible, the burglars didn’t take the control boxes for the other systems with them – so their footage to the point they were disconnected from their cameras was left intact. But if they’d been more careful, that evidence could have been lost, making the manhunt much harder.


Upgrade possible

The incident has been a sobering lesson for more than just those business owners – anyone relying on CCTV recording on-site only can now see how vulnerable that limitation makes them to a similar attack.

The good news for them is that not only does the technology for off-site backup of CCTV recordings exist to be specified as part of a new system, but you can also upgrade what you already have to include it.

Off-site backup systems

Off-site backup CCTV systems use an Internet connection to send the footage to a recording device or online ‘Cloud’ server away from your premises – so they’re it’s vulnerable to physical attack.

The former uses the Internet Protocol (IP) system to specify a recording device at an individual IP address to access and record the footage. Cloud-based systems use the same technology to send the recorded images to a computer server at your service provider, which your installation and maintenance firm can arrange.

Both need power and an Internet connection to get the images off-site, but can have their own in case mains power or your broadband link goes down – a built-in power supply and mobile network data connection (like your utility smart meters) can be used. If your broadband and mobile connection speeds are low, you’ll be limited in footage quality, but something is better than nothing to find your burglars.

Get in touch

If this incident has given you pause for thought, for more about the CCTV systems we offer, go here for Commercial systems and here for home systems.

Fraser Fire & Security provides fire safety and security services across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Inverness. For more information get in touch.

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Fraser Fire & Security Ltd
Craigmyle Park
Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
AB51 5PE

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Fraser Fire & Security Ltd
49 Curlew Road
IV36 2PQ


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