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Cctv Technology, Installation, Maintenance and Security

Cctv Technology, Installation, Maintenance and Security


Closed Circuit Television, commonly known as CCTV, is an interesting area of television technology that is usually used in surveillance systems, a lot of components and concepts can be implemented in an industrial production monitoring system. (CCTV) surveillance is one of the fastest growing areas in the security industry. These cameras are used to monitor and record images of what takes place in specific locations in real time. The images collected are sent to a monitor and recorded on video tape or as digital information. The camera can be fixed or set to scan an area or they can be operated by controllers and monitors can be watched by controllers or left unmonitored.

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This recorded information can be stored or reviewed by those who have access to the recordings at their convenience. CCTV surveillance systems is an environmental crime prevention tool and are mostly found around banks, school environment, large organization and companies. This seminar work explains what CCTV technology is all about, its area of application, installation, uses and maintenance.


Security has been integral part of computing in recent years, to provide the strongest possible security to users, security solutions sometimes consume a large amount of resources; combination of perceptions and fears of increase in street crime and advances in technology has seen an upsurge in the use of closed circuit television as a tool in tackling crime in public places. Terrorist attacks are serious threat for public security and are a challenge for both the private sectors and public agencies involved in its provision. Recently, CCTV camera has gained prominence as a measure for counter terrorism, and public security agencies in different Countries (Hayman, 2002).

Many private companies and a number of local government authorities have initiated trials in the use of CCTV, and the technology is also being used in a number of ways both in the private and public sectors. Research evidence so far suggests that it can be an effective strategy in situational crime prevention at a local level, but only as one of a range of crime prevention strategies. CCTV should only be considered as one part of an integrated crime prevention strategy and should be installed on a trial basis subject to rigorous evaluation as to its effectiveness.

I was motivated to undergo this study based on my experience when I was doing my Industrial Training (IT) and also based on the present security challenge in the country. The seminar report titled CCTV technology installation and maintenance set to enlighten people on the use of CCTV systems and how to install, maintain the closed circuit television.

The research work Closed-Circuit Television Technology widely known as CCTV is being used in practically all office buildings, homes, companies, industries for surveillance purpose. Although there are different type’s security guards but CCTV still stands alone as the best means of providing public security to these large organization. Hence it is extremely important that the latest technology (CCTV) is employed to ward off such high-tech robberies.

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In this paper we will provide a brief overview of what we consider to be the two main theoretical approaches to the study of visual CCTV surveillance system. First, we will look at the sociological literature which has drawn upon Michel Foucault’s reading of the Panopticon in an attempt to assess the impact of the “information revolution” on surveillance processes. Secondly, we will review the “critical”  criminological literature which has explored the links between neo-liberal policies and the growing use of actuarially based, risk management approaches to crime control of this new technology.


As David Lyon has pointed out, the sociological response to the general issue of Surveillance has been dominated by images Lyon, (1994). This has been especially true of CCTV surveillance which naturally invites comparisons with Jeremy Bentham’s proposal, written in 1787, for an architectural system of social discipline, applicable to prisons, factories, workhouses and asylums. The design consisted of a central inspection tower surrounded by a ring-shaped building composed of cells, each housing an inmate. In this respect, the architectural design created a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assured the automatic functioning of self-control and self-discipline.

Although Bentham’s model prison was never built, it was nonetheless a crucial development for Foucault who believed that the principles of Panopticism would “seep out from their institutional location to infiltrate non-institutional spaces and populations” Smart, (1985).

Oscar, (1993) refers to this as a “panoptic sort”, whereby individuals in their daily lives as citizens, employees and consumers are continually identified, classified and assessed and the information then used to co-ordinate and controls their access to goods and services. Similarly, for many writers the development of mass CCTV surveillance systems extends the disciplinary potential of panoptic surveillance to wider public space. Historically, the “direct supervision” of individuals has been limited to relatively confined areas, such as small rural communities, or in the enclosed and controlled spaces of modern organizations Giddens, (1985). However, with the development of modern CCTV systems in public spaces and telecommunications networks the “direct supervision” of the subject population is no longer confined to specific institutional locales, nor does it require the physical co-presence of the observer.

As Bannister, (1994) note, CCTV, like the Panopticon, facilitates the power of the watchers over the watched not only by enabling swift intervention to displays of non-conformity but also through the promotion of habituated anticipatory conformity. However, as Armstrong, (1999) have pointed out, the extent to which CCTV surveillance systems mirror these panoptic principles in their operation and effects depends on a number of issues. First, these writers note that the activities of those monitored by open-street CCTV systems in public spaces are not restricted to an enclosed environment which makes continuous monitoring virtually impossible. In this respect, “anticipatory conformity may be a strictly temporal and spatial phenomenon, with those individuals with deviant intentions shifting the time and place of their activities to outside the camera’s gaze”.

