15 things you need to know before purchasing CCTV

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    GARDWELL SECURE SYSTEMS 2011.Registered Office: Brooke House, John Hyrne Way, Norwich, NR5 0AF

    Registered in England: 6395272

    15 Things That You Need to KnowBefore Purchasing CCTV

    A whitepaper by Gardwell Secure Systems

    Email: info@gardwellsecuresystems.co.ukWeb: www.gardwellsecuresystems.co.uk

    Telephone: +44 (0)1493 742020

    http://www.gardwellsecuresystems.co.uk/http://www.gardwellsecuresystems.co.uk/
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    Table of Contents

    1. Why choose CCTV? ............................................................................................................................... 3

    2. What is the purpose of CCTV? .............................................................................................................. 5

    3. 15 Things that you need to know before purchasing CCTV? ................................................................ 6

    4. Technical Jargon .................................................................................................................................. 13

    5. About Gardwell Secure Systems ......................................................................................................... 16

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    1. Why choose CCTV?

    Securing business premises is a major concern in todays society with the cost of crime nowstanding at 12.6 billion as found by the British Chambers of Commerce. There are many waysto safeguard your premises, one of them being CCTV. However, when you are considering

    installing CCTV at your business premises you should consider what security measures areavailable, what security measure would be best for your business, as well as taking into accountthe legal aspects to it.

    Fundamentally, CCTV is not the solution to all your security concerns; it is part of an overallsecurity solution. You need to consider all the following factors to be confident that you canobtain your desired outcome without the disappointment of having a very expensive butineffective CCTV system. At the end of the day, a CCTV system is a deterrent, not a panacea.

    With all CCTV systems, they take a little while to bed in and it is not unusual to find that oncethe system has been in for perhaps a month that you may need to consider repositioning your

    CCTV cameras, or adding extra CCTV cameras as you may have a blind spot. It may also bethat light levels are not sufficient to give you quality images which are useable, and thereforeyou may need to increase light levels or invest in infra-red cameras. This may affect yourbudget.

    Also remember that not all people that will attempt to steal or damage your property are foolish -some will keep their faces out of camera shot as they have checked out the site beforehand, or

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    have a hood covering them. Early warning of perpetrators can be a significant advantage ofhaving a CCTV system, but being able to respond with audio response, security patrols orpolice will be key.

    Generally speaking, you will want your CCTV system to have cameras that produce a highquality picture, which is then recorded and backed up. Later, this footage can be easily reviewedand stored. You want a system that is very user friendly, within your budget and covers all ofyour security concerns. A CCTV system that is simple to maintain and that will remain currentfor many years to come should also be high on your list of priorities.

    Ok, so lets crack on the technical points to consider about the CCTV cameras themselves willbe in the appendix at the end.

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    2. What is the purpose of CCTV?

    Normally the purpose of having CCTV cameras is to protect against theft, trespass, vandalism,or to protect high value goods or high quantities of lower value goods.

    Recorded video footage of criminal activity can include shoplifting, vandalism, break-ins andhold ups. This is often the prime reason a business will install a CCTV system. Business ownersalso use it to catch customers who leave without paying; for example, at a petrol station orrestaurant. Another purpose of CCTV may be to keep an eye on staff.

    You can use CCTV as both a surveillance tool and as a method of identifying and prosecutingthieves. The best placement for your CCTV depends on what you want to gain from it.

    If you want to use CCTV to observe activity in your premises, it is best to place the cameras at ahigher angle so as to view a wider area. This may overcome issues such as equipmentobstructing views, etc.

    If you would like to use CCTV as a means of identifying criminals, then it is best to place the

    cameras at eye level as you are then more likely to get a clearer view of peoples faces.Detection based CCTV is better equipped to handle this, but the cost may be prohibitive.

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    3. 15 Things that you need to know before purchasing CCTV?

    1) Public access space and the Data Protection Act Do you need a licence? The simple answer is yes; if you are reviewing data at any point thenfrankly it is worth registering, especially as this will be needed for keeping of personnel andcustomer data anyway. You can register herehttp://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/notification/notify.aspx - you will need tonominate and publicise an onsite data controller.

    Secondly, if you are reviewing the data internally as it stands currently, there is no requirementfor your staff to be licenced under the Security Industry Authority (SIA). However, if you useoutside contractors to monitor your CCTV systems, whether on your premises or remotely, theymust be SIA licenced with Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) licences. This is required by themwhere the use of closed circuit television equipment is to:

    a. monitor the activities of a member of the public in a public or private place; or

    b. identify a particular person.

    This includes the use of CCTV to record images that are viewed on non-CCTV equipment, butexcludes the use of CCTV solely to identify a trespasser or protect property.

    Also, sufficient signage needs to be displayed about the sign to warn people coming both onand off site, that they are being monitored with a contact number of the security company. Thisensures that in the event of an activation, the attendees on site, whether they be police or amobile security officer, know who to obtain footage from the system or enable them to remotelyview the system, if this is possible.

