While closed-circuit television (CCTV) or video surveillance systems have often sparked debate around personal privacy issues, they are often used by some individuals and business owners as a deterrent for crime. It is important to recognize where the system is set up so that it does not cross the lines of privacy in areas where there should not be monitoring.
Closed-circuit television consists of the use of video cameras that are connected to a specific number of monitors. You can find them in banks, airports, military facilities and rocket launches, streets and retail stores to name a few. They are often placed in areas where there cannot be a constant physical monitoring of a location or event.
One of the most everyday places that you may see them is outside government buildings, parking lots or commercial buildings or even inside retail stores. The easiest way to know they are working is not about preventing crime, although some studies suggest they are effective for this, but they are also a great tool for detection and prosecution. They can provide proof that a crime has occurred and assist in identifying a criminal.
Another great resource for the CCTV system is for safety monitoring. Many companies place the cameras in locations where they can prevent accidents from occurring. You may have seen them at an amusement park near a ride, in the train or subway system, and even in a manufacturing location to monitor equipment.
Closed-circuit television systems can consist of one single camera to a complex setup with hundreds of cameras, operators to monitor them and digital recorders that can store many hours of surveillance. Maybe you are thinking of one for your business. Whatever the need, they offer a sense of safety, are efficient and effective in deterring crime, and most importantly, a great way to record criminal activity should you not be able to physically monitor a location all the time.
There are a few buying tips that you may want to consider when investing in a CCTV system that can prevent you from spending money unnecessarily on a system that is either too expensive or does not offer true surveillance.
1. Determine what and where you want to monitor.
2. Decide what the purpose of the CCTV system is for you. Do you want to be able to clearly see faces, merchandise, crowds of people, vehicles or just general monitoring of everyday events?
3. Be sure to choose a picture quality in a monitor that will show you enough detail and quickly capture movement. Lower resolution and slower frame rates to capture movement can result in jerkier images while higher resolution CCTV cameras and recorders offer more detail and smoother flow of movement. Make sure that you have purchased a recorder that monitors long enough for you to replace the recording tape to offer continuous monitoring.
4. Use signs to let people know that you are using surveillance equipment. This can be a great deterrent of criminal behavior.
Closed circuit television has been shown to be an effective deterrent to criminal activity. Protecting your property with this state-of-the-art technology is a significant step to preventing thieves from taking advantage of you.
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