Secondly, Norris, (1999) found that the ability to mobilize a rapid response to monitor non-compliance in public space was constrained by two factors, that CCTV operators could not themselves intervene to deal with incidents, and were not in a position to demand intervention by the police. Thus out of a total of 600 hours of observational research conducted in three CCTV control rooms, these writers witnessed just 45 deployments to deal with monitored non-compliance.

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A third issue raised by Armstrong, (1999) in relation to the disciplinary potential of public CCTV systems concerns the problem of classification. As Poster, (1990) has pointed out, the disciplinary power of the system is only complete when one-way total surveillance is combined with a detailed “dossier that reflects the history of his deviation from the norm”. As Norris and Armstrong point out, the street populations monitored by open street CCTV surveillance systems are unknown to the observer, which means that those watching the screens are unable to systematically identify and classify people in public space. This was reflected in their findings which revealed that only one in thirty three (3%) of the targeted surveillances in public space were based on the personalized knowledge of the security officers. Indeed (Norris, 2002) has suggested that despite the massive expansion of CCTV surveillance in Britain, the absence of the ability to routinely link a person’s image to their database record places a severe limitation on CCTV.

One of the main strengths of Norris, (1999) detailed observational study of CCTV control rooms, is that is avoids the “technological determinism” found in much of the writing on electronic communications technologies. In the (administrative) criminological literature, for example, there is a concern with how effective CCTV systems are as a crime prevention measure Tilley, (1998). The sociological literature on the Panopticon, on the other hand, aims to show how CCTV systems represent an extension of disciplinary power (Reeve, 1998). One thing that unites these two very different approaches is their tendency to take as given the way CCTV systems are applied in practice. It is assumed that either visual surveillance systems have been introduced to detect and prevent crime or to extend the disciplinary potential of panoptic systems. What is often missing in this literature is a detailed micro-sociological account of the construction and operation of visual surveillance systems in different institutional settings. As (Graham Marvin, 1996) point out, the SCOT approach rejects the notion that technological systems “have some autonomous ‘logic’ which ‘impacts’ on cities as an external force”. Instead, it aims to show how “individuals, social groups and institutions have some degree of choice in shaping the design, development and application of technologies in specific cases”. In his book, the Surveillance Web, for example, (Mc Cahill, 2002) has shown how visual surveillance systems (in shopping malls, workplaces, and high-rise housing schemes) are shaped by the organizational, occupational and individual concerns of those responsible for setting up and monitoring the systems. Similarly, in their observational study of three CCTV control rooms, Norris and Armstrong (1999) found that video-recorded images “become another resource to be selectively utilized by the police in pursuit of their own organizational goals which are not coincidental with the full enforcement of the law”.


While much of the (administrative) criminological literature on CCTV has focused on the issue of how effective visual surveillance systems are as a crime prevention tool, other criminologists have argued that the rapid growth in the use of CCTV is bound up with wider political changes in advanced liberal democracies. Some writers, for example, have drawn upon the “govern mentality” literature in an attempt to explore the links between the emergence of neo-liberal policies and the growing use of “actuarial” or “risk-based” strategies of crime control (Sullivan, 2001). From the perspective of these writers the emergence of CCTV surveillance systems is just one among a “host of ways in which new powers have … created a new ‘govern mentality’. This refers to the new means to render populations thinkable and measurable, through categorization, differentiation, and sorting into hierarchies, for the purposes of government” (Stenson, 2001).

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The earliest usage of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) actually dates back to 1942 when it was first used by the military in Germany. The military used remote cameras with black and white monitors to observe the launch of V2 rockets. During the 1940”s the US military also used the CCTV when developing and testing atomic weapons, as this allowed them to observe the tests from a safe distance.

In the years since that time CCTV has become very common in government and the military sites. In the 1970”s and 1980”s CCTV was commonly used as an added security measure in banks. Many other retailers also began to use these CCTV”s in their stores as a method to both prevent and record any possible crimes. They are extremely popular in convenience stores and gas stations. Gas stations have used them to record drivers who leave without paying for their gas. There is no proof that CCTV decreased crime rates, but they have been very successful in helping to apprehend criminals who were record in the act.

Today CCTV”S are very common in the home. Many homes with security systems have these installed as an added security feature to prevent break-ins or unwelcome intruders. They are also used in many public areas including schools and any suspicious activity.

Cctv Technology, Installation, Maintenance and Security


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