Big Brother is watching you...

Gareth Leece
By Gareth Leece
George Orwell’s 1984 might not be everybody’s cup of tea but today it pretty much is everybody’s reality.
Big Brother is watching you...
According to the latest studies, the UK has over 4.2million CCTV cameras in operation, that’s 20% of CCTV cameras in use globally!  With so many home and business owners choosing to install these security systems, we thought we’d take a look at the top ten advantages and disadvantages of using CCTV.

The advantages of installing CCTV

  1. It’s a major crime deterrent
Just like seeing a mounted alarm system on a building, seeing CCTV cameras is highly likely to put off would be criminals from breaking in. Actually preventing a crime is far cheaper than rectifying the damage done after the crime has taken place too, so CCTV cameras are also cost effective if break ins are particularly common in your area or your industry.  

Speaking of cost effectiveness, CCTV cameras can also reduce insurance rates because of the fact that they deter criminals, so while there will be an initial cost for buying and installing a new CCTV system, you’re very likely to see a return on that investment pretty quickly as insurance premiums go down.
  1. It monitors activity
CCTV isn’t all about deterring crime. At its most basic, CCTV simply monitors activity and this can be hugely informative. It can help with keeping track of people entering and exiting a building and it can even make you aware of health and safety risks before accidents actually happen, helping to keep your building safe.
  1. It can be used as a source of evidence
If you do happen to be the victim of a crime, then CCTV footage can  help assist police with apprehending the culprits and ultimately getting a conviction. It provides very strong evidence and can even help with identifying the people involved.
  1. It can help with decision making
In a similar way to how CCTV can be used as evidence, it can also be used to make important decisions. From settling disputes, to working out how best to lay out your premises based on footfall and high traffic areas, CCTV can help you make decisions based on facts rather than assumptions.
  1. It’s great for keeping records
This is a particularly great benefit of CCTV if you’re using it in a commercial setting. By keeping track of when employees, deliveries and other individuals entering your building you can help ensure things keep running smoothly and keep a record of what happened and when, should you need to refer back to that information at a later date. In a domestic setting, this can also help you keep track of people such as cleaners, who come and go during your working hours, so you know they’re there when they should be.
  1. Peace of mind
If your home or business is in an area with particularly high crime rates or you have valuable assets you need to protect, then CCTV can give you real peace of mind. IP CCTV systems can even allow you to check on your property using your smartphone so you always know what’s happening on your premises.

Things to be aware of when installing CCTV

While there are many benefits of installing a CCTV system, and we feel that the benefits really do out way the costs, there are a couple of things you should be aware of if you’re thinking of investing in CCTV.
  1. Privacy
First and foremost there are privacy issues with installing CCTV, particularly in commercial settings. There have been cases in the past where employees have objected to being under surveillance without their permission. It’s key to ensure your employees know you are using CCTV and where you are using it.

To really dot the I’s and cross the T’s, you may also want to consult with a business lawyer and potentially include the use of CCTV in employee contracts too. As a general rule of thumb though, being upfront about the fact you're using CCTV can save you a lot of headaches further down the line and in today’s modern world, most of us are used to seeing these security systems in most premises anyway.
  1. Cost
Of course there is a cost involved with installing any CCTV system and there is installation and maintenance to think about too. That being said, employing experts like ourselves at Dynamic Networks, can really help with getting the right system for you, so you’re not buying elements of a CCTV system you don’t need and equally it will make sure the system does what you need it to, making it a truly worthwhile investment.
  1. Vulnerabilities
It’s no secret that many thieves and burglars are smart, so as our CCTV systems become more intelligent so do they. That means that any CCTV system isn’t guaranteed to be fool proof and some especially tech savvy criminals may know how to disable or disconnect your cameras from their power source. Getting a CCTV expert to install your cameras in the right places can help with preventing this or wireless CCTV cameras are another option, but be prepared that even after installing your new CCTV system, you’re not guaranteed to never be the victim of a crime again.
  1. Theft
Like the point above, while a CCTV system makes it more unlikely that you’ll be the target of theft, it cannot guarantee it and it cannot stop a crime that’s in progress.  CCTV systems do not create alerts like an alarm systems do. That means you may also want to consider access control systems and alarm systems as well, to really crime proof your premises.

Interested in protecting your premises? Talk to our experts today.

Dynamic Insights & advice