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The Role of Surveillance Cameras in Reducing Crime—Stats and Stories to Prove it Works

Posted: August 15, 2019

As more and more cities embrace video surveillance to monitor public streets and homeowners attach video doorbells, the question often arises: do cameras deter burglars? Yes, they do! But because many people harbor selective opinions on the matter, it can be tough to narrow down to the nitty-gritty. 

We know that protecting ourselves from burglary is necessary. In fact, a burglary occurs approximately every 20 seconds in the United States. According to the 2017 FBI Uniform Crime Report:

  • There were an estimated 1,401,840 burglaries during the year.
  • Victims suffered an estimated $3.4 billion in property losses.
  • The average loss per offense was $2,416.

These statistics often prompt homeowners to take measures to protect their homes. One of the ways many residents do this is with home surveillance cameras. People are actually adopting home security cameras at such a fast rate, the market is estimated to exceed $9.7 billion by 2023.

Take a look at the following surveillance camera stats to identify the real value of security cameras.

Surveillance cameras and burglaries

It can be difficult to uncover what motivates an intruder to enter a home uninvited. For this reason, it’s tough to generalize the statistics. However, the following surveillance camera statistics speak for themselves:

One study from KTVB news station surveyed 86 burglars to uncover what motivates them to break into homes. The responses confirmed that generally, intruders avoid video surveillance:


Burglars agreed security cameras were a deterrent.


  • Another report compiled from the University of North Carolina’s Department of Justice and Criminology polled former burglars to determine what deters them. They discovered that 60% of the convicted burglars would scan for surveillance cameras before entering a property. Of these, 40% of burglars said that the presence of surveillance cameras would be motivation enough to seek a different target.
  • A report by the Electronic Security Association collected data from burglars, many of whom cited “signs of increased security – including alarm signs, alarms, dogs inside, and outdoor cameras or other surveillance equipment” as a reason to abandon an attempt. 

If these statistics aren’t convincing enough, check out these real-life stories to see how surveillance cameras were helpful in specific situations.

Real-life surveillance camera success stories

One advantage of modern surveillance camera technology, such as video doorbells and home automation, is the live-streaming capabilities. Security cameras can be so helpful in deterring crime that one CNN article likened home surveillance cameras to a modern form of neighborhood watch. Local authorities are even encouraging residents to connect cameras to a network, giving police access to home surveillance footage.

Check out these real-life stories to see how people are using home surveillance cameras to deter crime:

  • In one instance in Massachusetts, a man was notified of intruders in his home via his connected camera. Authorities were able to apprehend the offenders during the break-in as a result of the quick alert.
  • One video doorbell utilized by a Florida resident was even able to collect footage of an attempted burglary, which later led to the identification and capture of the perpetrator.
  • A man out of Pittsburgh installed a surveillance camera after a string of burglaries, leading to the identification of the intruder.

These instances showcase the true value of the home surveillance camera and its role in reducing crime. 

How do home surveillance cameras benefit you? 

Ultimately, investing in a home surveillance camera is a personal choice. But, installing a home surveillance camera can benefit you in many ways in addition to home protection.

  • Some homeowner’s associations and insurance companies offer discounted rates for homeowners with a security system.

  • Home video cameras can help prevent package theft or help obtain refunds or replacements when theft can be proven. (Use these tips to help prevent package theft.)

If you do opt to install video surveillance, use our guide to locate which security camera is right for you.

Protect Your Home has as a team of experts who can professionally install your home surveillance camera to ensure optimal functionality and help protect your family.



  1. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/topic-pages/burglary

  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2019/01/31/home-security-cameras-market-to-surpass-9-7-billion-by-2023/#63ace21423c2

  3. https://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Home-Security-Camera-Catches-Burglars-Breaking-Into-Home-in-Fairhaven-Massachusetts-375055821.html

  4. https://www.volusiasheriff.org/news/video-39ring-39-security-cameras-catch-would-be-burglar-on-video-and-a-deputy-catches-him-soon-after.stml

  5. https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/04/10/man-installs-security-camera-after-burglaries-catches-intruder-on-it/