CCTV needs to deliver useable evidence

January 12, 2010

I’ve recently participated in three key project meetings: one led by a systems integrator (SI) and two led by end users: one working in public space and an American hotelier using CCTV for surveillance.  All three meetings came back to the same point which was the need to produce useable evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and obtain a conviction.  However, while the SI talked about budget as being key to setting the OR (as the customer only has so much money to spend), both of the end users wanted high quality images which they could use to secure a conviction (public space) or obtain an arrest / expulsion (hoteliers). While both of the end users were conscious of delivering a cost effective solution, they were prepared to fight for the necessary budget to meet their bottom line operational requirements (OR).

In the discussions with the end users it was interesting that they both held the view that rather than allow the quality of camera to be chosen to meet a pre-determined camera count and technical functionality (this lens size, this resolution etc. which has the danger of picking a “budget” camera in order to keep within the specified budget), both were savvy about the abilities of IP to deliver high resolution images without impacting on transmitted or recorded video quality and were willing to explore different compression techniques and the flexibility that new technologies such as H.264 & HD can deliver to make savings elsewhere in areas like storage or to invest more in their solutions to ensure they met their OR.

This allows delivery of the necessary standard of footage to meet the evidential needs for a successful prosecution rather than flooding an area with poor quality CCTV to meet an identified requirement and yet still hit a budget figure.

Please click here to read the complete article.

To find out more about the new Government Oversight Body or if you would like to discuss the OR / Functionality / Budget triangle – visit the Linkedin CCTV discussion forum or email me at video@controlware.co.uk.


Is CCTV regulation a step in the right direction?

January 7, 2010

While becoming more delivery and standards focused could be seen as a step in the right direction, it seems the Government is in need of broader and more in-depth expert knowledge to address the key concerns over image quality and the technical direction of the CCTV market as it accelerates towards IP.  This would then allow for influencing the creation of a robust standard or else they face the risk of creating a standard which will be outdate by the time it is issued.

Controlware Country Manager Mark Harraway comments on the news that the UK Government has announced the creation of a CCTV Oversight body and interim CCTV regulator.

Please click here to read the complete article. To find out more about the new Government Oversight Body or if you would like to discuss the OR / Functionality / Budget triangle – visit the Linkedin CCTV discussion forum or email me at video@controlware.co.uk.


Oh No! – Another Government Body… Government announce creation of a CCTV Oversight body and interim CCTV regulator

January 6, 2010

Controlware Country Manager Mark Harraway comments on the news that the UK Government has announced the creation of a CCTV Oversight body and interim CCTV regulator.

In the last article I discussed the new Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) quality and performance targets, and how operational requirement (OR) needs to drive CCTV delivery. In this article, I am going to cover the Home Office’s announcement of yet another Government body: The National CCTV Strategy Board. This new Government Oversight Body has been created to focus on what I covered in last month’s article:

“the establishment of an Oversight Body, which enables the current National CCTV Strategy Board to become more delivery focused. This will be supported by an Independent Advisory Group and sees the appointment of an interim CCTV Regulator who will be responsible for raising public awareness, defining standards and establish a means to deal with complaints from the public about CCTV.”*

David Hanson – The Policing Minister

However, while the briefing covers a lot of ground on targets, regulation, rights, delivery and how to complain: it is extremely woolly on the core things that matter in the deployment and use of CCTV such as operational standards pertaining to key elements such as image size, image quality, compression and frame rate.  The Briefing omitted to mention industry concerns of systems being “fit for purpose” or “future proofing”.  Nor was there any specific mention of actually engaging with CCTV developers and manufacturers regarding the future of CCTV and new technologies such as CCD vs CMOS, megapixel deployment with the need then for improved lighting, Intelligent Video, integration with other systems or key topics such as IP, HD or H.264; or engaging with key industry groups such as ONVIF or the ASC in a broader sense rather than in a limited capacity through sub-committees.

In the meantime, please click here to read the complete article. To find out more about the new Government Oversight Body or if you would like to discuss the OR / Functionality / Budget triangle – visit the Linkedin CCTV discussion forum or email me at video@controlware.co.uk.

*source – http://www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/cctv/cctv_oversight_body.pdf


The CCTV industry needs regulation

December 4, 2009

Mark Harraway, Country Manager at Controlware calls for the need for CCTV standards

Both the introduction of CCTV conformity standards and creating the right approach to security design are needed to take our industry forward. And our industry does need to move forwards. Already we are seeing the Police start to say that CCTV is only one of their tools when it should be viewed as their primary tool: CCTV is the eyes of any security system, and as such when systems are well designed and managed CCTV is both proactive and clearly provides the most damning piece of evidence.

In the meantime however there is something that we can do to support our industry. We should start talking in a common language and encourage our industry bodies to take a more proactive leadership role. We should also be prepared to commit to universal testing regimes. Those of us that work in distribution – matching end-user requirements with manufacturers diverse portfolios, and having the knowledge and expertise that spans IT, IP and security industry knowledge – should be prepared to better support consultants by undertaking continued assessment and testing in order to promote the right product for the right project and, as best practice look at the OR as the driving force behind design.

At Controlware, we remain firmly committed to these values, and to moving the industry forwards. We use our expertise in system design, working with consultants, systems integrators and end users to provide guidance and understanding concerning the integration of security expertise with IT and IP knowledge.

The article “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” can be read in full here