CCTV: We should enhance security

Monday June 24 2019


By Sam Tinka

Enhancing security does not mean that insecurity is on the increase. Rather, it implies that working and staying in a secure environment is important. So how does installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras improve security in your community?
A CCTV camera provides two core functions: Real viewing of events as they unfolded in an area. It is more of a postmortem report. For commercial, security and high level installations, CCTV is used for real time monitoring for emergency response, grant access, manage crowds, provide intelligence, and for information gathering. Others uses include traffic management, tracking movement of high value goods, especially cash , gold, etc.

In many cases, personnel in the control room watch and where possible, respond to events as they unfold. Courts, police, executives, families, individuals can all use CCTV footages to review and make conclusion in specific incidents. CCTV evidence is admissible whether in commercial, criminal or civil court. There are two types of CCTV equipment - analogue or digital.
Analogue CCTV equipment captures and stores footages, but has some limitations like picture quality, video clarity, storage capacity, transmission capacity and speed, among others. Whereas digital CCTV avails HD pictures, high speed, remote viewing, it can be enabled on ones phone, laptop, iPad, computer and can be viewed and replayed many miles away. Therefore, in this day and age, CCTV use is a necessity in our homes, small businesses, churches, farms, warehouses, cars, schools, etc.

CCTV also acts as a deterrent measure. No potential criminal wants to be identified, hence a mere presence of CCTV can scare them away. Therefore, CCTV is a deterrent, preventive, investigative, prosecution and decision making. I know of some commercial entities such as banks that have used CCTV to make commercial decisions.
What should you consider when installing CCTV? The quality of equipment and the technical person to install, service and maintain it. The ability to be reached from all angles as long as there is electricity. Have alternative power source to use in case of a power blackout.It is also advisable that the storage equipment (NVR or DVR) is kept away from the infrastructure being surveilled. These days, criminals make sure that they go with the hard drive to kill evidence.

It is also important that there is a back-up or the storage capacity that is sufficient for at least more than six months. Some incidents are identified after sometime, maybe during audit, review of incidents etc.
If picture and footage back-ups are not sufficient, some information maybe already rewritten. As such commercial entities storage capacity should be enhanced.
Sam Tinka,