A CCTV system monitors the interior and exterior of a property, transmitting the signals to the display. If you are concerned about the security of your home or workplace, CCTV installations UK can help you in monitoring your premises anywhere, anytime. Many countries across the globe are now using CCTV systems as an additional tool in fighting crime. This blog post will explain to you how CCTV footage plays a major role in crime investigation.

Why do police request CCTV footage during investigation?

Police officers around the globe are using CCTV footage in crime investigation. The video footage is very effective in solving crimes because they record the crime and create evidence for court trials. Most investigators use the footage to locate or confirm the identity of a suspect. Investigators also use the video to determine whether an offence has occurred, observe relevant events surrounding incidents, corroborate victim and generate other investigative leads.

How CCTV Footage Is Used in Crime Investigation

The reason for requesting CCTV footage is more likely to be influenced by the characteristics of crime. A recent study has found that the detectives from Scotland Yard used CCTV footage to investigate a great number of murders and the video has helped them in their investigation process. A report shows that of the 90 murder cases recorded that year in Scotland, CCTV footage was used in 86 of the cases. According to police officials, 65 cases were solved because the criminal was identified in the footage or the suspicious activities were recorded before or after their attacks. Investigators say that CCTV footage is as important as forensic evidence like fingerprints and DNA samples.

How CCTV footage can help in crime detection and prevention?

CCTV footage allows investigators to watch the entire incident. The video provides information about the sequence of events, the methods used by the criminal, and the entry and exit routes taken by the offender. Even if this is not possible due to some reasons, CCTV footage can be helpful in refuting other evidence of what happened, such as witness testimony.

The recording may assist in determining who was involved in the crime either directly, as when a suspect is recognized or indirectly, such as when the footage shows the criminal touching a surface from where investigators are able to recover forensic evidence. The recording can also help detectives in establishing the timeline of the crime. Investigators can use the CCTV footage to verify the accuracy of statements of both the suspects and witnesses of the incident.

As a CCTV footage could result in the guilty plea of the suspect, it will help in reducing costs by avoiding court trials. The recording can be used to prove or disprove allegations against the suspect. Video footage helps in finding the missing individual or suspect and investigators use it as a source of material backup for witness testimony.

Applications of CCTV cameras in police operations

CCTV cameras are used by police officials in their day-to-day activities. Here is a list of the ways in which a CCTV system can be used by the police:

  • Training of new officers
  • Processing of crime scene
  • Patrol vehicle in-car cameras
  • Vehicle collision investigation
  • Undercover surveillance
  • Robbery investigation
  • Tactical operations

Benefits of using CCTV Installations UK

There are numerous benefits of using a CCTV system. Studies have found that there is a reduced level of fear among people in CCTV areas. Reduced fear of crime may help in increasing the number of people using the area. This increases natural surveillance and encourages people to be more security conscious.

CCTV systems can be used for general location management. Surveillance system helps in monitoring traffic flow, public meetings or demonstrations that may require additional staff. CCTV cameras assist operators in determining if alarms have been activated by mistake thus removing the need for a response by the police. Senior police officers say that assaults on police have been reduced because surveillance cameras allow them to determine the appropriate level of response to the incident.

CCTV camera operators can contact the medical services if they see injured people on the street. The ability to call for assistance is a public safety benefit of CCTV systems. Cameras can also be used to monitor the behaviour of offenders in public places. Operators often know the local offenders in public areas and the cameras become a way to monitor their movements. The potential of CCTV systems to assist in investigations may also drive criminals away from committing offences as they run a greater risk of capture.

CCTV camera is an excellent way to protect your home and business from burglars. Wireless CCTV cameras allow you to monitor the activities around your premises from your smartphone. Nowadays, most surveillance cameras come with night vision which allows them to record footage even in the dark. Read on to know more about the working of night vision cameras.

What is a night vision camera?

A night vision camera is an optoelectronic device that captures images in low-lightning conditions. The image may be a combination of visible light and infrared light. These cameras are mostly used by law enforcement agencies but are also available for commercial use. They have an image intensifier tube and a water-resistant casing to protect the camera against rain. Some cameras also include optical devices, such as telescopic lens, sacrificial lens or mirrors.

What Are Night Vision Cameras and How Do They Work?

How does night vision cameras work?

Night vision security cameras use one of these three methods to capture images in the dark.

