The security of filling stations in Northern Ireland offer many security challenges to overcome. Petrol drive-offs continue to cause headaches for service station owners.
Filling stations, seen as an easy target
While service stations have always been an easy target for thieves due to long opening hours and lone working employees, the rise in petrol theft incidents is an important reminder for business owners to be vigilant and consider additional security precautions.
While closed circuit television (CCTV) has been an integral part a petrol station’s security and risk management strategy for many years, a growing number of service stations in Northern Ireland are ramping up the use of ANPR CCTV which will log a vehicle numberplate. Strategically placing high definition cameras at the pumps can help identify offenders by capturing the vehicle’s number plate as well as a high resolution image of the offender by day or night.
CCTV at forecourts helps prevent pump theft
As the use of CCTV becomes an increasingly important crime solving tool, petrol station owners are encouraged to review their current security system’s technology. The use of analogue CCTV is expected to dwindle significantly in the next five years, and shifting from analogue to new internet protocol (IP) cameras should be a high priority for any business that may still be using analogue cameras.
By adopting the technology we offer our customers, AI (artificial intelligence) can be deployed within the camera system which will not only record the numberplate, but also make, model and colour of the vehicle at the pump and with type of clothing worn and if the person is a man or woman.
Use of AI gives petrol station owners the edge
This technology is also used to identify a “black list” vehicle, which will alert an employee when the vehicle arrives.
For multi-site petrol station owners, technology can go a step further by integrating their camera operations with a centralised network video recorder (NVR). This means that every camera located across multiple service station locations can be connected into an integrated high speed internet connection, with all video feeds managed from one central location.
While upgrading security at the pump may help to reduce petrol theft, internal CCTV can assist with physical theft and stock shrinkage. As with any of our retail CCTV Systems, AI cameras have other highly useful features such as “heat mapping”. Heat mapping will provide information to business owners and managers about the locations inside the shop where people tend to spend the most time or less time. This information can be used to intelligently position products for sale.
The system can also be used to count customers, employees and vehicles over the duration of opening hours.
Northern Ireland petrol station owners should ensure that security equipment is installed, maintained and serviced by a licensed security expert.
Advanced Overwatch has technology to help those who own or manage a service station address petrol theft.
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