CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television)

CCTV or Closed Circuit Television is used in a number monitoring and surveillance applications the most important in our everyday lives being security.

A CCTV system has four main apparatuses, i.e. the camera, the lens, the monitor and the recorder. CCTV monitoring involves a remotely mounted camera, which transmits a live feed to a monitor and records footage on a recording device.

The entire system can either be fully-monitored buy a security company, security staff, company owner, manager or even left to operate independently.

Digital CCTV Systems

The digital CCTV system is capable of high-resolution footage and transmits footage over vast distances via the use of digital networks.

The IP Cameras commonly used in conjunction with a digital system, can record a video stream onto an internal memory card or hard drive and then transmitting the data over a network or internet, making it ideal for live stream viewing.

Because an IP camera communicates via a computer network, it is ideal for home or office installation as it allows the “operator” to log in to the private system and view live streaming of events as they occur.

CCTV Live Monitoring or Not – What Is The Difference?

Live monitoring or CCTV event monitoring is an add-on service that is provided by AC Security and uses your existing alarm and camera system, integrating these systems with their own.

Live event monitoring provides AC Security to remedy false alarms, which are time-consuming and costly, not to mention the effects it has on response time to actual emergencies.

With live event monitoring, it is essential that you manage your expectations.

A general expectation is that the live feed is monitored by the control room operation 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week.

Such an expectation is just not practical, especially when taking into consideration the amount of CCTV cameras that are monitored by a single operator, this is where modern advancements come into play.

Live monitoring is linked to the existing alarm system, which triggers an alarm alerting the operator that a situation is unfolding and enables the operator to dispatch an armed response team and interact with the team, guiding them to the exact area of the incident.

AC Security’s security operators jump between the different footage and will notify armed response personnel when they see something strange on the current premises of a client.

Non-live monitoring, which is to say having CCTV cameras at a property that is not being monitored by a security company is less effective and cannot be considered a genuinely preventative measure.

Although the video footage is recorded, it is only useful after the fact, when searching for evidence or identification of an individual or event.

There is some truth to the fact that the visual appearance of CCTV cameras at a property is an excellent deterrent for those plotting misdeeds, however, without that system linked to a security company who is capable of reacting quickly, it is entirely pointless.

The difference between the two is quite simple. A monitored system is a proactive solution whereas a non-monitored system is more reactive.

A non-monitored system may be more cost effective as it does not warrant any additional monthly expenses.

For a small monthly fee, you can rest assured that should an incident occur help will arrive within minutes.

When integrating live CCTV monitoring into a business, it is important to note that the remote monitoring package is part of an all-inclusive security package and not a means for the replacement of security officers.

Ask the Right Questions

When opting for a monitoring system, it is not only your right to ask questions; it is your responsibility. After all the safety of your family, employees and valuables are at stake.

The most important questions to be asked include but are not limited to:

What type of CCTV system is beneficial to your business/home

The type of CCTV system you require depends on various aspects such as the geographical area in which the property is situated in, the size of the property, the areas you wish to monitor and the existing security measures currently in place.

It is of the utmost importance that all of the above is explained adequately to the security company as it will enable them to put together the most effective monitoring solution:

  • How many operators does the security company have per shift?
  • What is the amount of cameras each operator is required to monitor?
  • How often are operators relieved to take a break?
  • Are the operators trained to monitor the footage effectively?
  • Are the operator’s vigilance thresholds tested and if so how are they tested?
  • What is the response time for the armed response team to arrive onsite?

The Benefits of a CCTV System at a Business

In today’s day and age, CCTV monitoring is considered a must for any business. It is not only to protect the employees and visitors but to protect every aspect of the company even against its employees.

Following are the top benefits of implementing a CCTV system at a business:

Office Safety

CCTV monitoring monitors perimeter access, which also includes identification of intruders thus creating an overall safer environment for employees and visitors.

Staff Monitoring

When the cat is away, the mice will play! The role of a manager is to ensure the smooth operation of a business as well as client satisfaction. At times management spends a considerable amount of time out of the office, leaving employees to their own devices and this may lead to less productivity or security breaches. The implementation of a CCTV system provides the constant presence of “management”.

Reduced Insurance Premiums

Theft, property damages and liability claims are a reality. A CCTV system will not only decrease your monthly insurance premium, but it is also an invaluable tool in providing proof of the incident in question.

Reduce Theft

Theft in a company/business whether by an intruder, visitor, patron or an employee is not uncommon, however, the implementation of a CCTV system dramatically reduces this factor as the perpetrator is more aware of the fact that he/she monitored.

Increased Productivity and Profitability

A happy worker is a productive worker. When an employee feels safe in their work environment, they are happier and tend to work harder, which increased productivity as well as profitability.

Protecting the Business

Fictitious claims by employees are not unheard of and at times could be damaging to innocent employees as well as the business at large. CCTV footage can go a long way in proving innocence, identifying the guilty party and protecting the businesses interests.

The Benefits of CCTV at Private Property

The safety of your family is one of the most significant concerns a person must deal with on a daily basis. In recent times there has been some speculation as to the effectiveness of having a CCTV monitoring system on private property.

Following is a list of benefits directly linked to CCTV monitoring:

Monitoring the Premises

CCTV monitoring allows you to keep an eye on your property. You will know who has been on your property and for what purpose. Linking the system to your security company the benefits are even more significant as home invaders are often caught in the act, arrested and sent to jail for their crimes.

CCTV Monitoring the Passive Aggressive Crime Deterrent

Although most criminals are opportunistic, there are those that spend weeks monitoring a property before they decide to make their move. The presence of CCTV cameras acts as a deterrent as criminals are well aware of the fact that they will be caught on camera, and unlike common belief, not everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame.

Video Evidence

The recorded video footage is not only admissible in a court of law, but it could also aid law enforcement with their investigations by allowing them to view the incident as it unfolds.

Overall Peace of Mind

CCTV monitoring provides peace of mind, especially to parents who must leave their children and possessions in the care of others.

Good to Know

It may be your constitutional right to protect your family and your belongings. However, you should be careful where you point your camera!

When installing a CCTV system ensure that it is only monitoring your property and not that of your neighbours as this might lead to a potential lawsuit for invasion of privacy or even harassment.

We recommend that you put up a sign advising people that you are using CCTV cameras to monitor the property.

Where possible perhaps have a general neighbourly chat with your immediate neighbours about your CCTV installation, to eliminate the speculations of any underhandedness.