Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
CCTV in the Home
Q1) I keep getting graffiti sprayed on the wall of my property, is it a good idea to put up a CCTV camera to deter the culprits?
DJ says "If you put up a visible camera as a deterrent, it may well have the desired effect, or it might just encourage further attacks out of view of the camera. Ideally you should try and use a hidden camera with a
video recorder, so at least you can establish the exact nature of the problem, and then decide on the most appropriate course of action".
Q2) I would like to have a camera watching my front porch, and be able to view it on a spare television, but I can't install any extra cables. Can it be done?
DJ says " Provided your television has a video input, either a SCART or RCA (phono) socket, you can use a domestic grade 2.4GHz microwave video transmitter / receiver package. These units are readily available
at less than £ 100, over the counter from specialist high street shops.
Be aware though, that as there are only four channels usable in the UK, there is always the possibility that your neighbours may already be using one or more of these channels, so you may be able to pick up their signal,
and in theory, they could receive pictures from your camera.
Q3) My detached house has a straight 50 metre driveway, which I'd like to monitor and video record. Will a basic domestic camera do the job?
DJ says " In a word .... No! You will be able to monitor perhaps up to 10 metres from the camera, but it really isn't designed for this task. A proper industrial camera fitted with a x3 magnification telephoto lens will produce extremely good quality images, and if appropriate, may be installed discreetly inside the house looking out, rather than having to use an expensive weatherproof camera housing, which would be more vulnerable to attack.
Q4) I would like to install a camera to cover my rear patio, but it is very dark at night; will I need extra lighting?
DJ says " Yes you will, but the trick is to provide low level, even illumination, rather than high output Tungsten Halogen. Wherever you position the camera, make sure the lights are not visible in the picture, as this will affect the overall quality. If you want to do it yourself, you can buy 'Low Voltage' lighting, possibly wall mounted
downlighters or small directional 'floods', which is available from many high street DIY superstores.
Q5) My neighbour has installed two CCTV cameras on the front of his house, and I'm worried they are being used to spy on me; what I can I do about them?
DJ says " Unfortunately as there is little legislation that will apply to domestic CCTV, it can be difficult to address this increasingly common problem.
In practice, the Data Protection Act (DPA) which would apply to this situation if the neighbour were a commercial premises, does not actually apply to any surveillance cameras used on a private dwelling home (excluded under Section 36 of the Act).
If the two cameras are mounted less than 10 metres apart, they would be in breach of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, and the Local Authority Planning Enforcement section could be asked to take steps to have the cameras resited, or even to have one removed. There are other parts of the same legislation which may apply, so it's worth having a look here
In extreme cases, where a camera has quite obviously been deliberately placed to cause maximum distress to a neighbour, it can be reported to the police for possible action under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (if the police are unwilling to act, it is equally possible to bring a private action under the same legislation, although this could prove relatively costly).
E-mail your comments, suggestions or questions to :- info[at]doktorjon.co.uk