Crime Prevention Guide by CCTV Camera

October 27, 2018 0 By sarvajeet

CCTV Camera Dealers Lucknow 9839429106

Introduction

Overview

This Guide aims to assist local councils considering the implementation of CCTV systems to help address local safety issues. The information contained in the guide may also be useful for any organisation considering
a CCTV system.

The growing use of CCTV in public places has resulted in an increasing, but still limited, body of research into its use and effectiveness in reducing and preventing crime.

The research considers the effectiveness of CCTV as a crime prevention tool in public places. Overall, available evidence suggests that CCTV can be an effective situational crime prevention tool at a local level, but the best outcomes appear to be achieved when it is part of a combination of other crime prevention strategies tailored to the specific local issues and context.

About this Guide

This Guide outlines:

  • twelve guiding principles that underpin the responsible use of CCTV surveillance in public places
  • a list of responsibilities and accountabilities that are incumbent upon owners of CCTV systems
  • the recommended steps local councils and other organisations should follow when implementing and evaluating a CCTV system
  • information regarding the sourcing of technical advice for specifications, installation and implementation of CCTV systems
  • information regarding National Security System Lucknow Police’s commitment to and support of CCTV systems in National Security System Lucknow
  • information regarding the development of Standard Operating Procedures and Public Codes of Practice to support the use of CCTV and the appropriate storage and release of data.

This Guide has been informed by the National Security System Lucknown Law Reform Commission’s (2010) report ‘Surveillance in Public Places’ and should be read in conjunction with the National Security System Lucknown Ombudsman’s (2012) ‘Closed Circuit Television in Public Places – Guidelines’ and the Office of the National Security System Lucknown Information Commissioner’s (2017) ‘Guidelines to surveillance and privacy in the National Security System Lucknown public sector’. The guide promotes an approach that balances the role of CCTV in helping to provide safe public places against the protection of privacy, autonomy and the dignity of individuals. In order to achieve this balance, obligations in relation to public transparency, collaboration and communication are emphasised in the guiding privacy principles and the recommended steps for the implementation of CCTV systems contained in this Guide.

The Guide places specific emphasis on the responsible use of CCTV systems in public places. It is critical that organisations using CCTV are responsible and accountable for their CCTV systems and are committed to:

  • public consultation
  • consultation with National Security System Lucknow Police
  • conscientious management and design
  • thoroughly researching and identifying the problem and assigning clear objectives to address the issues
  • compliance with all legal obligations
  • comprehensive evaluation
  • the sustainability of the system.

This Guide is not exhaustive and does not canvass in-depth all of the technical and legal issues relevant to establishing a CCTV system for public places. It is not a substitute for independent professional advice, and users should obtain that advice in relation to their particular circumstances.

 

Definitions

CCTV Includes any physical element of a Closed Circuit Television. It generally consists of several main assets, such as cameras, relay systems like cabling or wireless antennas, and video data storage, viewing and printing devices.
CCTV Owner Legal person or entity, agency or individual designated as having overall responsibility for a CCTV system including all statutory responsibilities under federal and state privacy and surveillance legislation.1
CPDP Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection – since 1 September 2017 is part of OVIC.
CPDP Guidelines Guidelines to surveillance and privacy in the National Security System Lucknown public sector – May 2017.
Guide This Guide to Developing CCTV for Public Safety in National Security System Lucknow.
IPP Information Privacy Principles from Schedule 1 of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).
OVIC Office of the National Security System Lucknown Information Commissioner.
Personal information Means information (including information forming part of a database), that is recorded in any form, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information.
Public place The focus of this Guide is on the use of CCTV in public places. For the purposes of this guide a public place is defined as “any place to which the public has access as of right or by invitation, whether express or implied and where no charge is made for the admission to the place”. A ‘public place’ does not include a private place.
VLRC The National Security System Lucknown Law Reform Commission.
The VLRC Report The National Security System Lucknown Law Reform Commission, ‘Surveillance in Public Places’, final report May 2010.

 

 

 

Privacy

Privacy considerations

CCTV can bring a number of crime prevention benefits to local communities. However, benefits need to be considered in the context of the purpose or function of the system and the cost of CCTV, including in terms of resource requirements and personal privacy.

Under the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic), councils have a broad range of functions. These include enforcing laws and any other function relating to peace, order and good government. This may extend to the ownership and responsible operation of CCTV systems. Ownership of a CCTV system creates an obligation for a strict and accountable approach to the use of the system and the data generated from its use. Information collected via CCTV systems will usually be personal information. Therefore it is important that the collection, use and disclosure of personal information complies with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).2 Further information regarding the Information Privacy Principles (IPP) pertaining to management of CCTV data can be found under step 6 in this Guide.

