CCTV Benefits ?

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Is CCTV really worth it for home use ?

Poll ended at Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:28 pm

Yes
8
100%
No
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 8

uxbod
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CCTV Benefits ?

Post by uxbod » Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:28 pm

I have provisionally booked for the installation of two Axis 221 cameras plus additional IR source in March, and thought would just check with the local Police Crime Prevention team about the legalities of it.

As expected all you have to be aware of if that you can only record images of your property, and not public places, plus exhibiting a sign that shows CCTV cameras are in use for security and crime prevention.

What I was surprised at was how anti they were towards the use of them. The fact that they are not really a deterrent, but solely for the use of post incident review.

The person I spoke to was extremely helpful in providing advice on how best to secure your property, and I would highly recommend this free service.

What I would be interesting in hearing is others views on whether CCTV is worth installing ?

TIA,

jamescollings
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Post by jamescollings » Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:55 pm

As expected all you have to be aware of if that you can only record images of your property, and not public places, plus exhibiting a sign that shows CCTV cameras are in use for security and crime prevention.
According to the Home Office Guidance on the use of CCTV in England and Wales (I wish I had the link), you only need to display signs if the cameras are "Overt". If you have placed the cameras for "Covert" operation, then you do not have to display any signage. They can't have any other ruling because the police use both Overt and Covert cameras themselves (and the police aren't allowed to break the law to enforce the law).
The fact that they are not really a deterrent, but solely for the use of post incident review.
Possibly obvious... an Alarm is a deterrent, as is a dog or guard. A camera is only going to take your picture.. so the criminal knows that if they can avoid being photographed, then they can carry out their crime with impunity. AFTER the event, then CCTV is quite possibly the ONLY evidence that will direct the police to the perps!

unclerichy
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Post by unclerichy » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:49 pm

As I understand it you only have to display a CCTV sign if the cameras are used on business premises - not if it's purely residential.

I installed it for peace of mind - I can see what people are up to whilst I'm away. It's also handy when couriers try to deliver packages but don't leave a calling card.

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MJN
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Re: CCTV Benefits ?

Post by MJN » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:22 pm

uxbod wrote:As expected all you have to be aware of if that you can only record images of your property, and not public places, plus exhibiting a sign that shows CCTV cameras are in use for security and crime prevention.
They really need to check their facts before giving such broadbrush advice. You should ask them for the relevent legislation that supports their claim.

The issue of whether or not signage is required is down purely to whether or not the the installation, and use, of the system is governed by the Data Protection Act. [Ref 1 Pg 2]

In the case of an individual protecting their property you are unlikely to be subject to the constraints of the Data Protection Act [Ref 1 Pg 4 and Endnote 2] and hence no signage of any kind is required.

In the case of your camera's view overlooking a public place, or even your neighbours garden, then as an individual you again are not subject to the Data Protection Act [Ref 2 Q4]. Of course, as the reference states you could be in breach of other legislation such as harassment of voyeurism, but this of course is irrelevent to, and unaffected by, the use of signage!
What I was surprised at was how anti they were towards the use of them.
Unfortunately I dare say that given the society we live in they have bigger concerns than catching burglars.
What I would be interesting in hearing is others views on whether CCTV is worth installing ?
As others have said a major aspect of it is peace of mind - if it makes you feel 'safer' then it's arguably of benefit (much like a life jacket onboard an aircraft - I don't think they've ever saved a life but I bet people would feel nervous if their's was missing). Whether or not any recorded footage is directly admissable as evidence is another matter (unlikely unless the quality is particularly high), however just knowing who it is on camera can be enough to then focus attempts on gathering alternative evidence. Alternatively it can be enough to result in an admission, just like in the the well known case from a couple of years back where a burglar was caught on a guy's webcam - he admitted the offence as a result of the video presented to him.

It can be regarded as a double-edged sword - if you've got overt CCTV and/or signage this could be considered an advert sayng you've got something worth nicking. Much like the old burglar alarm adage - don't be the first or last in your street to get one!

Finally, as already mentioned above there are other benefits to to having it beyond that purely for security purposes - keeping an eye on pets, knowing whilst on holiday that your house hasn't burnt down, etc.

Mathew

References:

[1] CCTV Code of Practice, Information Commissioner's Office, http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/ ... actice.pdf
[2] Data Protection FAQs - For the public, Information Commissioner's Office, http://www.ico.gov.uk/Global/faqs/data_ ... ublic.aspx

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cordel
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Post by cordel » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:54 pm

UM, everyone needs to consider that what the regulations are, is dependent on where you live (USA, UK, JP, Canada, Spain, Brazil, etc.)
So before you flame some one or tell them that it rubbish, consider that our forum is accessed and ZM is used in many parts of the world.

Maybe a good idea would be to create a new topic in the Wiki called CCTV Laws, then divide it under that by region. That way no one gets confused.

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MJN
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Post by MJN » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:55 am

Good point! Hadn't occured to me the OP may not necessarily be in the UK! However, I'd assumed they were given they were only recently talking about buying some fancy cameras from Gadget Spot (UK store).

Incidentally, I wasn't flaming the poster (that'd be shooting the messenger), just saying that what the crime prevention team said was rubbish although granted that was on the assumption that it was here in the UK - sorry if I got that wrong.

Mathew

Flash_
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Post by Flash_ » Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:38 am

Just to pick up on what the OP mentioned - the Crime Prevention Officer is worth calling out in every case as they will have local knowledge as well as being a very useful contact.

Ours came out once I'd installed ZM and it being the first ZM installation he had seen (12 cameras) he was /extremely/ impressed by it and by the warning signs. (Cams are mostly covert internal Axis ones. Not exactly hidden but not that easy to see)

He did suggest upgrading the lock to the house and *gave* us one, and lent me three external Dummy cameras. (They get a set budget which they can use for these things - I think I was luckier than most)

Besides that, he's an excellent contact I occasionally talk to if I've got any queries on the matter. So yes - definately worth a call.

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