Updated: Feb 23
For some, the idea of Close Circuit TV (CCTV) is just too intrusive – and yet it is a vital ingredient of a security plan for many commercial properties where risks cannot be covered by security guards alone. From shopping malls to warehousing, assisted living facilities, hospitals, cinemas and other risky sports, CCTV is a low cost and full-time security presence.
Cameras have all sorts of uses, from protecting against vandalism and theft, through to monitoring visitors and employees. Of course, the deployment of cameras needs to take into account rules and regulations on privacy. And there are obvious sensitivities when it comes to people watching as opposed to watching places.
This all comes down to a system of management and how the investment in the camera system is put to the best possible use.
You may have thought your CCTV was a back-up, and not a very important back up to your security guard on patrol. In fact, your CCTV system is a way to boost your security presence as well as recording the evidence of what actually happened.
The presence of cameras on a site along with notices confirming your site has CCTV running 24 x 7, sends a signal to trespassers that their image has a high chance of being recorded. If criminality becomes an issue you have a contemporaneous record to hand over to the police about what occurred which is stronger than any verbal recollection.
This is why we recommend using a CCTV system that stores the footage to a cloud based system – and not to a DVR. DVR systems are out of date in our view because they are wiped from the device periodically – perhaps daily or even at 30 days. There is no need to wipe the footage so quickly. CCTV data is something to think about in terms of storage and usage and it needs to work for your sort of business.
Sounds like a simple enough question, but untrained and uninterested security guards watching your CCTV system is not the best use of their time or your investment. Security personnel who have the necessary certification to watch, observe and identify activity using CCTV are what you really need if CCTV is the main plank of your security plan.
CCTV trained operatives can monitor camera activity through the entire 24-hour cycle, or at the times when an area needs coverage, either because it’s so busy a guard can’t cover the area, or so quiet, that using a guard doesn’t make commercial sense.
Use of CCTV Cameras
A risk assessment of the area to be secured will determine the best use and placement of the camera system. Make sure you ask your vendor to carry out a full security risk assessment and receive a documented report.
If all of this is news to you then take a moment to consider when did you last risk assess the area you want to secure? As a property owner or manager responsible for security you probably have a gut feel of what you are trying to achieve in the security plan in your head. Now you need to transmit those thoughts into a well thought out plan, where your ideas are tested against objective standards of whether the risk you think exists is really there. Gut feel is all part of the process but so is working through a logical set of steps about how to secure what needs to be secured.
Joining It All Up
When investing in CCTV it is the placement of the camera and the images it produces which will dictate where best to place the equipment. Alongside the placement of the cameras, the system of connecting the cameras into a network, and then relaying that back to a central station is all going to be part of the plan.
Even just the presence of cameras and signage confirming that an area is subject to CCTV surveillance is going to deter some crime or risk. And of course, CCTV is an evidence gathering system to show how the approach to health and safety has been managed and delivered in the workplace.
Gathering evidence and retrieving it as necessary to help solve the crime, or to support claims for insurance or litigation
Protecting staff and visitors in isolated spots
Providing advance warning of emergency situations such as fire or flood
For more information on installing cameras and setting up a risk assessment for your old or new CCTV system contact us on any of our channels which you can find at www.shergroup.com