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Security Cameras and video surveillance in Neighbourhood Associations


The “chronic” problem of vandalism and the minimal resources of many Homeowner Associations in many cases has meant that, faced with the urgent need to implement security measures and install video cameras, associations resort to novice hands or non-professional, extremely low-cost solutions, falling victim to fraud and cons. We're talking about the risks of "low-cost fever" and "do it yourself" practices in installing CCTV... It's quite common to find neighbourhood associations where surveillance cameras are installed in gates, garages, storage areas or common areas which have never managed to work.

Other times, they work at the beginning, but when the images are needed from the security cameras, for example because the community has been victimised by robberies or vandalism, the images are unavailable or cannot be seen correctly (poorly placed video surveillance cameras, images that are black or out of focus...) 

Likewise, if the security cameras are installed by non-expert, uncertified companies (as often happens), the neighbourhood association runs a high risk of being fined due to not complying with the current legislation; the Spanish Organic Law on Personal Data Protection, the General Data Protection Regulation, as well as the Private Security Act. There are many stories of major fines for homeowner associations because their surveillance cameras are installed in entrances that do not comply with the regulation concerning security and personal data protection.

Prevent Security Systems, a security company certified by the General Directorate of Police with no. 3182 will take measures that guarantee due compliance with the laws applicable to Full HD video surveillance and their regulations. Staying true to our firm commitment to service, we also offer guidelines on how to act in case of incidents in the Full HD security cameras and a complete and continuous training program for all the users of the CCTV system. Thanks to the connection between the Full HD video surveillance systems and our Technical Alarm Centre through a secure communications network, the video surveillance installation will be monitored at all times, allowing errors in the video cameras to be detected in real time and preventing possible deviations in the systems and ensuring that they comply with legal regulations.

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Security cameras for Neighbourhood Associations: the perfect deterrent system

Thanks to new technologies that allow for less expensive Full HD surveillance camera installations, the market -which previously seemed exclusive to companies and well off individuals- has become open to domestic use and use by Homeowner Associations. The investment in installing security cameras in Neighbourhood Associations is typically much less than imagined and the return on investment comes quickly due to the substantial cost savings in repairs due to acts of vandalism in garages, storage facilities, hallways and communal areas.

“In 2008, before signing up for the surveillance cameras, one of the neighbourhood associations paid up to €15,668 a year in costs due to acts of vandalism and hooligans. One year later, the balance in 2009 for the same type of costs ended up being only €2,000” “the association pays us to manage their money well and the cameras make it much easier” (Cristina Masián Martínez - M&M Abogados y Administradores S.L.) 

The security cameras for Neighbourhood Associations help to deter intruders. Installing cameras has been shown to decrease incidents, while it also improves maintenance in the building's common areas and problems in co-existence between residents.

In recent years, video surveillance for Homeowner Associations has become the perfect deterrent system, helping to slow down criminal and uncivil behaviour and to deter acts of vandalism and antisocial activities. These cameras are useful not only for prevention, but also in helping to investigate crimes and to improve the response by the National Police Force. Installing Security Cameras in Homeowner Associations also allows residents to save on repair, cleaning and anti-vandalism costs, which means that the investment is recovered quickly and monthly bills are reduced in the medium- and long-term. 


A “home-made” video surveillance installation can have very unfortunate consequences for all the residents. The Private Security Central Unit, with the help of the Police and with the aim of preventing practices that lead to professional break-ins, carries out continual inspections in Homeowner Associations with security camera installations to confirm that the systems comply with the current legislation on video surveillance. For this and many other factors, in order for the surveillance cameras to work properly, consistency is key to maintaining video surveillance systems. It is important to rely on the services provided by a Certified Security Company like Prevent Security Systems which not only ensure that the system works properly, but also ensure compliance with the law.


¿Cómo elegir el servicio de videovigilancia más adecuado?


