Not all CCTV Systems are equal. Finding the right CCTV System is not only down to the quality of the video a system captures, but the type of system required for your needs.
There are literally thousands of types of CCTV cameras, from hundreds of manufacturers. Often a DIY CCTV system is chosen, based on price or a cheap deal which is inappropriate as often can cost more in the long run. DIY cameras are not certified during the installation, can not have PSNI response and as all cameras are the same, do not provide the most suitable type of camera selected for your needs.
When you are selecting a CCTV Camera System it is important to choose your installation company carefully. By using an SSAIB Certified business, you can be sure of quality and that the company has been vetted to the highest standards and are experts in proving appropriate CCTV.
What exactly is CCTV?
Chances are that you have already heard about CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) and what benefits exactly a system should offer your home or business.
CCTV systems are an important security aspect for your business and can the PSNI with your criminal investigation should the need arise. It is recommended by the Police that all businesses install a CCTV system whether it is for basic monitoring, or a high resolution security system that can lead to identification or prosecution.
What will CCTV do for me?
CCTV Camera Systems (Security surveillance systems) have become a staple requirement in environments such as car parks, airports, railway stations, museums – and even domestic / residential properties – as a means of monitoring the activities of passers-by, visitors and employees; recording any suspicious behaviour that may amount to a criminal offense.
Whether trespassing, theft, or a violent crime, strategically-placed CCTV cameras will transmit video signals from their specific location to a monitor or to your mobile phone or smart device allowing for a complete view of a certain area so that crime can be prevented then and there, or recorded as evidence for a future case.
In terms of domestic use at home in Northern Ireland, security surveillance equipment can offer invaluable insight into the regular visitors to a certain street or who occupy a certain area, allowing for easy identification of unidentified or suspicious visitors.
For a business, CCTV systems installed around a warehouse, office or factory entail that the activity of all employees is constantly monitored and protected. CCTV camera systems can be set-up in many different environments and particular areas so activity can be monitored from all angles; offering a comprehensive view of all areas of your place of business.
Whether for your home or business, we ensure that your CCTV cameras are protected in a robust, tamper proof housing and that any recording equipment is located in a secure area. Criminals may seek to damage cameras or remove any recording equipment to prevent identification during an investigation.
The police say: “Good quality CCTV is invaluable to a criminal investigation. Grainy, blurry or otherwise poor quality images may capture a crime taking place but will not allow for any identification to be made.”
What should I look for in a CCTV System?
The quick guide offers guidance to potential customers of our digital CCTV systems, where the pictures are intended to be used by the police or are likely to be used in an investigation.
Effective CCTV Systems
For CCTV camera systems to be effective in detecting and investigating crime they must be fit for purpose and easily accessible by police investigators. For digital CCTV there are four main areas that must be considered:
QUALITY – are the pictures good enough?
STORAGE – are the pictures stored appropriately?
EXPORT – can the pictures be easily exported from the system?
PLAYBACK – can the pictures be easily viewed by authorised third parties?
Advanced Overwatch ensure that your digital CCTV system is capable of meeting these requirements. The potential evidential value of the CCTV System can be greatly increased and the time taken by the police to access and process them greatly reduced.
You can view the police service full guidelines on selecting a CCTV system by clicking here.
A summary of what to look for in a CCTV System:
WHAT RESOLUTION? WHAT COMPRESSION? HOW MANY PICTURES PER SECOND?
We design our customer CCTV systems by surveying the location where we will install the equipment. This survey is free of charge, and is designed to help our customers get the maximum benefit from our CCTV camera systems. We assess exactly what you want to see and where, and design a system that will do it.
The system clock is set correctly and maintained usually via NTP (taking account of GMT and BST).
Picture quality will not be reduced to fit the available storage capacity of the system we install.
We organise the regular maintenance plan which should be conducted on all aspects of the system.
CCTV STORAGE – WHAT SHOULD I KEEP? HOW SHOULD I KEEP IT?
The system should be operated and recorded pictures retained in a secure environment.
Electronic access controls, such as passwords or encryption, should not prevent authorised access to the system or recordings.
The system should have sufficient storage capacity for 31 days good quality video footage on average, however this is determined by need.
The system should be capable of securing relevant footage for review or export at a later date.
EXPORT – HOW MUCH VIDEO SHOULD THE SYSTEM EXPORT AND IN WHAT FORMAT?
A system owner should be available who is able to replay and export recordings.
A simple system operator’s manual should be available locally to assist with replay and export.
The operator should know the retention period of the system and export time for various amounts of data.
The system should be able to quickly export video and stills to a removable storage-medium, with time and date integral to the relevant video.
Export should include any software needed to view or replay the video.
The system should have an export method proportionate to the storage capacity.
CCTV footage should be exported in the native file format at the same quality that they were stored on the system.
PLAYBACK – CAN THE FOOTAGE BE EASILY VIEWED?
The playback software should:
• have variable speed control including frame by frame, forward and reverse viewing;
• display single and multiple cameras and maintain aspect ratio i.e. the same relative height and width;
• display a single camera at full resolution;
• permit the recording from each camera to be searched by time and date;
• allow printing and/or saving (e.g. bitmap) of pictures with time and date.
The time and date associated with each picture should be legible.
Once exported to removable media it should be possible to replay the files immediately.
To book a CCTV Camera System Installation in Northern Ireland, call our team on: 02870878077 or click here to email us.
Police advice on CCTV Systems: