CCTV stands for closed circuit television. It is a surveillance technology used for monitoring locations and activities. CCTV systems usually have a dedicated link between cameras and monitors. The use of such systems has grown and become more prevalent in recent times. Tremendous amounts are being invested in CCTV as a leading tool in the fight against crime and terror.
This growth is destined to extend into the homes of private citizens. In a time of growing domestic violence, the installation of CCTV can be a big help. The collection of videotape evidence greatly helps any court case. The technology is also used in hospitals for keeping tabs on health professionals who are suspected of abusing their patients.
That is the great thing about CCTV. Its capabilities are constantly being extended. Though their main purpose is to detect and prevent crime, CCTV systems have now been pressed into service to monitor littering, traffic violations, and loitering. Even underage smoking and drinking have sometimes become the focus of some CCTV systems. Other innovations are also being discovered. CCTV systems can help in the observation of body language. This in turn can yield information about drug or alcohol usage in a subject. One can say that CCTV is an invaluable tool in keeping the public order.
That is probably why it is becoming an integral part of public policy as well. Law enforcement personnel as well as politicians are endorsing it as a cost-effective way to enhance security methods. Its impact on the law enforcement is greater than that of any other technology initiative in recent years.
CCTV also has great public acceptance. There may be some people who oppose it but the general public seems to agree that the technology makes them feel safer. It has become a symbol of security and feeling better about the world at large. Critics of CCTV are often seen as rabid radicals.
Technology Behind The Lens
A modern CCTV system consists of cameras with pan, tilt and zoom capabilities. These cameras are operated remotely from a central control room. A lot of other sophisticated technologies are integrated cctv into these systems. These include night vision, computer assisted operations, motion detection and even face recognition. The camera casings are also usually bullet-proof and have automated defense mechanisms in case of someone trying to damage them.
The clarity of the images recorded by CCTV is often excellent. That is why CCTV footage is very valuable in a court case. These systems can spot a deck of cards from a hundred meters away. Most of these systems can work in very low light conditions and bring the images up to daylight level.
CCTV is not magic. It is merely the application of several technologies for a specific purpose. Generally that purpose is to enhance security for a particular area. Being so cost-effective, it is not a wonder that its acceptance level is very high among members of the general public. And one can only expect that acceptance to grow as time passes by.