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IDS Security News
All the latest security news and information, plus insights and updates from IDS Security Systems Ltd.

can cctv footage be used as evidence

Nowadays, CCTV cameras are everywhere. Whether they're on homes protecting families or on commercial premises protecting businesses, CCTV cameras provide security and surveillance that keep our belongings safe and sound at all times. 

One of CCTV's main objectives is to prevent crimes from occurring; however, and more crucially, it can be used to provide stonecold evidence if ever a crime was to occur at your home or business. 

So, whilst CCTV is usually installed as a means of preventing criminal activity, it CAN also be used for evidence to bring about a successful prosecution. But are there any requirements before CCTV can be used in court? And is CCTV alone enough to prosecute?

Find out below!

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CCTV cameras

Over the last few years, the digital world has been dominated by talk of personal data and GDPR. If you're not aware of what exactly GDPR means, it stands for general data protection regulation. GDPR became law in May 2018 and has modernised the laws that protect the personal information of individuals. 

But what exactly counts as 'personal information'? Is CCTV footage personal data? What do companies have to do to be compliant when it comes to video surveillance? 

In this blog, we try to answer all of these questions, looking at how GDPR impacts the use of CCTV for businesses and the measures that must be taken in order to become GDPR-compliant. 

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security camera maintenance

Installing a CCTV system is a great way to keep your premises secure, but if you fail to maintain it, you might find yourself in a sticky situation later down the line! Like all technology, CCTV cameras can fail if they're not looked after. Unlike your computer or your TV, CCTV cameras are often out in the elements 24/7 (not to mention the vandals that try to destroy them) which makes them even more prone to damage than almost any other piece of security kit.

Why is security camera maintenance so important?

Your CCTV cameras are there to do one job - keep you safe. If over time, CCTV systems aren't maintained properly and stop working then they won't be able to do their job properly. Therefore, it's important to consider the value of things you're protecting. Is your CCTV system installed around your business premises, your home or your garage? A faulty CCTV system will leave these spaces vulnerable to crime!

Maintaining your CCTV system is also vital if you want to make a claim on your insurance later down the line. An insurance company might not want to deal with your claim if you've not maintained your security cameras properly. This is definitely worth bearing in mind if your CCTV cameras are protecting valuable goods. 

CCTV maintenance: What do I need to check?

So, how do you actually go about maintaining your security cameras? There are a few things that you should check on a regular basis to keep things working smoothly.

Cables

Being outside, wiring and cables can become damaged. They're exposed to the weather but they're also prone to becoming loose and detaching from the wall. Eventually, loose wires can fray and cause the picture quality and sound to be compromised. So, you see any problems with the feedback from your cameras, it could be a wiring issue. Make sure you do a good visual check of the wiring every few months.

Camera Lens

Problems with the camera lens will make it very difficult to see events in the view of the camera. As you can imagine, this makes the CCTV cameras fairly useless if you're trying to identify specific people or events that led up to a crime. 

Again, being outside can cause problems for the camera lens and a tiny bit of dirt can look like a huge smudge when you take a look at the footage. Keeping the camera lens clean is vital if you want a clear view of the area. A few other things that can affect the view through your camera lens are:

  • Overgrown foliage
  • A camera that's slipped and no longer looks in the right direction
  • A motion detector that's stopped working

Control Equipment

Finally, you need to make sure your control equipment is maintained so that you can watch and store the footage & access it whenever you need to. This involves checking that your CCTV monitors and control panels and working as they should be. 

Check that the cameras are recording footage that's clear, bright and not too oversaturated. Check that the monitor is showing the right date and time and generally clean down the control room/equipment so that dust & dirt doesn't build up. 

Our Maintenance Contracts

If you're planning on installing a new CCTV camera system, we highly recommend looking into our maintenance contracts. These contracts provide you with the reassurance that one of our professional engineers is on hand at any time - night or day - should a problem with your CCTV system occur.

