Posted on 27 March 2023

What is CCTV and how does it work?

Home cctv cameraCCTV stands for ‘closed circuit television’, and is a TV system in which signals are not publicly distributed, but are closely monitored, mainly for surveillance or security purposes. CCTV is not only used to detect crime, but also to prevent criminals from targeting an area or company. It is often located in public spaces, but can also be used in private areas, for extra security, which can then be turned over to the appropriate enforcement agencies if necessary.


What are the CCTV benefits for a business?

  • Crime prevention.
  • Reduce security costs.
  • Deterring vandalism.
  • Provides evidence.
  • Handling disputes
  • Monitoring staff
  • Visibility of premises

How and why is CCTV used?

The cameras record 24 hours a day, which means whoever possesses access to the CCTV can view it at any time. Generally, most CCTV footage is stored for 30- 90 days, however, each setup is different, and this figure may vary. The authorities recommend footage is kept for a minimum of 31 days, to allow the footage to be accessible for a full month after being taken.

CCTV is a huge part of criminal investigations, often used to prove someone’s location at a particular time. It is also used in cases of missing people, as it can help to piece together the last caught moments of the individual. However, the CCTV system used as evidence must be compliant with restrictions under the Data Protection Act to be used in court, such as the source of the recording must be known.

For business owners, CCTV allows them to be aware of what goes on within their premises and gives them peace of mind. It also gives workers who may witness something unlawful a source of evidence to back up their claim. CCTV can be used to settle disputes between co-workers, as it cuts out the ‘he said, she said’ element. Many CCTV cameras can also capture sound, which further helps to unpick situations and understand what is happening in more depth. Cameras also allow business owners to view their business and workers, even when unable to visit themselves, or when away. It makes sure that they are kept in the loop, and if needs be, can look back and get themselves up to date with what has been done while they are not there.

camera for cctvWhat are the laws and regulations you must follow when installing CCTV?

To implement CCTV in a workspace, there are a few rules that you must follow. For example, it is required by law that people are made aware that they are being monitored or recorded. This doesn’t mean you have to discuss the company’s use of CCTV with every customer or employee, but you must have signs clearly on display to tell people there is CCTV in operation. These signs also act as a deterrent to thieves or criminals, as they are now aware they are on camera, so are therefore less likely to commit a crime. If your CCTV system captures footage of someone, and they request to access it, you are legally obliged to provide it within one month. It is also your responsibility to designate a specific person to be responsible for any review procedures and the storage footage.