    2) Closed site/environment The site/property to be protected by CCTV is it open to the public or can access becontrolled?

    The simplest way to monitor CCTV is to have an enclosed site i.e. one that access can becontrolled to and from the site and where there is no access to the public. This simplifies yoursecurity threats.

    On sites where the public have access, it is still possible to control areas of the site to ensurethat CCTV can be monitored effectively and that you are not subject to numerous false

    activations. You could add perimeter fencing, for example, cost effectively to exclude the publicfrom these areas and monitor this fenced area.

    Are there areas of the sites that are more exposed than others or are there high value goodsstored there? You could consider protecting these areas only, with CCTV or by using other earlywarning systems, such as electronic perimeter intrusion detection systems or Redwall motiondetection systems.

    http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/notification/notify.aspxhttp://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/notification/notify.aspxhttp://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/notification/notify.aspx
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    If the site is very large, then use of wireless cameras can be considered to offset the cost ofcabling, this will be proposed by whichever surveyor comes to view your site.

    Wherever possible, the engineers on site should attempt to use any spare capacity withinexisting data cabling infrastructure. On larger sites, the cost of cabling can be quite prohibitiveand therefore the use of wireless cameras may be considered.

    Although some may feel like their business is more secure if their CCTV is hard-wired, therereally is little difference in performance between wired and wireless CCTV cameras. However,one key area to consider in the use of wireless CCTV cameras is stability, as interference fromother sources may affect the ability of the CCTV cameras to record. Similarly, sites with lots ofmetalwork can affect the ability of wireless functions to work effectively.

    Generally, wireless CCTV cameras tend to be recommended in more extreme circumstances

    3) What happens if my CCTV activates? Do I need a response?In the event of activation, your CCTV system monitor will switch to the relevant camera and,

    assuming it is set up correctly, show you 2-3 still images plus a live feed. As long as someone issituated in front of the monitor this will obviously cause no issues for you, as they will be able toidentify the cause of the activation or send a colleague to the point of activation to determine thecause. But you may need to consider if this is both practical and avoids putting a colleague atrisk of harm.

    In the event of there being an intruder on site, you should immediately contact either yournominated security contractor or your local police for back up or assistance. They will require akey holder to meet them on site within 20 minutes to assist them with accessing the site.

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    4) Out of hours coverage? In house monitoring vs. remote monitoringIn the previous scenario, it worked fine when someone was monitoring the system 24/7. Thereality is that someone may be sat there Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. What happens out ofhours? Or even, is it realistic to expect someone to monitor your CCTV effectively as part oftheir role and not a full time role?

    There are a number of solutions available:

    The activation could be sent electronically to your smartphone or home computer.Assuming you have mobile phone coverage, you can login to the remote CCTVsoftware, so you can monitor your site, confirm the activation and contact the police, ifnecessaryYour site can be monitored by a monitoring company and they will contact you or contactyour security company in the event of activation (depending on your instructions).You/they can then go to site and confirm the activation, contacting the police asnecessary if the monitoring company cant confirm a live activation. If the monitoring

    company confirms a live activation, they could issue an audio challenge if your systemhas that capability and they can contact your nominated security contractor and/or policeon your behalf, who will need to meet with the keyholder at site within 20 minutes ofactivationYour site can be monitored by a security company and they will contact you, issue anaudio challenge, if your system has that capability, or send out a mobile patrol vehicle(depending on your instructions) with the keys in the event of an activation; they canthen confirm the activation and contact the police as necessary

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    If you do not wish to pay someone a full-time wage to sit and view your cameras 24/7 you dohave the option of outsourcing. This essentially means paying a separate security company amonthly or yearly fee to watch your security cameras. This is exceptionally useful if you do nothave the means to hire an employee simply for this purpose, or would rather remove yourselffrom the hassle of doing so.

    A professionally hired company will know what theyre doing and therefore will not waste your time with false alarms, and they can even be instructed to send out the relevant response unitupon noticing any suspicious activity.

    Generally, if you are using an external security company to monitor your CCTV system, they willco-ordinate contact with all third party agencies, including the police, boarding up services, etc.,and will send their mobile patrol with keys to site.

    5) CCTV for void or empty propertiesIt is often considered by large organisations and councils that you can mothball a building by

    arranging to board up the building to prevent entry, whilst discussions over future use / sale of itare held. However, as a result of spiralling commodity prices, it appears that thieves are notbeing put off by such tactics alone.

    It is now not uncommon to find that thieves gain access by the secure boarded windows ordoors and simply put them back in place, the building to the untrained eye appears to remainsecure, whilst they go through the building preparing all materials to be cut to size beforeremoving everything from site in literally an hour or two.

    Detection based CCTV can be used to remotely monitor a buildings activities . Thus if someonegains access to a building this will be detected and can be used to co-ordinate a response withany relevant third parties - power and either a GSM/GPRS card or broadband line will berequired to enable this service.

    Alternatively remotely monitored alarms coupled with a response service from a securitycompany can ensure the property remains secure, again power would be required.

    Or if there is no power to the site, another solution ma...