A Crime Prevention Officers Top 10 Tips - continued
6) Video tape usage:-
Always make sure that recordings are logged and securely stored for an appropriate period (normally a minimum of 14 days, and preferably a full month), and that the client is using absolute 'top quality' Extra High Grade (EHG) tapes (if analogue VHS).
7) Make time to get it right:-
Remember to check that any recorder Time, Date or Caption settings are programmed correctly. If they're wrong, the recordings may not be acceptable for court use (regarded as 'corrupted' data, under the Data Protection Act), oh and don't forget the all important (compliant) CCTV warning signs.
8) Keep it clean:-
Make sure that any outdoor camera housing windows are regularly cleaned; dirt and grime can seriously affect the overall picture quality. In fact, a gentle wipe down of the monitor screen, can also dramatically improve the image quality.
9) Use the right equipment:-
Where images are to be recorded for possible evidence, a video switcher or quad unit should not really be used. Only a high quality full screen recording multiplexer or multi-channel DVR will guarantee that the maximum amount of information is recorded as efficiently as possible.
10) Devious is good!:-
In certain situations, use the old 'double deception' approach to camera installation.
If the situation warrants it (see CCTV system profiling), try using proper dummy cameras as the primary deterrent, and covert or discreet high quality cameras for the evidential recording.
Remember if you place the dummy within view of the working unit, there is always the possibility of adding criminal damage to the sheet, if the suspects try and 'disable' the dummy!
It would of course have been relatively easy to expand this section into the CPO's top 250 tips, but as most of the information is located somewhere else on this site, you'll just have to keep looking for the rest (the site index might help!).
Final thought, CCTV isn't simply about producing pictures ..... but more importantly, about producing results.
Further specific advice about CCTV usage for 'Homeland Security' >>