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Guide to Closed Circuit TV

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CCTV in an average Town Centre

Sticking with the subject of Town Centre Closed Circuit TV schemes, Doktor Jon would like to perhaps broaden the scope of what has already been outlined on previous pages.

Consider if you will the cost of setting up an average CCTV control room; you probably don’t want to know, but let’s just say that it could pay for an awful lot of overtime.

Now, let’s consider for arguments sake that an average TC scheme might have twenty cameras distributed (normally at major road or pedestrian intersections) throughout the area.

At the moment, a patrolling vehicle is absolutely reliant on clear communication from the control room, to make any sense of what is happening on the ground.
In many schemes across the country, the CCTV control room staff have to inform the Police Ops. room officers, who then relay the information verbally to colleagues on patrol.

What if .... instead of pictures only going to the control room, they could actually be displayed in the patrolling vehicles.

Imagine a patrol entering at one end of a high street, with video pictures available from street cameras, or even individual units located on or within private premises. In many situations, officers could remotely monitor from a safe distance, and assess the level of risk without compromising their own safety, for example, an alarm actuation in a bank or building society.

How difficult would that be to achieve; well actually it’s not difficult at all.

Using conventional ‘off the shelf’ transmission equipment, a cluster of cameras could be broadcast from a hub on a ‘police use only’ microwave frequency. If necessary, the images could be “scrambled” to remain secure, and the decoding and display equipment packed into a portable unit for use in different vehicles, or on different shifts.

In fact given the rapid advancement in IP network enabled video servers, it is already quite feasible to relay pictures using wireless digital data networks, to a suitable laptop, notebook or PDA computer ( a technique known as a 'mesh network').

CCTV in an average town centre - continued >>

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