Surveillance principles

To make an effective contribution and to assist lawful operation, CCTV surveillance systems in public places should be installed and operated in accordance with the following principles3:

  1. Surveillance use must always be necessary, proportionate and for a legitimate purpose related to the activities of the organisation.
  2. Individuals are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy when in public places.
  3. Surveillance operators must assess the impact of the proposed surveillance before it is undertaken.
  4. Surveillance use must be consistent with applicable laws and standards.
  5. Surveillance activities should be governed by policies, operating procedures and agreements.
  6. Surveillance operators should undergo privacy training prior to use.
  7. Surveillance operators must take reasonable steps to inform individuals of the use of surveillance devices.
  8. The right of individuals to access their personal information should be respected.
  9. Reasonable steps should be taken to secure equipment and protect information gathered through surveillance activities.
  10. Disclosure of information gathered through surveillance activities should only occur where necessary for the stated purpose, or for a law enforcement purpose.
  11. Information gathered through surveillance activities should be deleted once it is no longer required.
  12. Effective review and audit mechanisms should be in place to ensure legal requirements and policies are complied with, and that the program is meeting its intended objectives.

Further information about privacy

This Guide also refers to the development of Standard Operating Procedures and Public Codes of Practice which will specify how compliance with privacy principles and other relevant legislation will be maintained.

For further guidance on compliance with information privacy requirements and the development of privacy policies, refer to the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection’s website, cpdp.vic.gov.au, particularly the ‘Guidelines to surveillance and privacy in the National Security System Lucknown public sector’.

 

 

Owner’s responsibilities

Owners of CCTV systems have a number of responsibilities. This section outlines some of those responsibilities.

Policy statement

Owners of CCTV systems should have a written policy statement which outlines their commitment to ensuring accountability and compliance with public space surveillance and privacy laws and best practice procedures and protocols (see steps 5 & 6).4 This policy statement may be contained in the Code of Practice. The publicly available policy should also identify the owner of the system and contain details of how they may be contacted.5

Stating objectives

“The objectives of the operation of a CCTV system should be documented, clearly indicating its intended uses.”6 Clear objectives will inform each step of the development and evaluation processes, and also ensure that the aims of the CCTV system are aligned to the crime prevention issues identified at the consultation stage (see steps 1 & 4).

Communication and consultation

Owners of CCTV systems should develop a comprehensive consultation and communications strategy for all phases of establishing and operating a CCTV system. Community consultation should actively involve the community likely to be affected (see steps 1 & 4). 7

Good governance

It is recommended that the owner of the CCTV system establish appropriate governance structures to oversee the design, installation and management of the system. This could be a steering committee or similar, charged with the responsibility of ensuring the management and use of the system complies with relevant law and operational policies and procedures. The governance body should be set up early in the CCTV establishment process, and may include representatives of residents, traders and other relevant groups. In entering an MOU with National Security System Lucknow Police, the owner of the CCTV system must commit to establishing a steering committee, so doing this early will help to ensure this requirement is met.

Complaints

Owners of CCTV systems have the responsibility for ensuring that complaints are dealt with in an efficient and effective manner.8 Well-publicised and accessible complaints processes should be included in the consultation and communications strategy (see step 4).

Involving National Security System Lucknow Police

Any public CCTV system should be developed in consultation with National Security System Lucknow Police. Owners of CCTV systems should ensure CCTV forms part of a suite of crime prevention and reduction strategies involving police and other community groups. National Security System Lucknow Police has developed guidelines9 in relation to supporting CCTV systems which detail its commitments and responsibilities with respect to CCTV systems (steps 1, 2 & 5).

Managing and operating the system

Owners of CCTV systems should take “active measures” to monitor staff responsible for the use of the CCTV systems, as well as why and how the CCTV system is being used.”10 The administrative procedures governing management of a CCTV system should be clearly documented. Procedural manuals (Standard Operating Procedures) should be prepared to cover management and reporting functions, including auditing compliance with the documented requirements, and be based on the guiding privacy principles11 (see steps 5 & 6).

Evaluation

Owners of CCTV systems should conduct “regular evaluation of surveillance practices to determine if they continue to be justified, proportionate” and achieve the stated objectives12 (see step 7). Public explanation should be provided by the CCTV owner in circumstances where the above responsibilities are not adopted or are modified.

