Big Brother Is Watching You: Does Your House Need CCTV?
There are currently 350 million surveillance cameras operating worldwide, yet only days ago a specialized firearms concealment firm announced they were creating a gun that would, in fact, at first glance look like an iPhone. With this worrying news and increasingly high numbers of weapons being bought, and sold illegally plus a spike in opportunistic crime should you be thinking about giving your home some extra protection?
What Exactly Is CCTV?
The simplest way to describe the purpose of CCTV, or closed circuit television is to explain how it works. Your home or business is surrounded by a set of video cameras which electronically talk to one another, as well as providing 24/7 video surveillance of a particular area although, if programmed, cameras can move in different directions. Any and all data that the cameras pick up is then signaled and broadcast on TV monitors so you can watch anyone coming and going. Unlike broadcast television the signal cannot be accessed by just anybody and cameras can be quickly switched on, and off.
How Much Does A Set-Up Cost?
Forking out on CCTV may sound like a big financial decision and you’re right it shouldn’t be done lightly, you’ll never know what you might capture on film, but it’s cheaper than you think. Monitors, which are just computer screens can be bought cheaply, or second hand while the system itself requires a bit more thought. Decide why you’re buying the system in the first place. Is it to scare off vandals? Keep an eye on your business when you’re not there? Or have there been a recent spate of burglaries in the area and you wish to protect your family? Whatever your reason it’s important you get the set-up that suits you, because CCTV can cost anything between $100 and $5,00 depending on your requirements.
Can Footage Be Used As Evidence?
Absolutely. In fact, if you are a victim of a crime at any point and you have Home Security or CCTV to back up what you’re saying definitely tell the police. Their forensic technology experts may want to take a look at your system, borrow any tapes that may have the incident, or incidents described on them as well as fact checking dates, time stamps or even clothing the assailant or burglar was wearing. Sometimes CCTV evidence can be ruled as admissible in court due to blurry images, lengthy pauses between scenes and clear signs the videotape, or DVD has been tampered with so do try to keep an eye on who’s accessing your monitors at all times.
Do I Need To Tell Anyone I Have It?
In short, no, you don’t need to tell anyone you have installed CCTV except for those living in the house in case there’s a problem. However, it is seen as proper surveillance etiquette to inform family, and close friends that they’re being watched but whether you choose to do so is entirely up to you. Make sure that the cameras aren’t angled at any other houses, it’s against the law, and check what’s legal in your country as CCTV, privacy and surveillance laws vary.