CCTV – Closed Circuit Television Cameras Explained in Plain English

There are few places in today’s ‘Big Brother’ world you can go without encountering CCTV cameras. For good or bad, they are here to stay. There is no doubt that covert and overt CCTV cameras play an important part in reducing crime and enhancing safety but do we need so many?

The short answer is ‘NO’ especially when CCTV cameras are used for crime prevention and detection. In terms of crime prevention or deterrent value we might use more CCTV cameras in a highly visible way. High presence CCTV is a valuable security tool. The very presence of CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras deters criminal activity, but there is a certain science in getting the placement right. Any cowboy CCTV installation firm can slap up a boatload of cameras, the first victim caught on camera might be the buyer!

Because CCTV cameras are becoming an important part of many company’s business management and loss prevention programs it is essential to have a reasonable understanding of your requirements – or more importantly, deploy the skills of a reputable UK CCTV consultant.

The benefits of implementing a quality CCTV system include: Minimising the risk of theft and other illegal activities. Protecting your premises from threats such as arson, terrorism and vandalism. They are not just there for crime prevention and detection! Monitoring individual employees work performance helps improve business, Improving customer service by observing peak periods and planning the staff rotas. By observing staff activity CCTV can assist in staff training too by pinpointing areas which need addressing..

We are laden with Acts of Parliament, Laws, Rules and Regulations which can bring heavy fines upon us if we fail to maintain them. CCTV can help by enhancing health and safety standards and ensuring employees comply with legal obligations. In so many cases a well-designed CCTV system can help by doing the work of a much larger guarding team, thus leaving people free to deal with facial recognition company situations that arise in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

Reducing the quantity of CCTV cameras and therefore the cost can be achieved by creating a job description for each camera. There’s more to a CCTV camera than meets the eye, much is in the lens itself, the zoom facility and maneuverability. The most expensive isn’t necessarily the best, as any honest UK CCTV expert will tell you.

Your CCTV camera must be fit for purpose and you need to be very precise when instructing your CCTV consultant. Lets look at Car Parks for example; there may be various elements that need to be observed; the entrance/exit and entire area, any individual car and a close up on the drivers’ face and/or the registration number.

Another example is a retail counter; we need to monitor the point of sale for both security and health & safety. Estimating an individual’s height is important so whilst distance is essential we need to get a very close view of money being exchanged … and without compromising reproduction quality for evidence.

Some of these cameras will clearly need to be visible and act as a deterrent. We also might want high visibility CCTV in domes so that nobody can see which way they are pointing and of course we might want to catch someone in the act so we choose covert CCTV.
We are not always able to observe an event in real time and need make recordings for later viewing and of course for evidence when required.

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