Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
Specialist advice should always be sought before considering the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV).
CCTV can be an expensive option and relies heavily on other measures in order to be effective. Here are just a few issues to consider.
- Is the lighting sufficient and appropriate for CCTV to be effective at all hours?
- How will the images be recorded?
- How can the images be replayed or copied?
- Where and how will recording media be stored?
- What is the purpose of the CCTV – is it to monitor activity at an entrance or elsewhere?
- How will the images be transmitted from the camera to the recording device?
- Who (if anyone) will monitor the images?
- If an incident is monitored on CCTV who will respond?
- Would you need to register with the Information Commissioner (under the Data Protection Act)?
- How much will it cost to install and maintain?
Whatever system you decide to install, consider carefully the actual position of the camera(s) and supporting equipment:
- Does the camera offer a view and quality of image which is sufficient for your purposes?
- Would it be accessible by intruders?
- Is the cabling to the camera secure against tampering?
- Do you have signage indicating that CCTV is in use?
There are do-it-yourself CCTV and lighting systems available which, if properly sited, installed and maintained can offer a reasonably priced option where the requirement is simply to monitor a specific barn or yard.
Dummy cameras (non-functioning) may offer a cheap, short term deterrent to opportunist offenders but are generally ineffective against a more motivated intruder who will quickly realise that they are not genuine.
It important that you check the background and accreditation of any CCTV company before discussing your security requirements. As with any contract of work or maintenance you should protect yourself by:
- Ensuring that system reaches the required British Standards and complies with the Data Protection Act;
- Checking for hidden costs such as servicing and maintenance;
- Checking for call-out costs and the provision of emergency attendance;
- Obtaining at least 3 quotes from reputable companies;
- Not accepting a verbal contract.