KEEPING SCHOOLS SAFER - FEW SIMPLE STEPS
In view of the recent horrific incidents in Gurugram and Delhi, here are some suggestions to enhance School Safety/General Safety with respect to the deployment and USAGE of CCTV.
1. SCHOOLS MUST ‘AUDIT’ CCTV DAILY
‘AUDITING’ means 'SEEING' what the Cameras 'SAW'. Schools must Audit CCTV SEVERAL TIMES a day. Auditing will help users to DISCOVER the 'UNKNOWN'.
1) "What is he doing HERE with little Sasha? She is not supposed to be on this floor".
2) "My God, that fellow is SMOKING in the school".
3) “That is outside staff. They are NOT allowed in the school”.
4)"Oh look, the lights and fan were on throughout the night. What a WASTE".
Following the above ‘Auditing’ process, will ensure that the Cameras are ALWAYS WORKING, no Camera POSITION has been CHANGED, and so on. Once one discovers such exceptions, one can take CORRECTIVE and PREVENTIVE action.
Simply by displaying the CCTV feeds at the Principal’s desk, or in various areas of the School WILL NOT SUFFICE. A dedicated ‘AUDITING’ FRAMEWORK’ is needed to achieve the desired outcomes.
The Mantra should be "USE CCTV, don't LOSE CCTV"! Else, CCTV will continue to remain 'FIT and FORGET'.
2. SCHOOLS MUST USE A POWERFUL CCTV ‘MESSAGE’
CCTV Signage must be changed to "WE CHECK CCTV EVERYDAY". One Size, One Color, One Powerful Message. Across the Nation.
3. SCHOOLS MUST DOCUMENT AUDIT AND INCIDENT FINDINGS IN A STANDARD TEMPLATE
Documenting the Audit Findings and Incidents in a STANDARD TEMPLATE will ensure STANDARDIZATION across all Schools, and will deliver the ability to gain 'PATTERNS'.
4. SCHOOLS MUST DISPLAY IMPORTANT INFORMATION AT PROMINENT PLACES
DISPLAYING of important information like relevant STAFF details in SEVERAL areas of the School, again using a STANDARD TEMPLATE will ensure ease of understanding. For example, Schools must display:
(1) Details of Guards on duty, INCLUDING the LOCATION and TIME of their duties.
(2) MAIN School ADMINISTRATIVE Staff.
(3) Details of Other Staff that may be OUTSOURCED.
5. SCHOOLS MUST PROVIDE FOR DISASTER RECOVERY
CCTV Footage must be stored at MULTIPLE Locations, so that even if the Recorder is STOLEN, DESTROYED or TAMPERED WITH, one will NEVER lose data.
None of the above suggestions are ROCKET SCIENCE. Just some out-of-the-box measures are needed. While adequate number of Cameras are crucial, unless there are procedures in place as to WHAT is to be done with them, the best of results will not accrue.
Some simple Standard Operating Procedures will make a huge difference.
The above five will surely be very useful!