CCTV Information introduced by Robyn Sones

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The CCTV Advisory Service is an Independent Consultancy and Web based information company dedicated to disseminating general information concerning Closed-circuit television (CCTV) and linking customers to quality organisations who can meet their specific requirements.

Realising that the average person, when they begin to look into CCTV, has little way of knowing where to find expert advice at a reasonable cost, we have created this web site to bring together some of the leading organisations working in this field.

The companies and individuals found on this web site are those who do not just talk about excellence. They believe in it, and ensure that it runs through every fibre of their organisations and the way they deal with customers. Companies appearing on our pages do not pay for space but appear by invitation only. They are companies we have chosen for the quality of their products, level of customer service and because they offer value for money.

Why We Do What We Do

Have you ever designed a world?

I have. In my mind I have a picture of the world as I would like it to be. A world where police are redundant, armies not needed and those in Government have as their only goal the care of those for whom they are responsible.

Core to that vision is the way people treat each other; that we look out not just for our own interests, but also for the interests of others. That a person’s value is not measured by how much they earn, but by how much they give. It may be helping to provide drinking water to a village on the other side of the world, or simply providing a cup of coffee for a colleague who is too busy, or stressed, to make it for themselves.

You may think me a fool or a dreamer but I have learnt that I can change this world into my world one person at a time, and this philosophy is at the heart of what we do at The CCTV Advisory Service. Our business gives us the opportunity to enable most organisations achieve better security solutions than would be possible without our help. To treat customers, suppliers and colleagues as we would like them to treat us. It gives us the opportunity to excel at what we do, and when we talk about excellence and quality it’s not ‘marketing speak’ but the natural outworking of what we believe. Even better… most of our clients receive this service at no cost.

You have to create and innovate to change the status quo and we are doing this within our industry.

The dream of a different type of security organisation was born out of my early years in CCTV. I thought that I was joining an industry that was there to help people, a view reinforced by the first company I worked with. But, while there were, and are, some very good CCTV companies, I quickly discovered that the majority fell far short. Primarily they were sales companies that just happened to sell boxes labelled CCTV, and as companies competed for business, quality became a race to the bottom. Unsuspecting organisations were spending thousands of pounds on systems where people could not be recognised and the images would be of little use in a court of law. The Association of Chief police officers stated that four out of every five cameras installed were not fit for purpose. Generally, organisations that purchased ‘fit for purpose’ CCTV were those who could afford an independent consultant to guide them through the minefield.

My dream was that one day, from the small corner shop to the large multinational, everyone would have access to the expertise they need to ensure that the CCTV they purchase is fit for purpose and value for money.

Today that dream is a reality as we supply free CCTV Consultation to organisations from small retailers to some of the best-known companies in the country.

Our continuing mission is to ensure that our organisation is the one we would want to deal with if we were seeking informed and honest advice on obtaining a CCTV system which is both fit for purpose and cost-effective.

Free Advice and Design

We are able to offer free services including site surveys, drawing up plans, budget costings and system design to many companies who are considering having a CCTV system installed by a professional installation company. These services are offered in conjunction with a small group of carefully selected CCTV Installation Companies.

Although, as a consultancy we have a standard fee per hour for the work we undertake, this fee will be waived, or reduced, should you place your order with one of the three companies that we recommend for tender. For most clients this results in no charge for our services but where the system installed is of a small size we may not be able to claim our full fees from the installer. As many of the installers we use pay us out of their sales budget this method should not increase the installation charge to our clients.

Why Is a CCTV Web Site Necessary?

cctv camera

The importance of having a professionally designed specification can be seen from the fact that when the police seek to use CCTV evidence in court it is found to be inadmissible in most cases. While it is true that almost anyone can look at a location and suggest a number of Cameras, only those who have experience in this field, through an understanding of the principles of optical science, will generally be able to recommend a Camera that will give the customer a picture with the best definition or coverage. Often it is also possible to give clients "added value" by locating Cameras, and utilising lenses which are able, not only to view the area of concern, but also give peripheral vision of other points of interest.

During a visit to a school there was a camera at each end of the 30m corridors. These cameras had standard lenses and were providing facial recognition for the 3.5m of corridor nearest the cameras. This is the case in 95% of the systems we audit. If a pupil came out of classroom, committed a misdemeanour and then returned to the classroom there was no possibility of knowing who they were. By setting the cameras to view the opposite end of the corridor and the careful choice of lenses the cameras would have been able to provide facial recognition for half of the corridor, enabling the whole corridor to be viewed with pupils being recognised. Instead of having recognition for 7m all 30m could have been properly viewed providing a 428% increase in effectiveness. This is just one of many differences when a system is designed correctly. Our experience as CCTV Consultants is that in the vast majority of cases companies are simply sticking cameras on walls and pointing them in the general direction with little or no understanding the optical science necessary to correctly design a CCTV system.

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Contacting Us

It is best to initially contact us through our reply page. This enables us to make sure that the person or company with the most suitable expertise is put in touch with you.

How effective is CCTV in capturing criminals?

Following the 2011 London riots Operation Withern was set up in London and led by Detective Chief Superintendent Greany. By February 2012 this had led to 3,000 people being successfully prosecuted and DCS Greany has stated that 2,200 of those prosecutions would not have been possible without video evidence.

Some may say that this just one high profile example but what about the day in – day out experience of CCTV around the country. The following quotation shows what has been happening in just one area of the UK.

"Hambleton District Council, which along with Ryedale, Leeds, Kirklees and Hull, claims CCTV has played a part in more than 15,000 arrests over the past three years, has agreed the £99,000 funding to upgrade the control room equipment used by the security cameras which monitor the market towns of Northallerton, Thirsk, Bedale and Stokesley." From The Yorkshire Post

Cameras Work

Despite the above arrests and prosecutions, other statistics point to major reductions in the amount of crime being committed where there are cameras installed. This is why CCTV is seen by many as the best system for the deterrent and detection of Crime. We are sure that you would wish to avoid having to catch those who are perpetrating crime against your organisation. Generally, once a Camera system is installed, it will only be fools who attempt to perpetrate offences within its field of view. These are often caught but for the majority it will provide a very high level of deterrence.