Corporate Surveillance Cameras Are A Silent Witness
Closed circuit television or CCTV cameras have totally revolutionized the monitoring aspects of security. A typical system employs a number of cameras, strategically located, with each transmitting its signal to a specified destination where the images are displayed via one or more video monitors. Such systems are quite distinct from broadcast television systems in that the do not employ open transmission but instead relay their signals via a point to point and totally closed, private network. Corporate Surveillance Cameras employed in internal security systems account for the greatest usage of these units.
The applications for these devices are numerous, as are the environments in which they are required to operate, normally on a continuous basis. This means that the design of units must also vary to meet the prevailing conditions that can range from outdoor use in all extremes of weather to indoor use under varying ambient lighting conditions. Static and mobile versions that pan automatically or can be directed remotely also feature in the array of corporate surveillance cameras that are commonly in use today.
Banks are among the biggest users of security cameras, employing them on their premises for the protection of customers and staff as well as to safeguard their cash assets. Many now use modified devices to monitor the activities of users at their automated teller machines (ATM) as a deterrent to attempted fraud and muggings.
On the domestic scene, inexpensive kits are widely available for home installation to identify callers at an entrance and often permit remote opening of a gate or door upon confirmation of identity but, for corporate use, surveillance cameras must be far more sophisticated.
Transport and Industrial Applications Also
The cameras in banks and supermarkets may be the ones most visible to us but there are many that most people remain almost totally unaware of. Although not used as widely in South Africa as in the developed nations, cameras can be found on many of our highways where they are intended to provide traffic calming measures and also in some forms of public transport. Most trains, taxis and busses in Europe and the US now have units similar to corporate surveillance cameras to deter petty crime and wilful damage to public property.
One rapidly growing application for these remote sentinels lies in the monitoring of a variety of industrial processes often in conditions where human surveillance would be either impossible or simply far too dangerous. In the chemical industry many processes require close control but a toxic or corrosive environment precludes a human observer. Likewise, in the nuclear and atomic energy industries, ionizing radiation hazards call for the use of cameras for oversight.
Not Just for Safety and Security
Corporate surveillance cameras have uses beyond that of protecting assets and acting as a deterrent to theft or fraud. In present day South Africa, there are codes of practice for employers that must be strictly adhered to and while providing for the safety of employees is one of them they have a right to expect their staff to conform to their terms of employment also.
To this end, CCTV is often used to monitor the behaviour and performance of employees, particularly with regard to the enforcement of health and safety practices defined for the protection of workers. Before CCTV cameras were available, it was simple for workers to claim compensation fraudulently for injuries caused as a result of their own negligence but enthusiastically corroborated by their workmates.
Video material collected in this way is acceptable as legal evidence and may be used to justify internal disciplinary action including dismissal and, in cases of fraud or theft, as the basis for criminal prosecution.
The value of corporate surveillance cameras cannot be overstated and are a vital part of any effective security policy. Contact us for leading products and expert advice on all aspects of security.
Written by Dan McCarthy