Low-light imaging

Low-light imaging camera uses an image intensifier to amplify available light. The available light in the area is focused through the objective lens onto the photocathode of the image intensifier. The photocathode is a photosensitive material that emits electrons when light is focused on it. The electrons released by the cathode are accelerated by an electric field and they are bombarded on a plate. These electrons enter the holes of the plate and bounces on specially coated internal walls. This activity generates more electrons and creates a denser cloud of electrons representing an intensified version of the original image. This glows the phosphor screen and an image is generated on the screen of the attached device.

Thermal imaging

Thermal imaging cameras detect the objects by infrared radiation and creates an image based on that information. The emitted infrared light is focused by a special lens and it is scanned by a phased array of infrared-detector elements. The detector creates a detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram and it is converted into electric impulses. A signal-processing unit translates the impulses from the elements into data for display. The combination of these impulses creates an image on the screen.

Infrared illumination

Infrared illumination cameras detect the invisible wavelengths of light and use infrared light to illuminate images in dim lighting conditions. IR cameras have a series of infrared LEDs that transmit infrared light in the dark. As infrared light cameras can interfere with colour images, IR cameras have a cut-out filter to block it during the daytime. The filter is fitted between the lens and sensor, allowing only the visible light to pass through in the daytime. Once the light level in the area drops to a certain point, the cut-off filter changes its mode and allows infrared light to pass through it.

Some Useful Tips

The CCTV installation and the type of security camera can have a great impact on the quality of the recorded image. Here are some of the useful tips for getting the best from night vision cameras.

Make sure the IR is powerful

This is one of the most important things to consider while choosing a night vision camera. All IR cameras have a quoted maximum range of 5m to 50m. You must keep in mind that the image quality will not be the same as indicated in the quoted range. Estimate your camera range and then add on a third to it. So, if you want to see 30m, then it’s worth investing in a camera with a 40m range.

Ensure that the view is clear

It’s important to ensure there are no devices that block the vision of the camera. This is because most cameras will adjust the exposure to give the best image. If there is an object jutting the frame, the LEDs will concentrate their focus in that area. This makes the image darker or sometimes nothing can be seen on the screen.

Calculate the mounting height carefully

The height of the camera will play a very important role in determining the quality of the image. For instance, if your car is parked at 8m from the house and your camera is mounted 6m from the ground, the actual distance from the camera to the car is 10m. Keep in mind to consider this while mounting a security camera.

IR needs something to reflect off

The light from the IR camera will not be visible until is reflected back from some object. Sometimes, the camera will warn you when there is nothing in the area. This doesn’t mean that the IR is not working.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a self-contained surveillance system comprising cameras, recorders and displays for monitoring activities in various places, such as a store or company. It is estimated that there are 25 million CCTV cameras in the world. Due to the legal requirements and criminal activities, many businesses invest in CCTV cameras UK to improve security. Read on to know more about the towns and cities by surveillance camera concentration in the United Kingdom.

Background of CCTV cameras UK

CCTV cameras were first developed in the late 1970s and were initially confined to places sensitive places, such as banks. The CCTV units were expensive at that time and the picture quality was poor. Since the last 20 years, the picture quality of CCTV cameras has improved dramatically and the use of CCTV has risen exponentially in the UK.

With technological advancements, CCTV cameras now capture high-resolution pictures and are capable of remote operation. They can even identify car number plates and record them on a central database. The congestion-charging scheme introduced in London in 2003 is a perfect example of this technology.

CCTV Hotspots UK: Number of CCTV cameras in UK

Number of CCTV cameras in the UK

According to the British Security Industry Authority (BSIA), there are 5.9 million closed-circuit television cameras in the United Kingdom. “This study represents the most comprehensive and up to date study undertaken into the number of CCTV cameras in the country,” said Simon Adcock, member of BSIA. “As there is no reliable source of data, no number can be held as truly accurate. However, the middle of our range suggests that there are around five million CCTV cameras in the United Kingdom.”

“This report is another reminder of how out of control the surveillance system of our country has become,” said Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign Big Brother Watch. “This report should be a wakeup call that the residents of Britain have a sense of responsibility towards security.”

In the United Kingdom, there are between 291,000 and 373,000 CCTV cameras in public sector schools, and 30,000 to 50,000 cameras in independent schools. Restaurants have an estimated 53,000 to 159,000 surveillance cameras, while there are 159,000 cameras in health centres. Most of the CCTV cameras UK are funded by private companies because they offer the best return on investment. These companies also provide the majority of CCTV footage. These footages are an invulnerable source of evidence for the police.

