A CCTV expert has seen a 300 percent rise in demand for his products – after fed-up crime victims were forced to take matters into their own hands.
Chase Dobbie, who runs Donington CCTV, was himself the target of burglars – falling prey four times in three months.
In one incident, the 36-year-old’s family home in Donington got burgled. His family returned from work and found the house ransacked, with valuables missing such as the stereo, TV and his mum’s sentimental jewellery. In the following three months the family were hit a further three times.
The burglary was followed by two car thefts and a garage break-in in which Chase’s bike and tools were stolen.
He thought “enough is enough” and Chase, a Truro University sound engineering and multimedia graduate, started working on his own CCTV system for his family home. After setting up, he never got burgled again.
As friends of friends began asking for CCTV systems, he started installing at weekends away from his former job as an account manager for Craig & Rose Paint.
In 2016, Donington CCTV was established.
It follows a time of swathing police cuts, though crime in Castle Donington appears to be decreasing, as more and more residents become savvy in protecting their homes.
Leicestershire Police’s most recent crime figures show there were 39 crimes reported in Castle Donington in October 2019.
Included in these, there were three criminal damages/arson and seven vehicle crimes. In October 2018, there were 49 recorded crimes and in October 2017 there were 54.
Describing why he set up the firm, Chase said: “The technology has become a lot more discreet, advanced and affordable for homes.
“Coupled with the hike in crime, I realised I could create a business to help local residents deter criminals and feel more secure in their own homes.
“Castle Donington was in need of a security professional and there was no local business. As it took off, I gradually expanded into the entire East Midlands and now have three teams.”
One of his most satisfying jobs was installing for an elderly widow in Leicestershire. She was a repeat victim of burglary including one shocking incident in which she and her granddaughter were tied to a radiator and were forced to reveal the location of their safe.
Chase recommends modern CCTV systems, as they don’t just record what’s happening – they alert the owner immediately to intruders direct to their mobile phone. Chase added that the proportion of installations he does for previous victims of crime is “50/50.”
“Often our customers are aware of local crime and want to protect themselves before they get stung,” said Chase.
“Unfortunately, it’s equally as frequent that we are asked to install a system after their homes have been totally gutted. Most recently, a customer of mine came home to witness two young men fleeing out of the kitchen window.”
Chase added that demand for his products had increased by 300 percent since expanding his business over 2018: “People are more worried than ever and we make home security more affordable than ever,” he said.
“A good camera system is a deterrent, so have one installed. Thieves are idiots but know cameras are their enemy. They want an easy, least-risk opportunity to steal valuable goods, so if you have visible, quality cameras, they will go elsewhere.”