Using CCTV to Protect your Family and Home

There was a time when CCTV (which stands for Closed Circuit Television) was just something for military establishments, police stations, airports, city center hot spots and to keep tabs on Motorway traffic and busy road junctions. But before we go on are we sure what exactly CCTV is?

CCTV systems are small cameras of a very specialized nature, very flexible in their use and application, most being able to move totally in 360 degree circles and larger 180 degree movements. CCTV systems are usually small enough and movable enough to fit into any cramped or different location.

First and foremost you should ask yourself why are you considering a CCTV? The answer will probably be that you want to reduce the possibility of burglary of your property, trespass and theft of items outside your house, such as car and farming or gardening equipment. It can also make you feel more secure and give you peace of mind that you are protecting your property and more importantly, your family. CCTV can also be very useful If you’ve got a problem neighbor and you want to build up empirical evidence of harassment, abuse, whatever.

However, as most Police security advisors will tell you, you should take other less dramatic measures to secure your beautiful home and surrounding environs first. Firstly, put yourself in the place of a potential burglar, how would you gain entry to your property and your home? Check that you have secure locks on the main doors into your home, front and back. Do your windows have locks? Have you invested in a burglar alarm? Is there security lighting and motion sensors at key points around your property (lights will not only deter criminal but also provide better focus for any CCTV cameras). Do you have high fences and perhaps intimidating shrubbery at the boundaries of your property to deter casual thieves and burglars?

However, when installed correctly and used for the right purpose, CCTV can be an effective tool in your armory against personal and property crime. It can discourage anti-social behavior and reduce crime because, the bottom line is offenders don’t want to be caught, and therefore caught on camera.

What does the law say? If you own your property then it is perfectly legal to install CCTV including recording and playback capabilities to protect your property against intruders and trespassers.  You cannot put cameras up on other people’s property without their consent, for example if you live in rented accommodation.  So if you do not own the property you will need written permission from the landlord before you install CCTV.

Cameras being deliberately trained on areas outside of your property, could amount to harassment and potentially give rise to prosecution under the Public Order Act or Protection from Harassment Act, therefore make sure the angle of vision of your CCTV camera or cameras won’t stray into neighbors areas so that you can be accused of being a snoop or a voyeur- especially if they have young children.

Finally, I suggest you don’t go it alone. A professional CCTV company can explain the types of cameras and links and suggest one tailor-made for your purposes, including whether to have a static or mobile camera or cameras and how to store recordings made by your CCTV.