Where you position your CCTV cameras is the second most important thing to consider, runner up only to the type of camera system you use. For commercial clients there is a data protection issue to contend with, as the presence of CCTV must be clearly displayed, and thanks to the new rules on data protection, businesses must now ensure they dispose of footage within a specified time frame, and also supply footage containing an individual to that person on request. They must ensure that the use of CCTV does not contravene any data protection laws, and part of this involves the positioning of the cameras.
If a business were to position a camera so it captured an area outside their premises, the footage of which could be construed as an invasion of privacy (for example, a camera on a business which also captures images of who goes in and out of a private property) they would fall foul of the law. Therefore, it’s vital, that we visit and provide a full consultation on the location of CCTV cameras and what they can record. There are times when a camera must be positioned somewhere it does capture footage on private property, for example when there is no other suitable place to fix the camera to, but we can mask out areas of the feed so no footage is recorded of that private property.
Domestic customers have less to worry about regarding data protection, but they must still ensure none of their cameras record anything which is not on their own private property. Public footpaths and pavements may be recorded if they constitute access to the property, but generally speaking the coverage should stop at the boundary line. We can set up your cameras to record only your property, and with motion activated cameras we set up a virtual perimeter to trigger the cameras to record, so they won’t record people going about their business on the pavement.
Legal requirements aside, the location of your CCTV cameras is crucial to ensure full coverage, or as near to full coverage as you can get. Entrances should obviously be covered, and the cameras should be positioned around head height to capture images of people’s faces. Cameras positioned straight down don’t give much useable footage, so you want to ensure you are capturing faces, not the tops of heads. Doors and windows should be covered as these are the main access points into a building, but it’s also important to capture activity right up to the perimeter of your property.
The locations of cameras can leave them vulnerable to vandalism, but there are vandal-proof dome cameras on the market which are sturdier and virtually impossible to break and these are a great option for domestic and commercial customers. The amount of damage a burglar would have to enact on these cameras means they will have alerted someone to their presence long before they ever get the camera broken, let along enter the building.
To answer the question, yes, it does matter where your CCTV cameras are positioned, for legal and logistical reasons. We have over 30 years of experience designing CCTV systems so our expert consultants can ensure your CCTV system gives you optimum coverage.