CCTV (close circuit television) surveillance is a technology whereby numbers of surveillance cameras are used to monitor a specific place of interest or importance. These video cameras capture the video and direct it to be displayed on a set of monitors. It may employ a wired or wireless link to transmit the images.
CCTV surveillance has a wide scope of application. It has found application in almost each and every field.
Some of the basic uses of CCTV surveillance are:
Initially the CCTV’s were developed to monitor sensitive places like government establishments and banks. But now with improvement in technology and reduction in prices of such systems they are being used extensively in order to provide security against theft, vandalism, burglary and other unlawful actions. At first place they deter potential criminals and help you to protect your property. In addition the footage produced by these CCTV cameras could be used to identify the intruders during investigations. The areas of application of CCTV for crime prevention include banks, parking bays, shops, stations and airports. These CCTV’s when installed in shops allow security staff to keep an eye on shoplifters and also on shop employees to prevent any theft of shop supplies.
In industrial processes there are many areas that are hazardous for human beings but need continuous monitoring. In these areas CCTV’s are employed to take the place of a human eye and all the corrective actions are taken by machines. Examples of such areas include chemical industries, nuclear reactors, and nuclear fuel refineries etc.
Traffic control and monitoring
CCTV’s are also being used extensively in traffic monitoring systems to continuously monitor the traffic through motorways. They can be used to detect congestion, accidents and reduce the response time of authorities. Also these CCTV’s are used to monitor traffic violations. They can read the registration plates of the cars and thus help to trace the defaulters. Some of the organizations have employed such cameras at toll tax terminals to spot the vehicles that have not paid the required tax.
These cameras are also used for increasing the transport safety. For example take the case of a subway train. These CCTV cameras help the driver to confirm that everyone is clear of the door so that he can close the doors and start the train. Similarly a small camera at the back of a vehicle enables the driver of the vehicle to park the vehicle in a congested space easily looking at a small monitor on the dashboard. Also in amusement parks these CCTV cameras are used to ensure that people are safe before starting of a ride.
Though this CCTV surveillance technology is a great boon considering all the above areas of applications, some people are not in favor of this technology. They feel that their privacy is being intruded. But the supporters of the technology argue the fact that CCTV cameras intrude into people’s privacy as they are being employed in public places and not in private places.