AN INCREASING number of residents in Qatar are buying surveillance equipment for private use as worries about crime grow, according to industry sources.
Rising sales of closed-circuit television (CCTV) and other surveillance cameras have been attributed to a growing desire for security.
“There is an element of trust within a society that gels together. Unfortunately, that is diminishing and resulting in a state of paranoia,” said Ibrahim el-Shafey, an official at Security-Safety & Trading Centre.
“It is only a human attempt to protect one’s property, car, children, when a customer buys security apparatus from us,” el-Shafey said.
He added that within a year, demand from private customers for security equipment had increased by at least 20%.
These "machines" left no room for error unlike security guards, el-Shafey said. "But you need to use a combination of both, as most banks and shopping malls in Qatar do."
Recently, a felon was nabbed by police in less than 24 hours after he was caught on CCTV footage while breaking into a vehicle in Bin Mahmoud area.
Prices range from QR200 for a black and white CCTV to upwards of QR6,000 for a state-of-the-art infrared (day and night recording) camera.
First-time buyers usually ask for installation, while seasoned users set up the cameras by themselves, according to Yasir, an official at Annabi Electronics.
Most private customers are Qataris but increasingly expatriates have been inquiring about the security cameras, said Yasir.
Many customers cite the increasing number of house break-ins, vandalism and car thefts, he added.
In the case of businesses, having cameras installed at the worksite is part of the security code.
“However, even some of the automated withdrawal machines do not have a surveillance back-up,” said Vijay Arabia Fire & Security Systems general manager Hemal Salot.
“The level of sophistication in presently-installed cameras and intrusion alerts in Qatar is extremely basic too. The government should have a comprehensive security code for upcoming buildings and towers, in line with Dubai’s recent decision,” she said.
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