 “There is a misconception among people that the CCTV cameras in the United Kingdom are owned by the government. It is private businesses that own these cameras, not the government. These cameras are not available to the government and law enforcement agencies every day, they are busy working to protect their owner’s premises,” said Pauline Norstrom, vice chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV section. “The police ask the private owners for CCTV footage only if a major crime occurs. Without the help of private businesses investing in their own systems, the police officials would only have access to one publicly-owned camera per 1,000 head of the UK population.”

CCTV cameras in London

A recent study has revealed the number of CCTV cameras used by the council and government buildings, but studies still attempt to find out the number of cameras used among individual buildings and private households. Although the number in the study can be troublesome, a figure of 500,000 provides a good estimate of CCTVs in London.

There are a large number of CCTV cameras in the London underground system to ensure safety and reduce crime. The underground system has 15,516 surveillance cameras. Most of these cameras can be found in St. Pancras and King’s Cross station, monitoring 81 million people per year. Here is a list of the top stations with the number of CCTV cameras:

  • Oxford Circus – 309
  • Waterloo – 303
  • Green Park – 210
  • Elephant and Castle – 190
  • Bank/ Monument – 182
  • Westminster – 177
  • Piccadilly Circus – 175
  • Wembley Park – 171
  • Canary Wharf – 167

One of the most powerful security tools, surveillance cameras are currently ubiquitous. They are now being used in all types of spaces, public and private, and are greatly contributing to making every space they serve secure and safe. The popularity of CCTV Birmingham has now resulted in the availability of countless types of cameras with countless and specific capabilities. If you so like, you can even find a CCTV Birmingham that has the capability of recording audio. But is this added capability really so desirable? 

The question of with or without audio

Best Way to Check If Security Cameras Have Audio

Whether or not you prefer a CCTV Birmingham that comes with the added capability of recording audio, depends on who you are and where the CCTV is. For example, if you are a homeowner and are looking to improve the security of your premises, you might feel a CCTV with audio makes it more effective. But if a camera with audio capabilities is being used in a public space it can become a violation of privacy, and it is important that you stay away from it, as much as possible. But first, you should be able to recognise whether or not a particular surveillance camera has the specific ability to record audio. So, here we are with five ways to check if security cameras have audio. 

  1. Using technology to get the work done

When it comes to research the internet and especially the Google search engine is the best. And currently, with the availability of reverse image search, you can search about things you don’t know the name of too! And this is the capability that we are going to use to see if a specific model of CCTV Birmingham has an audio recording or not. The way to go about is to take a snap of the surveillance and make a reverse image search of it. You will then be provided with the name of the model, using which you can find out what its various features and capabilities are and specifically whether or not it is capable of recording audio too. The best advantage of this method is that it can be done discreetly without anyone noticing and getting suspicious. 

  1. Physically checking the CCTV Birmingham

If you aren’t worried of people knowing that you are looking, then the best way to know whether a particular CCTV Birmingham has audio recording capabilities is to make a physical check. You can get up to the device and check to see is there are microphones installed. Generally, this can just be a small hole or a minor opening through which is audio is being recorded. This method can be a great way to be sure but only if you are knowledgeable about security cameras and know where and how to find the microphone. If not, the previous method is more effective. 

  1. Checking the video footage

Another great way to check whether a particular CCTV Birmingham records audio too is to check its video footage. Generally, most security cameras today store the footage on the cloud or users can view the footage on their mobile devices by accessing a specific website or through an app, etc. So, in case you have access to the video footage, this is a perfect way to be 100% sure whether a particular surveillance camera has audio recording capabilities. The only drawback is this doesn’t work for cameras in public spaces since in most cases, common people will not have access to view the video footage! 

  1. Customer support can help

When in doubt, the best way to find out is to ask someone who knows. And the best “expert” you can find is the customer support of the company that provides the particular CCTV Birmingham. This is perhaps the easiest method of all since all you have to do is call the customer support number and provide the details of the camera and directly ask the support staff whether or not it has the capability to record audio. The advantage with this method is you can also find out if it is possible to turn off the audio recording feature and if so how. The only drawback with this method is that you have to know the company that manufactured the specific camera and the specific model name to get relevant information. 

Thus, these are some of the ways in which one can be sure whether or not a specific CCTV Birmingham has audio recording capabilities.