Since their invention decades ago, closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance systems have become increasingly popular. CCTV is now commonplace throughout the world’s cities, streets and businesses as a means of additional security.
In offices, CCTV systems – like many things – have their advantages and disadvantages. However, they have proved effective over the years in combating criminal activity.
As the ethics of video surveillance have been debated since the beginning of time, this now begs the question: does your company’s office need a CCTV system? Here are a few reasons why CCTV can be useful in the workplace.
Safeguard your employees
CCTV can be used in the workplace to make sure that employees are safe. If there is ever any criminal activity, or any kind of accusation of something, then everything is on tape ready to be reviewed.
This protects employees from unsafe working conditions and breaches of health and safety, and records evidence in the event of a crime. However, if CCTV is used to monitor employees then there are many legal issues to consider.
Legally, employers must tell their workers: if they are being monitored; what they are being monitored for; and the rules of the workplace they are being judged against. Signs for the cameras must be clear, visible and readable.
Under the Data Protection Act, if the employer justifies the cameras by saying – for example – that they will help to prevent theft, the employer cannot then use the footage for another reason, such as filming the entry and exit of workers from the workplace.
Deterrent to crime
Having a CCTV system in your office can act as an effective deterrent to criminals. When someone sees a security camera, they are less likely to cause any loss or damage. This is because they will be well aware of how effective a CCTV system can be.
CCTV increases the chance of a criminal being witnessed, allowing security guards or whoever monitors the footage to have eyes in more places at once. In turn, this increases the chances of a criminal being caught red-handed.
Provided that a given CCTV camera can capture imagery of a sufficiently high quality, this camera can also make sure you have a better chance of identifying, and therefore prosecuting, the individual. This is also key for identifying people if you think any crime committed on the premises might have been an inside job.
Overall, CCTV can be an extremely useful tool in the arsenal of an employer, as this technology can protect a business’s employees and physical assets as well as the data of that company’s customers. However, all of this only applies when the correct legal procedures are followed.
Offices with CCTV systems will be safer and, for that matter, feel safer – as long as their existence is relayed clearly to the office’s users. The CCTV cameras can then be left to do their job, and watch.
This helps to explain why many offices are starting to come complete with CCTV systems and security. For example, with a serviced office from BE Offices, the CCTV and security are already included in the rent of the office space.