British security industry: Cohesive approach needed for CCTV

May 9, 2008
Industry association working to evolve how security is used, maximize effectiveness

Following comments from the CCTV lead at the Metropolitan Police Service, the British Security Industry Association has agreed that there is a need for a more cohesive approach in the application of CCTV systems in the UK.

BSIA CCTV Section Chairman, Pauline Norstrom, comments: "CCTV is playing a valuable part in crime prevention and detection in this country. However, there is a need for a more cohesive and holistic approach by CCTV stakeholders to ensure that the benefits of advancing technology are utilised effectively. This is already being undertaken in the form of the National CCTV Strategy, in which the BSIA is already heavily involved. CCTV has evolved over a number of years and in some cases the management of the technology has taken place on an adhoc basis with systems owned by both the public sector and private companies. This evolution has meant that there have been areas of disconnect across government agencies. However, now this issue has been recognised by the authorities and work is being undertaken to ensure that CCTV systems are used - both proactively to deter crime and more effectively to gather vital evidence - in a more structured way."

"Detective Chief Inspector Mike Neville also commented that little thought has gone into how CCTV images will be used in court. The industry has been working to combat this over recent years and a new British Standard BS 8495 which covers the use of digital CCTV images in court has been created to address this issue. Users of CCTV systems should make sure that their systems comply with that standard to ensure that images carry sufficient weight in court."

"CCTV will continue to play an important part in the security and safety of people in the UK. Research has shown that it reduces fear of crime amongst communities and there are many examples of the technology not only preventing crime, but also playing a significant part in the detection of crime. The Jamie Bulger case, the London bombings and the recent Tonbridge convictions are just three high profile examples of where CCTV can make a significant contribution to solving crime. Through the Police, Government, CCTV industry and the users of systems working more closely together, the technology can be used even more effectively."