While a large number of gadgets are used for security, the close circuit television (cctv) camera is probably the most widely used security gadget. Since hiring a watchman to monitor an area is expensive and not always very reliable, both families and businesses are installing one or more cctv cameras on the property which they own or use. In most cases, the cctv camera will record the footage of the area on which the lens is focussed, to detect whether there are any people entering or leaving the area. The footage was earlier stored on the hard disk associated with the CCTV camera.
CCTV cameras are widely used by security agencies in case of crimes like burglaries, thefts, murder, riots or arson. The cctv footage is used to trace the person or persons who are responsible for the incident. Earlier the security agencies, specifically the police were using eye witness statements, which are often not very reliable or manipulated. Hence increasingly security agencies are relying on cctv camera footage to identify the persons involved. However, the security agencies may be prejudiced due to which innocent people may be falsely blamed. Additionally for a large number of crimes, the criminals are disabling the cctv camera or stealing them, so that there is no footage available for the security agencies.
The main part of a CCTV is the camera which is used. Usually the camera is focused on a particular area only, link the door or main entrance. If footage of a large area is required, more CCTV cameras should be installed increasing the cost. With advanced in technology, cameras with fish-eye lenses are being developed, which give coverage over a larger area. This reduces the number of cameras which are being used. The cameras are often mounted on the walls, though they may be installed on the ceiling or other places depending on the footage required.
While earliest the CCTV camera was wired to the hard disk where the footage was stored, increasingly wireless technology is being used extensively for controlling and monitoring the CCTV camera and footage. Increasingly the CCTV camera will have a SIM which allows the property owner or user to monitor the CCTV footage remotely, even when the property owner is hundreds or thousands of miles away. Also the CCTV footage can be stored on a cloud, or remote computer, so the storage capacity is not a limitation for the property owner. The CCTV is using infra red (IR) technology to detect the presence of a person in its coverage area. Artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically initiate recording or send an alert, when a person is loitering or intruding the area. It is also possible to change the camera coverage, panning a particular area, or zooming in.
Criminals especially burglars are less likely to target homes with cctvs for crime, since the risk of getting caught is higher. Some of the places where CCTV cameras are installed are
- Large expensive homes
- Shops, especially jewellery, collectible shops where expensive items are sold
- Schools and colleges
- Hospitals and healthcare facilities.