Masked individual in a hoodie vandalising a car with a bat at night.

Whether you have bought a new car or have an old banger, the safety of your vehicle is paramount, especially amidst rising concerns over vandalism that holds no barriers regardless of the day or night. Equipping your vehicle with a car security camera, such as a 360-car security camera or an overnight car security camera, is a good idea, and these days, it's becoming a necessity for vigilant car owners. These devices, ranging from dashcams to more sophisticated systems featuring night vision and GPS tracking, offer peace of mind and provides crucial evidence in the unfortunate event of an attack or car theft and acts as a deterrent against potential vandals and trespassers, making it an invaluable investment for your vehicle's safety.

This guide will give you a better understanding of vandalism patterns, which can help predict and prevent possible incidents with the help of an outdoor security camera with weatherproof capabilities and night vision features like those found in a night-time wildlife camera. Deployment techniques are critical to maximising the effectiveness of your car surveillance camera, ensuring that it provides good field-of-view coverage without blind spots—essential for protecting your car from vandalism with the right security camera setup, including options like a parked car security camera or an in-car security camera.

Grasping Vandalism Patterns

To effectively tackle vandalism and property crime, it's useful to understand the behaviours associated with this activity. By analysing when, where, and why vandalism occurs, you can better prepare and protect your property, especially during vulnerable hours. Vandalism often peaks during late evening hours when the cover of the dark provides a better chance of success, and fewer people are walking by observing. Public spaces or properties visible from the street and areas with less direct oversight or those perceived as less guarded and are more likely to be targeted for car break-ins.

Motivations For Vandalism

Vandalism to a vehicle (or property) happens for various reasons. The more mature the person, the less likely vandalism is to happen, so realistically, people aged between 10 - 20 are most likely the culprits for various reasons, including personal issues like not having a basic level of maturity or bad parenting by not being properly brought up to know the difference between right and wrong. Such people will be egged on by friends driven by the thrill of the act and seek a rush of adrenaline through destruction. Recognising these motivations can aid in predicting potential vandalism hotspots and times, allowing for more strategic surveillance and intervention with tools like a car vandalism camera.

Choosing The Right Camera

When gathering evidence, choosing the right car security camera to catch vandals, whether during the day or at night, gives you several options to consider depending on your specific needs, such as the installation environment, required surveillance features, and budget.

Wired vs. Wireless Options

Wired security cameras are directly connected to a mains power and can optionally be connected to your WiFi network via Ethernet cable, making them ideal for locations where a stable and reliable streaming connection is crucial. They are less prone to signal interference, like a dashcam which provides consistent, high-quality video feeds. However, installation requires some DIY and may be more costly due to the need for installation (if you are unable to do it) and running cables.

On the other hand, a wireless security camera offers better deployment capability and is easier to install since they do not require DIY or physical cables. They are battery-operated and connect to your WiFi network much like the Outdoor Rock WiFi 4G Observation Camera but bear in mind that their performance can be affected because they rely entirely on the signal strength and speed. For areas with unreliable power sources or where running cables is impractical, wireless cameras, especially battery-powered outdoor camo trail cameras, are an excellent choice.

Motion Sensor Night Vision Surveillance

To effectively monitor your vehicle at night, cameras equipped with strong night vision capabilities, similar to a night vision wildlife camera or night cam are the best choice. Cameras with infrared (IR) LEDs, like 940 nm illumination, can capture clear images in complete darkness, and their LEDs do not glow. Motion detection is another smart feature because it ensures the camera only records when there is activity, which conserves storage and battery life. High-resolution 1080P cameras are recommended as they provide clearer and more detailed images, which identify individuals of vandalism acts more clearly. Some advanced systems even offer an app that takes secret pictures and real-time videos of the thief for added security.

Budget Considerations

Your budget will significantly influence the type of camera system you can buy and install, whether it's a small car camera or a more advanced setup. Wired systems generally cost more upfront due to installation expenses but offer longevity and reliability. Wireless systems, while typically cheaper initially, may require additional costs over time, such as battery replacements. Moreover, the long-term operational costs, including maintenance and potential upgrades, should be considered. It's wise to invest in a system that not only fits your initial budget but also offers cost-effectiveness over its lifespan, such as a discrete camera or a security camera that works through the window for inconspicuous monitoring.

Selecting the ideal camera system, whether it's a CCTV for the car when parked, hidden CCTV cameras for cars, or an in-car CCTV, involves balancing between type, features, and budget to ensure comprehensive surveillance of your vehicle, especially during vulnerable night hours.

Camera Installation Techniques

To ensure your camera for car security functions optimally and captures clear footage, particularly at night, it's wise to consider the installation aspects, for example;

Camera Field-Of-View

For the best angle coverage, the placement of a camera around your vehicle is key. Ideally, the camera should be looking down with an aerial view to minimise the risk of damage and deter tampering. This height provides a wider field-of view and provides an overall better video capture. To capture specific details like license plates, position a license plate camera lower to the ground, not higher than 1-2 feet and should be camouflaged with natural shrubbery. Interior cameras should ideally be placed at eye level to capture clear facial images, and due to the small confined area, sound quality will be excellent.

Camera Concealment

Concealing your cameras can prevent them from being tampered with or disabled. Consider using camouflage covers or placing them in discreet locations like under the eaves or within birdhouses, which not only hides the camera but also provides protection from the elements. For vehicles, a small, tube-style hidden camera installed near the rearview mirror is less noticeable and can be integrated seamlessly without affecting the aesthetics of your car.

Weatherproof Protection

To combat the weather elements, particularly for exterior vehicle cameras, choose models with a high Ingress Protection (IP) rating. A weatherproof camera rated IP66 is deemed effective against dust and heavy rain, ensuring functionality in most weather conditions. Additionally, ensure all camera cables and connectors are waterproofed, using materials like silicone for sealing holes and duct seals for added protection. Installing cameras in weather-resistant housings or using additional rain covers can further safeguard your equipment from weather-related damage.

Reporting Car Vandalism

Criminals don't often choose a car to vandalise at random. The more personal stuff on display, the higher the chances that there's something someone wants. Keep your car clean and keep any essential items with you when you leave the vehicle or make sure they're out of sight, and remember, even in a safe neighbourhood, make sure all the doors are locked before you walk away from your car. In the unfortunate event that you are the victim of a car crime, you need to evaluate and document the damage.

Take pictures on your phone, but do not touch anything because it's important that you don't smear over a culprit's fingerprints. Call the police because even if the damage is minimal, the police may need your report to investigate and connect a whole string of crimes by the same person or group. Also, insurance companies require a police report to process your claim.

Being the victim of a car crime is frustrating, upsetting and inconvenient. A little common sense and some smart camera technology can help reduce the chances of you being the next target.