Safeguarding London Through CCTV
As a highly effective component in any crime prevention equipment setup, closed circuit television systems are in place throughout London with the aim of increasing security.
CCTV Benefits for London
While alarms act as a visual and audible deterrent to both prevent crime and halt a criminal act in progress, CCTV adds another layer of dissuasion. By altering a criminal’s perceptions regarding their chances of being captured after committing an offence, having with CCTV in operation categorically lowers illegal activity in areas covered by surveillance cameras than those that aren’t.
This is especially pertinent in some parts of London, where crime rates are highest. The inclusion of CCTV security provides both a deterrent to criminal activity and a source of evidence in the aftermath. In one extreme example, the recent anniversary of the horrifying events in the 2005 attacks on London drive home the important role that CCTV images played in the identification of those responsible.
However, other positive scenarios have also been noted with the inclusion of cameras throughout the capital. For example, the ‘halo effect’ suggests that the wider area surrounding CCTV surveillance zones may see reduced crime numbers, even if the cameras do not cover particular streets or premises. With no clear indication as to the capabilities of the equipment, opportunistic thieves and vandals may not risk being caught.
CCTV Usage – Legal Considerations
While CCTV has a number of obvious benefits for increasing safety in London’s boroughs, there are a few important aspects of the use of camera monitoring to bear in mind, as laid out by the Charter for a Democratic Use of Video Surveillance created in 2010 by the European Forum for Urban Security.
Firstly, there must be a necessity for the installation of the cameras in the first place, as determined by an independent authority. This could include areas that have been identified as high priority in relation to crime statistics.
Secondly, CCTV should be installed only if appropriate equipment is used – i.e. a sufficient size and scale of CCTV for the area it is to be monitoring. This works in both directions however, as equipment and data collection that is installed must not be excessive for the purpose, so as to not unnecessarily infringe upon privacy.
Next, all CCTV networks in operation should be clearly signed as such. Not only should the signage indicate the area is under surveillance, but there should also be sufficient records in place for citizens to locate, explaining the costs of running the system, its aims and objectives and any findings. Accountability for any public CCTV system must be in place, with the owner of the system (whether a private organisation or government body) identifiable upon request.
An external body will be responsible for overseeing that the above points are met.
AAI Security Systems have over 50 years of experience in protecting homes and businesses from intruders. Our wide range of CCTV options for customers throughout the London region provide complete monitoring control over your premises from anywhere in the world. CCTV images can be used as evidence in the event of a crime, and AAI provide digital video recording to store all images. For more information about our CCTV services, get in touch with AAI Security Systems today.