Guarding the Future: A Playful Dive into the State of Security

by | Jun 24, 2024

Guarding the Future: A Playful Dive into the State of Security

Once upon a time, in a world not so far away, security was a simpler affair. A sturdy lock and a vigilant neighbor were often all one needed to sleep soundly at night. Crime? Well, that was something you heard about on the news, something that happened to other people. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard the “we leave the back door unlocked” story.

But as our society evolves, so do the challenges we face. Today, the landscape of security is as intricate as the plot of a spy novel, with a myriad of technologies, policies, and social factors at play. It can feel like we’re all playing a giant security game against some pretty sneaky opponents.

More cameras are watching us than ever before, alarm systems beep and blare at us, and the news shares headlines of rising crime rates. Is all this tech and paranoia doing any good, or are we caught in a losing battle?

A Snapshot of Security Sentiments

Let’s take a peek under the hood of this security game we’re all playing. The numbers and headlines reveal some interesting trends.

  • Eyes Everywhere: There are an estimated 1 billion surveillance cameras worldwide, with a hefty chunk of them right here in the US. In fact, America has the most cameras per capita, clocking 15.28 devices per 100 residents.
  • Alarms-a-Plenty: The North American alarm system market is massive, and expected to hit a whopping $49.67 billion by 2032. At least 39 million American homes have an alarm system installed.
  • Crime Time: While “index” property crimes like home burglary and theft have thankfully been declining—from a high of 51.4 per 1,000 residents in 1991 to 119.5 per 1,000 in 2022—other worrisome incidents are on the rise. Package theft, vandalism, auto break-ins, and certain violent crimes have folks on edge.
  • Catch and… Release? Shifting law enforcement policies, including “catch and release” or “rotating door” practices for certain misdemeanor and non-violent offenses (including felony gun possession!)—along with zero bail policies—cause heated debate over their impact on crime. Do they help or hurt us?
  • A Divided House: Political polarization adds fuel to the fire, hampering progress on security policies that need broader cooperation.
  • Saying Yes to Drugs: Fentanyl usage and accidental overdoses are at crisis levels. The number of fatal fentanyl overdoses in 2022 alone is about equal to the total number of all drug overdoses during the 1980s.

American Data Dive: Understanding Security Trends

According to a report by IHS Markit, the number of surveillance cameras in the United States grew from 70 million in 2018 to 85 million by 2021. This proliferation of cameras speaks to the growing demand for enhanced security measures in both public and private spaces.

Alarming Statistics

Research has found homes without security systems are three times more likely to be targeted by burglars. This statistic underscores the importance of alarm systems in deterring criminal activity and protecting our homes and loved ones.

Nationwide, violent crime was up by 1% in 2022, while property crime saw a 7% increase, most notably in motor vehicle theft (+11%) and larceny/theft (+8%). Seattle, Memphis, and Albuquerque were the top property crime hot spots for the year.

And while violent crimes had a clearance rate of 36.7% in 2022—meaning that just over a third of instances were solved—the property crime clearance rate was only 12.1%.

Package Theft Epidemic

As online shopping continues to surge in popularity, so does the incidence of package theft. Roughly 75% of Americans experienced package theft in the past 12 months, with the average value of stolen goods totaling over $112. Package theft rose by 25.6% from 2021 to 2022.

The top five worst metro areas in the US for package theft in 2023 were:

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Memphis, TN
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. Birmingham, AL
  5. Denver, CO

This highlights the need for innovative solutions to safeguard deliveries.

Worst US Metros for Package Theft - 2023

Policing in Flux

The debate over policing policies rages on, with advocates on both sides arguing for reform or maintaining the status quo. Many police departments have implemented some form of “catch and release” policy for certain offenses, raising concerns among law enforcement officials and community members alike.

The new Los Angeles County bail schedule, for example, came into effect on October 1, 2023. Even crimes involving a firearm, sexual battery, or violence against children or the elderly are eligible with nothing but a quick review. All property crimes—including theft, burglary, and vandalism—are eligible for immediate citation and release.

LA County Bail Protocols

Does it work to reduce or eliminate crime? That depends on which side you ask.

But it certainly does little for peace of mind within the communities it is meant to protect and serve.

How the Security Industry Is Responding

As crime trends, attitudes, and public policies shift, the security industry has to shift with them. Technologies adapt and strategies change.

Cloud Is Still Changing the Face of Security

Cloud-based DIY surveillance was the beginning of a new era for security. Brands like Ring and SimpliSafe made it much easier for the average homeowner to get basic protection that puts some power in their hands. And, if they chose, in the hands of a monitoring center.

These products and services aren’t without their flaws. They require a hands-on approach and most of them are notorious for sending a slew of junk notifications. However, they moved the industry forward.

