On 6th to 12th May 2012, the first ever National CCTV Improvement Week (NCIW) will take place. The campaign aims to encourage surveillance operators to review their current systems and identify the issues that could be compromising the effectiveness of CCTV.
The NCIW really is ‘a child of its time’. The 2011 rioting across London and other major UK cities brought the issue of security to centre stage in the media. CCTV images have been instrumental in convicting rioters, used in a ‘name and shame’ campaign that encouraged the public to identify suspects. With two large-scale UK events coming up in 2012, the world’s media will once again be focused on our security. We spoke to the creator of NCIW, Doktor Jon, to find out a little more about what the campaign aims to achieve.
“In the run up to the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic celebrations, security across the country as a whole will be at a heightened level of risk. Given the vitally important role that privately operated CCTV systems routinely play in assisting the police in carrying out investigations, as indeed was so graphically demonstrated following last years’ riots, it seemed an ideal opportunity to draw attention to this fact, and in so doing urge all CCTV users to take some time to look carefully at their equipment, and see what if any simple steps could be taken to improve the value and effectiveness of their existing systems.”
So what procedures can you take to ensure your CCTV is operating effectively? The NCIW ‘10 Point Improvement Plan’ gives a checklist for routine assessment of systems, for example:
Review the quality, suitability and effectiveness of all the system’s existing monitoring, display and transmission equipment.
The NCIW website will make available free resources to provide basic methods for testing components. Doktor Jon commented “This will hopefully assist a wide range of CCTV Users in helping to evaluate how well their existing set ups are suited to their actual operational objectives.” And what happens if you find your security cameras and software is not fit for purpose? Jon advises that users find out “what is quickly and easily achievable to improve effectiveness, preferably at minimal cost.”
The icomply software V-TAS Pro represents an effective and affordable solution to monitoring your CCTV system. It enables control rooms to integrate multiple unconnected security applications into one unified front end via the Graphical User Interface. The software automatically reports on failures such as video loss, hard drive errors and loss of network connection. These issues are logged in the central database, meaning operators can monitor faults on the system and determine how to make improvements.
Hugh Barker, Managing Director for icomply, commented: “icomply software is designed to create an efficient, accurate and user-friendly control room. Our Graphical User Interface integrates command and control of CCTV with additional security applications such as receiving alarms and monitoring staff guard tours. Information is relayed back in real time to one central monitoring system, meaning that the operator will not need to switch between screens and potentially miss the incident. icomply integrate with existing infrastructure, including analogue, to make state-of-the-art security technology more affordable.”
CCTV and surveillance operators who are looking to drastically improve their systems during the National CCTV Improvement week should contact icomply for a demonstration.