Welcome to the
"Coppers Corner"
section of
Doktor Jons

Guide to Closed Circuit TV

So would you like to play "Spot the CCTV Camera?". Eagle eyed visitors may recognise the profusion of street furniture, surrounding a single heritage dome camera keeping watch over part  of Londons' prestigious Oxford Street shopping area.

Doktor Jon does his bit to help
the Police with their enquiries

A brief Coppers Guide to Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
- 3.1 CCTV System Profiling - the key to success? - continued -


Having seen how the objectives for a key component (such as a camera) can be quantified, it makes it much easier to identify what type of equipment should ideally be used, and also where to use it.

Now at this point, it is important to understand that the four DICE functions can be further interpreted in the following way:-

Deterrence and Evidential Recording are essentially ‘passive’ functions of a CCTV system; that is to say, in most situations they do not require the input or control of an operator, in order to be highly effective.

If you think about the installation of a 'Dome' type camera, perhaps in a Town Centre, there is no suggestion as to which way it is looking, and indeed whether an operator is even bothering to monitor the image.

It's always argued somewhat naively that the presence of the camera provides the deterrence, whereas in most situations this is patently quite absurd.
Deterrence is really a function of one simple principle; that an individual has an absolute belief that the presence of CCTV will lead to their identification, should they decide to get up to naughty's. If they don't believe they will be caught, then you could saturate an area with hugely expensive cameras, and it won't do a thing to reduce crime.
It's perhaps worth stating the obvious, but when the effects of drugs or alcohol are also involved in the equation, then again, the presence of CCTV is unlikely to prevent much of anything.

With public area CCTV, positive publicity through the Press and media can very often suggest a far greater ‘enhanced’ deterrent effect, than the mere presence of the CCTV installation itself. Using a regular feed of success stories to maintain a positive perception of a systems performance, is a highly effective crime reduction technique which Doktor Jon describes as 'DtD' or "Deterrence through Detection".

Whilst we've looked briefly at the 'passive' aspects of DICE, Incident Monitoring and Site Management generally require the efforts of an operator to be successful, and for this reason, these operations are normally regarded as being ‘active’ functions.

Just for your interest, as a general rule of thumb, 'active' camera systems such as PTZ or fully functioning Domes typically cost around four to six times as much as a 'passive' fixed camera configuration, and that’s without taking into account the ongoing cost of monitoring.

That's the main reason why Town Centre camera schemes are so expensive, and frequently less than efficient when it comes to reducing crime.
From a law enforcement perspective, a greater emphasis on the use of 'passive' fixed and optimised cameras, would be a far more appropriate approach in a wide range of existing applications, currently totally reliant on 'active' less efficient PTZ units.

Topic Review:-

A DISE assessment comprises of two 'passive' functions, namely Deterrence and Evidential Recording, neither of which need rely on the input from an operator. Fixed optimised cameras can generally be used in most situations, more efficiently than remote control units.

The 'active' functions are Site Management and Incident Monitoring, both of which normally require the services of an experienced operator, in order to produce results.

Active remote control camera systems generally cost 4 - 6 times as much as passive fixed options, excluding any additional costs for monitoring. In practical terms, total reliance on PTZ cameras alone is generally very inefficient for reducing crime.

A Coppers Guide to CCTV - Additional Information - Under development >>

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