With a renewed interest in innovative security solutions as inspiration, tech companies now strive to create something that will satisfy homeowners and solve the quirks of early home security cameras.

AI Revolutionizes Security

If cloud-enabled surveillance changes security, AI transforms it entirely. AI-powered security systems are changing how we approach security and surveillance.

AI-equipped security cameras leverage advanced video analytics, behavior analysis, facial recognition, object detection, pattern analysis, anomaly detection, predictive analytics, and more to identify threats faster and more efficiently than ever before. This breakthrough technology promises to make our communities safer and more secure.

Remote Guarding

With the advent of AI-enabled security camera monitoring, security turns from reactive to proactive. It’s not a forensics tool—it’s a crime-stopping tool.

By leveraging AI to monitor and analyze security footage, companies can detect and respond to threats more quickly and effectively. AI does the heavy lifting, and humans add the real “brain power.”

According to criminologist Eric Piza, actively monitored video security systems have a crime-reducing effect. Passively monitored ones, however, do not.

Thanks to AI and cloud technology, remote guarding companies can monitor multiple locations at once—potentially catching trouble the moment it starts—but at a fraction of the cost of hiring on-site personnel for each separate location.

This shift towards proactive security measures represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about safety and protection.

The Tech Factor: Game-Changers or Hype?

Technology plays a HUGE role in how this security game is evolving.

  • Convergence Is King: Access control is seriously smart. Imagine doors, cameras, and locks all talking to each other, creating a super-secure perimeter.
  • Verkada’s Lesson: The Verkada breach in 2021—in which hackers gained access to 150,000 security cameras—showed how even sophisticated systems can be vulnerable, highlighting the need for constant vigilance.
  • AI: The X-Factor: Artificial intelligence is changing everything. From spotting suspicious behavior on camera feeds to predicting crime hotspots, AI has the potential to be a security game-changer… if used responsibly.

Indeed, artificial intelligence is the secret weapon in our arsenal, capable of analyzing vast amounts of data in real time to identify threats before they escalate. With AI-enabled camera surveillance, the concept of security as a service becomes a reality, capable of scaling to meet the needs of an ever-changing world.

Returning to Basics (Security 101)

A cautionary note… Technology has lulled too many people into believing they’re 100% safe all the time. (I’m especially looking at folks with alarm systems from dinosaurs like ADT that stopped improving their offerings decades ago.)

Problem #1? False alarms. They plague the security industry, particularly the old-school alarm systems. We’re talking a rate of 95–98% false alarms. That’s not real security. That’s a self-delusion of security.

Even with newer, better technologies, you need to be thoughtful. As much as everyone would like to have one be-all, end-all security solution, it’s not realistic. There’s no silver bullet that can protect every angle of your home from every crime and every criminal at every time of day. There’s a reason your car has seatbelts and airbags.

The better approach to security is to think about overlapping layers. That way, if something goes haywire or a particularly clever criminal evades one of your security measures, another backup protection method is ready. The cybersecurity world uses a similar methodology—the Layered Security Model.

This idea of layers is at the core of CPTED, or crime prevention through environmental design. It’s a good place to start when you’re fortifying your property.

So, Are We Winning This Game?

It depends on how you define “winning.”

  • The Good: Technology is definitely making us safer in some ways. Smarter systems, better detection, and faster response times are all positives.
  • The Bad: New tech also brings new risks. Privacy concerns, hacking dangers, and potential AI biases are serious issues.
  • The Ugly: Societal factors like crime trends and law enforcement policies have as much impact as any fancy camera. We can’t “tech” our way out of every problem.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The state of security in 2024 is a mixed bag. The best path forward looks something like this:

  • Tech AND Common Sense: Don’t fall for the hype that cameras alone will save the day. Good locks, smart habits, and community vigilance still matter.
  • Security for Everyone: New tech must be accessible and equitable. Otherwise, we risk creating a two-tiered system.
  • Finding Common Ground: We can disagree politically and still agree on the need for safety. Solutions might be elusive, but the conversation has to happen.

We need smart technology, but even smarter strategies that factor in personal responsibility and community cooperation.

And if you’re looking for a way to get ahead of the game, camera monitoring services like Deep Sentinel’s offer a new layer of proactive protection. Imagine human guards boosted by AI, watching over your property and intervening before the crime even happens. It’s a powerful new tool in your security arsenal.

The security game is constantly evolving. Whether we’re winning or losing depends as much on our choices as it does on the latest gadget.

So let’s choose wisely.

Deep SentinelA
Deep SentinelA

Need a Solution that Prevents Crime? Deep Sentinel is the only security technology that delivers the experience of a personal guard on every customer’s home and business. Call 833.983.6006 for your free security consultation.

Share This