Amy Moss CCTV Research & PlanningCCTV stands for ‘Closed Circuit Television’, the use of CCTV consists mainly of video cameras setup to transmit a signal to a set of monitors. There are many types of CCTV cameras as they all servedifferent functions: This is known as an ‘Eye in the Sky’ CCTV camera, its main usage is in airports and car parks. The cameras are placed at the top of a high steel pole to get a bird’s eye view of its surroundings; this type of camera can prevent car theft and muggings. Unfortunately due to how high it is, it can often prevent the camera from seeing the perpetrators face, unless they look directly at it. Although this type of CCTV can be ineffective, it has proven that when a security camera of this kind is placed in a car park it has resulted in a 51% decrease of crime. The shape of this camera at the top of the high steel pole is a dome, these can be found around shopping centres, street corners,buses and shops (often in the ceiling). The use of a‘Dome’ CCTV camera is to get a full shot of the roomor space it is present in, which can often lead to theprevention of crime, as when these were found orpresent on public transportation, crime saw a decrease of23%.Often distributed around construction sites are regularsurveillance cameras, these are used by businesses to track they’re workers and in most cases to lookout for thieves stealing material. They are normally clumped together in what surveillance companiesrefer to as ‘nests’, when they consist of more than 2 cameras together. This allows the monitor to getthe view from different angles. Many people have taken intoincorporating CCTV into their homes by setting uptheir own CCTV cameras at the front of their home. This pack will normally consist of a 4 littlecameras and a monitoring system that allows you to connect to most televisions and computers torecord your footage. However these packages are not cheap and often tally up to £687 due to theirefficiency.
Amy MossAlthough many people like the idea of protecting their home, others see itas an invasion of privacy, stating that CCTV displaces crime rather thanreducing it, and it’s often snubbed as ‘Big Brother Surveillance’. As if aninvasion of privacy isn’t a good enough counter argument, CCTVoperators took a big hit in 2007 when ‘Watchdog: Camera Watch’claimed that the majority of CCTV cameras in the UK are operatedillegally or are in breach of privacy guidelines. Furthermore, this illegal use of CCTV can be committed through a system called IP which stands for ‘Internet Protocol’ which allows members of the public to view many CCTV cameras through an internet connection available through a tablet, computer or a 3G phone. This is often used in the case of criminals where CCTV cameras have been installed next to ATM machines where the pins of many members of the public have been noted and used. This happened in Canterbury when a man was withdrawing money whilst being watched by an overhead security camera, later that day he was pickpocketed and a sufficient amount of money was withdrawn from his account, after the people operating the security camera were random members of the public viewing it from a 3G connection.Nevertheless, not all security cameras are used improperly; the vast majority of cameras are regulatedby legitimate companies and have been used in desperate cases. For example, the kidnapping of JamesBulger in 1992 was a great breakthrough for CCTV cameras and proved that being watched isn’talways a bad thing. The two boys who were caught on cameraleading James Bulger away had their freedom snatched awayfrom them when their faces were caught on CCTV used in theshopping centre.Positive views of CCTV cameras have argued that the camerasare not intruding people’s privacy as they are not watchingprivate, but public space where an individual’s right to privacycan reasonably be weighed against the intended benefits ofsociety. However, the counter argument towards this is that ifwe are trying to benefit society then why are there no securitycameras in private areas and only public where not many crimesare committed. For example, in such places as alleys, tubestations, darkly lit streets where crimes are likelier to happen rather than on a busy high street.These are not the only places in which CCTV cameras are used, there are other uses for them in day today life: • Traffic monitoring • Transport Safety
Amy Moss • Control of Retail; selection of goods, moving goods, scanning goods and control in the kitchens of fast food restaurantsThere have been many opposing parties towards CCTV such as the ‘NO CCTV – campaigningagainst camera surveillance in the UK and beyond’ group of people who fight to protect privacy.The anti-cctv campaigns run throughAylesbury, Birmingham, Northern Ireland, Oxford, Royston,Bristol and Nottingham and they are fighting to prove that CCTV is athreat to privacy and base their arguments on the issue that the public have been ill informed aboutCCTV and they are not here to protect us. Although on many occasions their campaigns have proveneffective and have caused a stir in regards to removing CCTV cameras across the globe, there are notenough people willing to fight with them for the removal.Although many people are fighting against CCTV it’s hard to tell whether they are fighting a losingbattle, due to the amount of research that has been discussed earlier I think it would be best to say thatCCTV will be embedded within society for a long time until strong legal action is taken against it.