Growth in CCTV usage reaches record levels

IN the past decade, the use of CCTV has grown to unprecedented levels. In the UK between 150 and 300 million pounds per year is now spent on the surveillance industry with growth estimated at 15 to 20% percent annually. 

Many companies across the UK are installing CCTV cameras and equipment to provide an integrated security solution that is effective in combating crime. 

Cameras are not only appearing in city centres, college campuses and in supermarkets, they are also being used by private individuals to protect their property. Increasingly, police and local councils are placing camera systems into housing estates and public places such as phone boxes, vending machines, buses, trains, taxis, alongside motorways and inside cash machines. 

CCTV is far more than a selection of cameras. A CCTV system is made up of a complex array of products and equipment sourced from a diverse selection of manufacturers and suppliers which requires skilful amalgamation. Optimum performance can only be guaranteed with careful selection of equipment, expert design of the system and a high level of system engineering. 

North Shields based security specialists 2020 Vision Systems recently won the £250,000 contact to refurbish the entire Newcastle City Centre CCTV system. Peter Houlis, MD said: “For many organisations CCTV is an integral part of any security strategy. The beauty of CCTV is that systems can be developed to benefit any size of company and be tailored to meet business requirements cost effectively. It isn’t just about placing a few cameras on a site, it takes complex planning to ensure that the right equipment is selected in order to produce the required end result.” 

“Image quality is also a major factor in the growth of CCTV, the move towards digital equipment brings sharper pictures without the need for videotapes. Wireless systems offer discreet surveillance as well as improved picture quality with the option to send pictures electronically, reducing the need for manned guarding.” Added Peter Houlis, who is also a Director of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) and sits on the CCTV advisory committee for the European Union. 

Anybody considering installing a CCTV system should seek advice from a qualified installer in order to design the system. The company should provide a full project management service with full on site supervision and evaluation during the implementation phase of the installation, including witnessing of performance tests to make sure that the system performs effectively. Also, as a company’s requirements change the system can be altered and upgraded as needed. Integration into current security access systems such as barriers, door entry systems and rising barriers can also be implemented.

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