Friday, March 13, 2009

Criminals aren't Stereotypes

The criminal dressed in all black with a stocking cap on his head is a fictitious embellishment of the old cat burglar. The dark costume of cat woman slinking around in stealth in the dark makes for great story telling, but it is a far cry from reality. CPI Security’s commercial, touting that there are bad men out there, not smart men is based on half truth. The criminal arrives during daylight hours dressed in all black, in long sleeves during the summer. He looks completely out of place. He uses the front door as the access point and is in and out in 3 seconds. First, criminals blend in. They appear to be a part of the community. The average criminal is a Caucasian male between 15 and 28 years of age. That was the only truthful part of the commercial. The all black costume may play on the fears and stereotypical perception that some people have that, burglars don’t just wear black, they are black. It’s not a far reach for a company to play on a misguided perception for financial profit, especially in an industry that employs a very small percentage of African Americans. The purpose of this post is to inform the general public, so that they will not become victims due to false information. When the criminal enters through the front door and the alarm is automatically triggered, should make any person with some knowledge of security systems laugh out loud. The front door is most likely the primary point of entry, so the door most likely has a delay to give the homeowner time to enter the home and enter a code to deactivate the alarm. If this is the case there is no way that the alarm would have been activated in the time frame shown.
Real security should be based on fact, not fiction. The real facts are that most home burglaries occur between 10am and 4pm. This is the time that most people are at work. Criminals rarely use the front door as the entry point, because they will be seen by people passing by. The criminals will appear to belong. They may be dressed as a jogger, contractor, or ordinary Joe. The last thing they will do is standout. People rarely suspect a criminal to look and act like them. That is the element that allows most burglaries to go unsolved. Security systems are important. Selecting the best company should never be based on a slick marketing scheme, but on experience, contract review, better business bureau report, customer testimonials, quality of equipment, warranty, and price. There are good companies but they may not mass advertise. Good companies, like a good doctor, don’t relay on ruse or deceptive marketing tactics to gain a share of the market. They treat people right, by providing the highest degree of competence and exceptional customer service.

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