When you notice a problem with your CCTV system, all you have to do is call our team on 029 20 753 251 and we'll send an engineer out right away to deal with the problem. That's why we recommend our maintenance contracts for people with CCTV cameras in challenging/crime-prone areas. We'll also carry out any routine maintenance that your CCTV system needs to keep it running smoothly at all times. 

Read More: Is one-camera CCTV system enough?

If you'd like to find out more about security camera maintenance, or if you'd like to enquire about our CCTV systems for your home or business, give us a call on 029 20 753 251.

history of cctv

CCTV systems are a common part of everyday life. They can be seen in the streets, outside people's homes and in most shops and supermarkets. They keep a watchful eye over us and make it easy to identify perpetrators when a crime has been committed. 

As with all modern technologies, there was a time when our society existed without CCTV (can you imagine!) In fact, the CCTV camera as we know it has only really existed for the last 80-100 years. Let's delve into the history of CCTV to see where it originated and what it was used for. 

The first mechanical CCTV system

The first recorded CCTV system was created by the famous Russian inventor, Léon Theremin in 1927. The system was, as you can imagine, fairly simple and consisted of a manually-operated camera that sent images through a wireless shortwave transmitter and receiver, with a resolution of only 100 lines. 

This CCTV system was quickly recognised as something that could prove very useful to the Russian state and was shown to Joseph Stalin, Semyon Budyonny and Sergo Ordzhonikidze. Once they saw its potential, they requested that this rudimentary CCTV system be installed around the courtyard of the Moscow Kremlin so that security could monitor visitors.

CCTV in WW2

Another example of early CCTV was used by Germany to observe the launch of V-2 rockets in 1942. This CCTV system was created by an electrical engineer called Walter Bruch who was one of the pioneers of German television. This CCTV system was very successful and got people thinking about different ways this technology could be used. 

Commercial CCTV

Commercial CCTV systems didn't hit the market in the United States until 1949. The earliest known commercial CCTV system was called Vericon. Sadly, few records remain to explain what Vericon was, how it worked, or what it was used for. We do know that it was advertised as 'not requiring a government permit' which made it easily accessible to home and business owners for the first time. 

CCTV in the streets

CCTV was being sold commercially, so you'd think it would've exploded onto our streets and into public areas... but this wasn't really the case. The MET trialled a CCTV system in the streets in July 1960 to oversee the arrival of the Thai royal family. Throughout the 60s, different cities across the country including Leeds and Liverpool installed CCTV systems to see if they could make public spaces safer. These trials showed that the idea of having CCTV systems everywhere at the time was unrealistic because it would cost too much to wire it in. 

Widespread CCTV

During the 70s and 80s, CCTV became cheaper and easier to install, so high-risk establishments like shopping stores and banks began to use them. Later, in the 1980s, local authorities began installing CCTV on roads and in streets. Nowadays, CCTV can be found just about everywhere!

IDS Security

Here at IDS Security, we have been installing CCTV systems for more than twenty years! We use the most modern technologies on the market and we're specialists in the design, installation and maintenance of bespoke CCTV systems. We work with home and business owners to keep their properties safe. Learn more about our CCTV Systems here:

CCTV Systems >

If you have any questions about our CCTV systems or any of the other security systems we offer, give us a call on 029 20 753 251.

You can never be overly cautious when it comes to protecting your home or business and the valuables within it. That is why so many home and business owners across the country install effective security systems that allow constant monitoring of their property. But how many cameras are enough? One, two or a complete system which covers your entire property? 

The answer to that question ultimately lies with you, the owner, and the level of security and monitoring that you believe your property requires. If you have a lot of valuable belongings such as within a business that needs a higher degree of protection, then a full security system may be the best choice. However, if you have just one particular area that needs guarding, such as a garden shed or garage, then a one-camera CCTV system may be enough.

Here we talk through our one-camera CCTV systems and explain how they can be of great use to you! 

One-Camera CCTV System

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