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 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.

Locating CCTV cameras isn’t the only aspect, the monitors are equally important. We’ll look at the different types further down because focussing on the ergonomics of a security control room or guards station is important right now.

How many monitors can one individual view effectively at any given time for say, one hour?. Is it better to have all four events working from one monitor? Is there an optimum distance from the location of monitors to the CCTV operators’ eyes? – How is this calculated? . How long do we need to keep recordings and in what format?

Video recordings have been effective in helping employers and police identify criminals whilst conducting crimes including; armed robbery, burglary, car park robbery, credit card fraud, colleague harassment, computer abuse, customer returns fraud, employee theft, shoplifting, vandalism, and more. Hidden cameras are often a short-term measure for targeted surveillance operations and specialist advice from UK CCTV Experts should be sought and an understanding of the Data Protection Act is essential.

When we don’t understand something, we are vulnerable and the CCTV industry is no exception, especially when buying after the event and seriously effected by a previous incident.

Not all CCTV Consultants are vultures and rogues but getting an understanding of elements such as colour and monochrome video cameras, time lapse VCR’s, switchers and multiplexes, remote movement control, telephone video transmission systems … and more – Look no further, here is a simple guide to CCTV. It’s not intended to be a comprehensive buyers guide but will certainly help along the way.

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 that 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 situations that arise in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

Choosing the right CCTV system and having it professionally installed is essential – it will provide you with superior results and will ultimately save you time and money. Remember that commercial CCTV systems don’t come in ready-made kits, so each component can be provided especially for your needs. We will take a look at each one of those items.

CCTV pictures are displayed on monitors. Small desktop monitors, rack fitted security monitors or large hanging multiscreen monitors, they show the end product of your system – live and recorded pictures. Monochrome, colour or high definition colour, monitors are available in a range of sizes. Contrary to popular belief, larger monitors do not show a wider picture, they merely display in larger formats. In selecting monitor size, the distance from viewer to screen will dictate the required monitor size. Reception desks and counters may be fitted with 9″ or 12″ monitors, whereby a wall or ceiling mounted monitor showing a multiscreen display will need to be quite large. A good CCTV surveyor will recommend a monitor to best suit its environment.

Moving (pan/tilt) cameras can take the place of many fixed cameras. Generally fitted with a zoom lens, they can be remotely controlled to cover a wide area. Used predominantly in larger retail and commercial perimeter protection, the benefits of a carefully positioned camera are vast. Often housed within a dome, these cameras can spin round and round to any position faster than any subject being viewed, and zoom in for a close-up picture. They can be ‘taught’ to ‘tour your premises, viewing key areas much more effectively.

Medium Resolution Monochrome, ( black & white ) with good sharp images of around 400 lines and light sensitive down to 0.1 lux these are excellent all-round cameras which can easily meet smaller budgets.

High Resolution Monochrome with premium digital technology performance of 580 line and 0.05 lux ensure superb pictures even in very dim lighting conditions. Medium Resolution Colour: Never before have colour cameras been as good or as accessible to smaller budget systems. Excellent for retail and good quality general surveillance, with typical 350 lines and 1.5 lux performance.

High Resolution Colour: Full digital colour cameras offer premium pictures with crisper definition and excellent performance to 480 lines and 1 lux.

Day/Night Cameras: All day and all night – one camera. Using the latest digital intelligent sensing, these cameras offer the full performance of the high-resolution colour cameras by day, then automatically switches to high-resolution monochrome camera when light levels fall.

For premium installations.

What is lux?

Lux is the standard measurement of light. Typical levels of lighting as recommended by the lighting industry are:

Indoor

Warehouses 20- 75 lux

Emergency stairs 30-75 lux

Corridors and stairs 75- 200 lux

Shops 75-300 lux

Offices and reception areas 300 -500 lux

Banks and offices 200-1000 lux

Assembly lines 300-1000 lux

Outdoors

Full sunlight 10,000-1,000,000 lux

Overcast day 100-10,000 lux

Twilight 1-10 lux

Full moon 0.1-1 lux

Overcast night 0.01-0.1 lux

Star light, clear 0.001-0.01 lux

Star light, overcast 0.0001-0.001 lux



Source by Digby Farquart

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