CCTV is primarily an evidentiary and investigative tool. This is simply because most security breaches or incidents are detected after the event has occurred.
When an incident does occur, naturally you will want to have the best quality information available to you. That is a pretty obvious statement, but achieving that outcome is not as simple as fixing a camera to a wall.
In the local market, there are literally dozens of suppliers to source CCTV equipment from. This will include electrical wholesalers, furniture and household retailers, specialist CCTV suppliers, electrical and security contractors and even eBay all sell CCTV equipment.
In Australia alone, you are likely to have a choice of several hundred cameras available to you, all that will look they could do the job. But camera selection is probably the single most important factor in achieving a good outcome with CCTV, and if you get it wrong, there is a good chance you will be disappointed.
So what cameras should you use? Fixed or Pan/Tilt/Zoom? Analogue or Digital? Megapixel or HD? Day/Night or Low Light? Where should they be positioned? What is the best field of view and what lens will suit that view? What are the lighting conditions like and will they suit the selected cameras?
Before you can answer any of these questions, you need to understand what the expected outcomes of installing CCTV are.
- Is it to identify people that are unknown to the business or neighbourhood?
- Is it to have information of a standard that could be used to prosecute someone?
- Is it to observe or detect possible criminal behaviour?
- Is it for risk mitigation?
- Are they to be used at night as well as during the day?
When you go to playback vision of the incident, what do you expect to see? If it’s something better than the fuzzy images seen on Crime Stoppers each night, you are probably going to need some guidance.