CCTV is widely used throughout the world as a security and surveillance tool. This article will look at what CCTV stands for, a brief history of this technology and some of the main uses of CCTV in society.
What does CCTV stand for?
CCTV stands for closed circuit television. CCTV is different from television you watch your favourite soaps on as it doesn’t broadcast a signal to the public. Instead it transmits an image from video cameras to monitors either via cable, a wireless transmitter or through the internet. This image can be recorded and stored on disk.
History of CCTV
One of the first major uses of CCTV was in the 1940’s by the US Military. To test V2 missiles closed circuit cameras were used to monitor safety tests. This technology was beneficial because it allowed officers to watch closely, looking out for defects and possible issues whilst staying out of harm’s way. Without CCTV problems with the missiles may have gone unnoticed.
In the UK in the 1960’s CCTV was installed in some public areas to observe crowds during marches and rallies. As the technology developed and became more hi-tech CCTV was widely used in public places to monitor activity. Further uses included preventing theft from retail outlets.
Nowadays in the UK CCTV is widely used to monitor public areas such as train stations, roads, city centre squares, shops and buses. However, it doesn’t stop at public areas as many people are now investing in CCTV to protect their homes. With 9.5 million crimes in England and Wales last year it is clear to see why CCTV is so important.
CCTV is a great crime deterrent as perpetrators know it is more than likely they will be identified. Areas with less or no CCTV will probably be at higher risk of crime because of this. If the presence of CCTV doesn’t deter a Wifi Camera perpetrator then hopefully it will catch enough information to aid with any police investigation.
For businesses CCTV may act as a deterrent from external thieves however it can also help identify criminals within an organisation. For managers and business owners CCTV can give you a useful insight into how effectively your employees are working. It can help protect your staff from being wrongly accused e.g. if a customer claims they have been miss-sold a product, and can also protect the company from false allegations e.g. onsite injuries.
Although CCTV is mainly used to prevent crime it does have a wide variety of alternative uses. Edinburgh Zoo not only uses CCTV to monitor site security but they have set up CCTV to bring the customers closer to the animals. By paying extra customers can closely see some of their favourite animals without endangering their safety.
Monitoring traffic is essential when planning new road layouts however it can be a time-consuming and costly if you use people to count and take notes. Instead CCTV has been used to accurately capture traffic movements.