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!
Is security camera footage admissible in court?
For security camera footage to be used as evidence in court, several requirements need to be met.
Firstly, you will need to assign a responsible person within the company, or private property where the CCTV system is installed who should be the only person entitled to view any recorded material. This is for data protection purposes. You will also need to clearly display that there is CCTV monitoring taking place, there that be via a sign or notice.
Next, you need to ensure that any recorded images are clear enough to identify any recorded persons. If the images are blurred, fuzzy or too grainy to identify anything or anyone clearly, then the police or prosecuting team will almost certainly take the view that the footage will be of no use.
For this reason, it is important to make efforts that the images that a CCTV system produces are of high quality. If not you run the risk of the CCTV system letting you down when needed the most.
High-quality audio isn’t always commonplace on CCTV camera set-ups either, so this will do little to back up any visual evidence that's been gathered. The combination of inadequate audio and substandard video footage can work against the best interests of court cases where CCTV forensics are analysed to help make judgments.
The requirements of CCTV footage as evidence
To make it clear what is needed for CCTV footage to be used as evidence in court, The Home Office provides some helpful guidelines.
- Quality - As we've touched on above, images used from CCTV camera systems need to be good enough to be able to identify anybody being recorded.
- Storage - Safeguarding of the CCTV system and recorded images need to be stringent to avoid unauthorised viewing or altering of footage.
- Export - CCTV systems should be able to migrate, and export captured footage with ease, and be compatible and integrated with other forms of electronic, virtual, and cloud-based communications.
- Playback - A CCTV system should be accessible in a way that enables investigators to replay the images and ensure the authorisation carries the necessary weight and credibility in court proceedings.
Is CCTV alone enough to prosecute in court?
While there are a few requirements that will need to be met, CCTV certainly has the potential to be conclusive enough to assist in bringing about a prosecution. However, CCTV footage alone does not carry the power to enforce a conviction. Especially if the visual evidence or audio is inconclusive.
Our CCTV camera systems
Here at IDS Security Systems, you'll never have to worry about poor imagery or lacklustre audio quality. Our CCTV camera systems offer high-quality, state-of-the-art technology to provide the best visual data possible.
To learn more about the CCTV camera available from us, click below!
Our CCTV Camera Systems >
So to summarise, if you're wondering if CCTV footage can be used as evidence in court, the answer is yes it can but only if it's clear enough and meets required guidelines.
If you'd like more information on our high-quality CCTV camera systems, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the IDS team today.