Skip to Content

Netwatch proactive in crime deterrence, finding new markets

Netwatch proactive in crime deterrence, finding new markets

Netwatch proactive in crime deterrence, finding new markets

LAS VEGAS - Security trade shows offer attendees a glimpse at a number of effective monitoring solutions. One provider, Netwatch North America, touts being proactive rather than reactive. “Leave now or dispatching police kind of thing - nine times out of 10 that works,” said Netwatch’s Justin Wilmas.

Wilmas is the president of Netwatch North America, and the company's voice is reaching a different kind of audience to prevent crime before it can incur costs. He spoke with Security Systems News at ISC West this year saying, “Basically, we'll take a video system and turn it into an alarm system, slash virtual guarding type of solution,” Wilmas said. “So, we have intervention specialists, which are operators that sit in our monitoring stations and when the system is armed, the video system is armed, we're receiving analytical alarms detecting people or vehicles that aren't supposed to be there.”

Following detection, Wilmas said that their specialists can intervene through the use of a voice down directly to the perpetrator. Since its live monitoring, those specialists can call out bad actors specifically using personal descriptions and aggressive messaging to encourage them to leave the premises. “They're gone like we've intervened, and then we package it all up and we send a nice incident report to the customer. Because we're doing our job, we're intervening and stopping things from happening, deescalating, and preventing crimes from happening, so they don't know,” he said.

Their method is effective, Wilmas told SSN, with roughly 96 percent fewer dispatches than traditional monitoring stations. Thanks to their video analytics and AI integration as well, Wilmas also indicated that they’re able to filter out a lot of false alarms and noise systems might normally encounter. Less is more in an era of increasing difficulty and costs associated with hiring live guards for asset protection, “You know, prices are increasing. So, you can install a proactive video monitoring solution, let’s call it six cameras or however many cameras, you're that many more times effective than a single human,” Wilmas added.

Netwatch has also found itself expanding in a surprising variety of verticals where it has found success. Wilmas tells SSN, “From a true vertical perspective, our top verticals today, No. 1 is cannabis. Legalized cannabis. People don't rob banks anymore, they rob dispensaries.  Automotive (and that can be car dealerships or automotive dealerships or auctions or anywhere where there's fleets of vehicles) vehicles are under attack today for, you know, catalytic converters, theft gangs, organized crime. We see a lot of organized crime attacks in the cannabis and in the automotive space. When I say organized crime, I don't really mean it's like the mafia, but it could be organized gangs that are going after these facilities, because they know there's cash product. Things they can get with recycled cars, they can take chop shops, all those types of things, anywhere there's assets outside.”

He continued, “Construction is a really big vertical because as you're completing a building or a facility, there's lots of assets there that people can try to take. We do a lot with property management, that's obviously guard augmentation. Then one vertical that is emerging for us right now, if you would have asked me two years ago, I probably would said ‘no, I think you're crazy I don’t think we'll be in that space,’ But it's actually retail. The traditional retail like obviously big box retailers where there's assets outside. Tractor supply, those types of things obviously make sense because there's assets sitting out there. But I'm talking about general retail stores and the challenges that we're solving there are vagrancy. There's a socioeconomic issue with homeless or unhoused as they're saying, and that's creating customer and employee safety issues, because not only are their just encampments, but there's challenges with mental illness, drugs, and those types of things that create those safety issues. (It’s) a very soft kind of ROI in terms of justifying, the other justification, which is really interesting in the retail space, is trash management. There are dumpsters and a lot of people will try to find ways to get rid of excess waste, so they'll look for these dumpsters, and retailers are on the hook.”

To conclude Wilmas noted that Netwatch and its mission is to deter and deescalate crime with their live-audio intervention, and that while there are other solutions that may be similar on the market, the use of live operators is what makes the difference, demonstrating the importance of presence and messaging.  

You can learn more about Netwatch’s platform and services online at


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.