A closed circuit television, or CCTV, describes a system that captures and records video on a closed,
connected system. This differs from broadcast television in that a CCTV system involves a direct cable or
wireless connection between a camera, receiver and recording device, as opposed to a wireless signal
publicly broadcast to multiple, properly attuned receivers. CCTV systems are used for surveillance
purposes, to increase levels of safety and security.
Systems are often implemented because they:
• Deter theft
• Reduce vandalism
• Monitor high risk or secure areas
• Ensure quality control
• Decrease liabilities (ex. fraudulent injury claims)
• Increase safety for staff in facilities and parking areas
• Provide evidence by recording from the earliest stages of break-in attempts
• Confirm remote processes are running properly
A CCTV system’s most basic purpose is to provide monitoring and surveillance of an area. This surveillance helps to deter illegal activity by offering the threat of prosecution, and documents the activity of those individuals not swayed by the presence of the CCTV system. It also helps to monitor situations, ranging from large gatherings to more personal uses such as elderly patients with health conditions. Constant monitoring allows for immediate alert and response in cases of emergency, or evidence in legal cases.
A basic CCTV system consists of three components: a camera, monitor and recording or storage device.
These pieces of equipment connect with coaxial cables or wireless signals, which carry the image data the
camera captures for viewing and recording. Different styles and varieties of cameras are available
depending upon your specific surveillance needs, including outdoor models, zoom cameras and dome
3 Types of CCTV Systems
Analog – A traditional set-up where the cameras are connected via coaxial cable to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or monitor. IP – A mainstream, higher quality camera set-up that connects to a networked server, allowing footage to
be recorded and viewed anywhere via the internet.
Hybrid – For businesses with analog cameras looking to add to existing units, a hybrid system allows both analog and the higher quality IP cameras to run off the same DVR.CCTV is often maintained and funded by a partnership consisting of local authorities and businesses. In this way, it is a tangible demonstration of the police, local authority and businesses working together to make communities safer.
As well as assisting with detection, CCTV can also act as a deterrent. A building or an area with CCTV installed becomes a less attractive target if an offender is aware that his or her actions may be observedand recorded. Public support for CCTV is strong. People appreciate the importance of CCTV in theprevention and detection of crime and may lobby for its installation in areas where anti-social behaviour is an issue.
CCTV also contributes greatly to the fight against terrorism. Its value as a surveillance tool is
immeasurable. Being able to monitor suspicious behaviour gives the police and the security services a
greater ability to stop terrorist activity in its tracks and protect the public from harm.