A vandal-proof camera is a camera and housing intended to resist vandalism, making sure the camera will continue to operate in conditions where people attempt to break it or impair its function. Numerous companies involved in the production of security equipment offer vandal-proof camera products and accessories, and people can also order custom designs for special settings. Common applications for these devices include prisons, stores in regions prone to vandalism, and high tech security systems where functionality of the system is critical.
The camera is located in a smooth, tough housing, often dome-shaped, that will resist attempts to break, shatter, or tear it apart. A layer of thick protective glass or plastic is positioned over the lens, allowing the camera to be completely enclosed. Limiting exposure of camera components assures continued functionality. Signal wires and similar devices are tucked inside the housing and run through the wall, making it impossible for vandals to cut them or pull them out to interrupt the signal from the camera.
It may be possible to cover the material protecting the lens of a vandal-proof camera to make it hard to see, but often, the material is designed to resist coatings like markers or paints, and the sight of someone attempting to male something stick over the covering will alert a person monitoring the camera to a crime in progress. When tapes are reviewed, rather than being viewed live, the resistance of the camera may allow it to snap some photographs before the vandal succeeds in covering it to make it impossible to see what happens next.
Coatings intended to resist markers and tagging can be useful in environments where people are concerned about people marking up the camera housing. While a vandal-proof camera can usually be covered in things like stickers, they may be easier to peel off the slick coating of the housing than they would be otherwise. The camera itself will remain intact, reducing costs associated with rehabilitating security equipment after a vandalism event.
Working around a vandal-proof camera requires more skills and planning than a traditional security camera. This can act as a deterrent, reducing crime in an area, especially if all of the cameras fitted are of this type, eliminating blind spots and making it impossible to engage in criminal activity without being picked up on a camera somewhere in the vicinity. In cases where cameras can be remote controlled to pan, shift angles, and offer other features, the housing can be designed to permit some mobility without exposing the camera body or lens.