All Neighbourhood Associations that have security camera installations must ensure that they have hired a maintenance service for the video surveillance system with a Security Company Certified by the Directorate General of the Police. This ensures that the system complies with the current legislation (Organic Law on Personal Data Protection, Private Security Act, General Data Protection Regulation, Civil Procedural Act, Criminal Procedural Act...) and also prevents possible fines to the Homeowner Associations by the Spanish Data Protection and Private Security Agency. It is important to remember that fines for these types of infractions can reach up to €600,000 if they are considered to be very serious. In several cases, fines have been handed out to homeowner associations because the security camera systems have been installed by "handymen" or unspecialised companies which do not fully comply with the applicable regulations.

If the aim of installing the system is security, both the installation and maintenance of the security cameras must also be carried out by a Certified Security Company in order to ensure their legal and probative validity in the event that the surveillance cameras record footage of a crime. In 2008, in the trial for the attack on the Deutsche Bank branch in Leon, the courts did not allow the footage taken by the video surveillance cameras that recorded the robbery as valid proof, due to the poor quality of the recordings. The footage did not allow the individuals who had been charged to be recognised, and there was also an error in the date of the recordings, as the crime was committed on 7 June and the images recorded were dated 8 June.

Miguel Ángel Muñoz Flores -former president of the Professional Building Administrators Association of Madrid-, supports the need to contract a video surveillance service with a Certified Security Company for the following reasons:

“There must be a figure with the appropriate experience and technical and human resources to keep track of the video surveillance footage with evidence of a crime, for the period of time they need to be available to the court and as established by legal regulations”
“If neighbourhood associations want to comply with the Law, they need to rely on certified security companies, and in this case we're referring to the leader in the Community of Madrid, PREVENT."



funcionamiento sistema de videovigilancia


1. Our surveillance cameras film the images of the intruder. Our HD security cameras for Neighbourhood Associations guarantee clear images. Additionally, as the system features a heater, so the cameras do not become foggy and the images do not become blurry. The tamper-proof video surveillance cameras are perfectly protected against sabotage and also function optimally despite adverse weather conditions (rain, snow, hail, extreme cold, wind...).

2. The images from the security cameras are stored in the digital recorder. The video surveillance recorder features a watermark to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of the images. The recorder has a high-security hard drive monitored 24x7 especially designed to work error-free 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The user and permission settings comply with the current legislation concerning the Spanish Organic Law on Personal Data Protection, ensuring the privacy of the images and that only the file's owner and the data controller have access to the recordings.

3. The recorder is perfectly protected inside a security cabinet. This way, the recorder is protected against theft or sabotage, ensuring that the images are perfectly preserved. The security cabinet is bolted to the wall and floor so that no one can remove it.

4. The video surveillance camera system is permanently monitored. This way, if an error occurs in the security camera system or someone attempts to sabotage a camera, a warning will be sent to our Technical Alarm Centre. Thanks to this solution, the system ensures that the surveillance cameras in the Neighbourhood Association are correctly operating at all times, detecting any possible incident in real time. Furthermore, the recordings are also perfectly protected against possible hacking, since the data communication is established through a VPN, a private and secure communications network.

5. In the event of an incident, the customer (the Homeowner Association) or the National Police Force may request us to provide the recordings from the video surveillance cameras in order to identify the perpetrators. These images can serve as incriminating evidence. The system ensures the integrity and traceability of the surveillance camera images, ensuring that they remain legally valid.

6. Prevent Security Systems, as a Certified Security Company, will store the recordings from the video cameras in a shielded high-security camera until the police or a judge requests them. This way, the chain of custody will never be broken at any time. The images from the Neighbourhood Association's security cameras will be completely legally valid throughout the judicial process and the video surveillance system will have fulfilled one of its main goals: to serve as proof in the case that a crime is committed inside the buildings of the homeowner association.


The video surveillance systems with video analysis in Neighbourhood Associations can protect long perimeters with high reliability. Thanks to the security cameras in neighbourhood associations with video analysis, it is possible to detect intrusions and real emergency situations, sending warnings to the Alarm Centre in real time. Video analysis in garages allows our system to read vehicle license plates, which can authorise or deny access permission, in addition to detecting when there are too many vehicles. Thanks to video analysis, the surveillance cameras in neighbourhood associations are capable of distinguishing individuals, vehicles, animals, objects, and so on, detecting risky situations before they happen and functioning independently, in the same way as a guard behind the security cameras would.


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