CCTV surveillance systems

Protecting against risk

Video surveillance systems or CCTV are a deterrent and a means of viewing and recording potential intrusion, vandalism or violent behaviour before or while it is happening, as well as gathering evidence of a crime.

NSI approved companies are assessed to the NSI Code of Practice NCP 104 for the design, installation and maintenance of video surveillance systems or CCTV. The code ensures the user’s security and operating needs are fully understood and that a risk assessment and site survey is undertaken before a design is developed.

There are many different types of camera, for example, High Definition (HD) Network connected, Analogue, Thermal etc... with a variety of diverse features e.g. video analytics, back light compensation, on board recording, low light level etc... and all with various image resolutions; the choice of camera will depend on customers' operational requirements e.g. what has to be seen and when. 

The cost of the system will depend on how many cameras and of what type are needed, the level and quality of detail in the image that is required, the capability of the recording device, the amount of storage required and the quality of the equipment that will be provided.

There might also be additional requirements to add illumination, detection, video analytics, remote monitoring or back up power supplies to ensure your security needs are met. Therefore it is essential that you are clear on exactly what you want the system to provide and when it needs to operate so that your requirements can be taken into account during the design stages, and an accurate quotation can be provided.

 
Detector activated CCTV surveillance systems

Detector activated CCTV surveillance systems

Unlike video surveillance systems or CCTV that present images to operators on a live on-going basis, Detector Activated Remotely Monitored systems work particularly well for large or exposed sites and provide an alternative to continuous out-of-hours live monitoring of images.

When set, a remotely monitored system will activate in response to a detected intrusion and send an alert signal to a Remote Video Response Centre (RVRC), where an operator will evaluate the situation and initiate an appropriate response.

The NSI approved company you choose will have approval for designing, installing and maintaining the cameras and other equipment. All NSI approved companies installing CCTV surveillance systems are expected to respond to a fault with your system within 24 hours. You should check your contract to make sure it stipulates a time frame that meets your organisational requirements.

 
Alarm and CCTV Monitoring Centre

CCTV surveillance system operation

To enable you to manage your system and retrieve and export any images the security company should provide you with training on the system when it is handed over and also provide all the user documentation necessary to ensure you can continue to operate and maintain the system effectively.

Care does need to be taken that the privacy of your neighbours or the general public is not invaded. Your NSI approved company will be able to advise how to make sure that your installation meets all of the recommended guidelines. As the operator of a video surveillance system or CCTV you may be required to register the system with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and it is recommended that you visit the Information Commissioner's Office website to make yourself fully aware of the legislation which may be relevant to your system. 

 

Maintaining your system

Many new systems now rely on IP technology to connect cameras and video recorders together and to allow access to and from the Internet for remote viewing and control and maintenance.

When the system is commissioned the installer should ensure it is as secure as possible from being ‘hacked’ either from an internal or external access point. However, as threats evolve it may be necessary to update the software and firmware on the system to ensure the highest level of security is maintained.

As part of any maintenance plan your installer will be able to advise when updates are available and also if there are any security tasks that you can carry out to ensure the system remains secure.

Any maintenance contract you are considering should make clear where responsibilities and costs lie for ongoing maintenance, including software and firmware updates, battery replacement and maintenance of illumination. 

CCTV surveillance system monitoring

In some instances individuals who are monitoring CCTV surveillance system will require an SIA licence, go to the SIA website for clarification.  

Whether or not a licence is required, CCTV surveillance system monitoring and analysis should be undertaken in accordance with the NSI Code of Practice for the provision of control room services, NCP 107 Issue 2. This is a framework that can be applied by operators. It ensures the highest standards are applied by specifying training requirements, and ensuring that operatives new to the role of monitoring and analysis be assessed for competence against relevant criteria relating to the duties they perform.   

 

Certificate of Compliance

Once your installation is complete as evidence that it has been installed by an approved company and meets the appropriate standards you will be issued with a unique 'NSI Certificate of Compliance'. This may be required by your insurance company as proof your premises meet key criteria as a condition of insurance, or where an insurance premium discount is available.

 

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