Crime Shifting Into Elevators; What About Cameras?

For background, see our tutorial on cameras in elevators.

One common criticism of video surveillance is the displacement effect. Improve surveillance and security in one location and this may/can/will shift into another area with less counter measures.

The NY Times has an article discussing a rise in crimes inside elevators, noting that, "elevators have remained particularly crime-prone even as the urban streetscape has become safer."

The article concludes with an observation about surveillance cameras:

"Many elevators now have surveillance cameras, but pointed out that suspects could easily use a hoodie or ball cap as a shield. Indeed, in those three recent crimes in Housing Authority elevators, all since late July, suspects were all wearing caps or hats."

Ceiling mounted cameras in narrow areas make this a particular problem.

Thoughts? Solutions?

As far as the displacement effect, I'd think this would be a good thing as far as elevator surveillance goes - the last place I'd want to be caught up with a criminal is in a small room with no escape.

As far as angles, why not a covert camera the control panel? There's usually a grille for an emergency phone speaker, seems like a perfect place for a pinhole lens...

Has anyone done a covert camera inside the control panel? Are there logistic issues in this?

Haven't been asked to do one yet... in fact, I can only thing of one elevator install I've ever done, and they wanted something obvious on the ceiling anyway. I've LOOKED AT a couple other elevator installs, but the clients in those cases never proceeded with it.

I suppose the logistics of a panel install would depend on the panel itself, since there's a pretty wide variation in designs.

Access control all the elevators. People must use a PIN or Card to call the elevator doors open.

Will it be costly? Sure, but many elevator manufacturers support such a feature in their logic controllers.

Will it eliminate crime in elevators? No way, but it can keep some of the bad players away, and might make tracking them down easier.

I have seen cameras hidden in the height strip at the exit at banks. Why not place some hidden cameras on all walls around 5ft in height? If you have multiples, you most likely will get a good shot. Obviously as small as an area you are working with, you won't need a super high pixel count. D1 or equivalent should do just fine.

The door in the elevators where I work have reflective doors which acts like a mirror and you can see what is happening pretty good.