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30 September 2020

Closed circuit television, or CCTV, as it is more commonly known, is so prevalent throughout society that it is hard to imagine our lives without it.

Across the country, in schools and hospitals, warehouses and office blocks, shopping centres and business parks, they are a force to be reckoned with.

In fact, other than the US and China, Britain is the third most-watched country in the world. According to the British Security Association, the total number of CCTV cameras currently in operation sits somewhere between 4 and 6 million – equating to approximately 7.5 cameras per 100 people. Every single day, it’s suggested that the average citizen is recorded by 70 different cameras. We are all stars of reality TV, without even realising it!



For those of you who love stats, figures from the Office of National Statistics report that, outside of London – which has nearly 14,000 cameras monitoring public spaces – the second most watched city in Britain is Bristol, with 658. At the other end of the scale, Oxford and Newport are the two least-watched areas, with 45 and 39 cameras respectively.

Wherever in the UK they are situated, however, the vast majority of these are owned and operated by homes and businesses – and not local authorities or the Government. This would suggest that, as private citizens, we clearly recognise the value of CCTV’s crime-fighting capabilities.

So, what is it about CCTV that is so compelling for the UK commercial sector?

Overall, in terms of business welfare, CCTV clearly plays a crucial role – a key point that was made in the Government’s 2017 Commercial Victimisation Survey.

And whilst the main reason people install CCTV is as a crime prevention measure, collectively there are a number of important reasons why CCTV is seen as such a priority – arguably even more so in these COVID restricted times in which we live, where opportunist crime is potentially more likely.

So why would your business need CCTV?

CCTV as a crime deterrent

A well-placed camera that is clearly visible to a potential intruder will certainly make them have second thoughts about trying to break-in to your premises, whether it’s in a High Street location or out of town. If you can afford to do so – something we can advise on with a detailed site survey – a camera close to every entry point would be a sensible tactic.

CCTV provides 24/7 protection

Secondly, CCTV never sleeps. The system is constantly in operation – round the clock, 365 days a year, providing a permanent vigil. So, you know that anything untoward spotted in its area of monitoring will be picked up and recorded. We know how reassuring this can be from a customer’s perspective.

The camera doesn’t lie

On the subject of records, the video that is captured and stored in the CCTV’s database can be accessed whenever required – for a maximum of 30 days. Going over old footage might be time-consuming, should the need arise to detect an act of criminality, but it’s miles better than having no records to work with at all!

Staff welfare

As well providing a major deterrent to thieves, CCTV is also an effective way of keeping a check on what your staff are up to. This isn’t as draconian as it might sound. Yes, it should encourage your workforce to behave responsibly at all times but, say in the event of a disturbance or dispute (perhaps with an abusive customer), CCTV may well act as a way of vindicating a particular staff member or providing a level of protection for them. As a result of the CCTV monitoring being in place, you’ll be aware of what actually happened and not what someone might otherwise claim to have happened. You can then take any necessary action with a fair degree of confidence.

Promoting a safer environment

With CCTV cameras present, this can contribute significantly towards a sense of safety and well-being. The reason that crime is statistically lower in places where CCTV cameras are in operation, is precisely because of the monitoring that’s in place. This contributes to creating a safer environment for everyone, including your staff. CCTV promotes individual confidence and a feeling of security – and it’s difficult to put a price on that.

If you have yet to install CCTV but feel it could be a useful security asset for your premises, Justice Fire and Security can tailor a system to your specific requirements. The first thing we would do is undertake a free site survey, to make a proper assessment of what type of CCTV system would work best for you. For more information, call our main switchboard on 0845 468 0927.

As key workers, Justice Fire and Security are still operating, and staff are working remotely. All engineers attending your site are compliant with the latest guidelines on coronavirus.

From our West Midlands base, we have an extensive network of local offices, handling all manner of commercial and domestic security and surveillance systems for clients throughout the counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire, covering Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Stoke and Tamworth and elsewhere. In the East Midlands, we work across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. Our South East region handles projects throughout Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire, whilst our office in the south west offices covers Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. We also have a big presence in the North West from our base in Cheshire.

If you have any concerns regarding your current commercial or home security arrangements or your existing provider, please call one of our local offices or our main number on 0845 468 0927