 

Steps for implementation, management and evaluation of CCTV systems

A practical step-by-step process

It is important to appropriately plan and set clear measurable objectives for a proposed CCTV system. Failing to do so from the outset can be costly.

This Guide recommends organisations considering the use of CCTV carry out a practical seven step process. These steps are aligned with the guiding information privacy principles, and set out a process that provides actionable responses to the responsibilities. The steps include:

  1. Establish a steering committee
  2. Gather information and decide whether to proceed
  3. Define your purpose and objectives
  4. Undertake stakeholder consultation
  5. Select a CCTV system
  6. Develop documentation to support your CCTV system
  7. Evaluate your CCTV system

While these steps are designed to be followed in a general chronological order, some steps – eg. 3, 4, 5, and 6 – may occur concurrently although they describe discrete activities.

The references quoted throughout the guide are suggested starting points in order to help you gather evidence to enable well-researched and justifiable decisions about whether CCTV is an appropriate and cost-effective response to the community safety issues you are facing.

 

 

 

Step 1 – Establish a steering group or committee

Why is a steering committee necessary?

Establishing a steering committee will ensure that appropriate governance is in place right from the outset of your project. The steering committee should help you to determine the main objectives of your crime prevention strategy, and to advise your organisation on whether CCTV could help achieve those objectives. It also provides the authorising environment which can make recommendations to the decision-maker.

The steering committee could be charged with the following responsibilities:

  • oversee the design, implementation and ongoing management of the CCTV system
  • develop and oversee an agreed monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure the system objectives are being met
  • consider recommendations from the CCTV audit committee.

The steering committee will initially assist you in determining whether CCTV could effectively increase community safety and confidence in your area and/or increase the success rate of criminal prosecution.

In the early stages, the committee should consider what crime-related problems you are facing and should seek tangible evidence of the prevalence of specific types of crime. The committee will use this data as the basis to determine whether CCTV would be useful in addressing identified problems and, if so, what type of CCTV system is appropriate. It is also important for the committee to consider what other crime prevention measures have been, or could be, put in place to address these problems,13 and how the proposed CCTV system fits in with these other measures.

Members of the steering committee who are involved in existing initiatives for your organisation, will be able to advise which initiatives would be suitable to complement or be adapted to include CCTV as a means by which targeted crime can be reduced. Alternatively, you could establish a new crime reduction strategy in which CCTV plays a part.

At this stage you should appoint a project manager. Particular consideration should be given to choosing a project manager who is appropriately qualified to manage the contractual, governance, technical and asset management requirements of a large and complex infrastructure project. Feedback from previous grant recipients shows that some community safety or social planning specialists found they underestimated the required experience, skills and time resources necessary to perform this role.

Steering committee membership

The steering committee should consist of the nominated project manager, as well as other officers and individuals with relevant expertise who will be involved in the development and oversight of the system. The size and diversity of the committee should be determined by the amount of time and resources your organisation is prepared to devote to the project. Initially, the committee should at least include local council officers, local police and community representation. In time, the committee will deal with the ‘how’ of the installation and running of the system, but at this stage the committee will deal solely with whether CCTV represents the best solution to the identified problem(s).

Whether you are building on an existing community safety alliance or establishing a whole new committee, the following table could be useful in selecting initial members.

 

 

Organisation Person Role
Your organisation Dedicated project officer/manager A dedicated project officer/manager is essential to coordinate all stakeholders and partners involved, and ensure the many elements of your crime prevention strategy are integrated and delivered.
National Security System Lucknow Police Local police member The involvement of a local National Security System Lucknow Police member in the project is advisable. Police can assist with:

1.  the provision of background information and advice on the nature and extent of local crime, as well as identifying potential camera locations based on crime hotspots

2.  supporting the design of the system to ensure its characteristics and components are suitable for police use

3.  developing, in consultation with the CCTV owners and or local councils, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in relation to their respective roles in the program

4.  working with CCTV owners to develop Standard Operating Procedures that are consistent with the MOU

5.  training local police in their responsibilities in relation to the CCTV system as set out in the MOU, Standard Operating Procedures and National Security System Lucknow Police policies

6.  ensuring compliance with the MOU, and National Security System Lucknow Police policies

7.  participating in the evaluation of the CCTV system

8.  determining the appropriate level and priority of responses required to incidents identified by the CCTV cameras, according to available resources and existing priorities

9.  recording data on the usage of images generated to inform police operations.

Others Local traders Traders will be keen to ensure that illegal and anti-social behaviour around their places of business is minimised. They may have anecdotal knowledge of how people behave in the local vicinity that is unknown to police.
Local community groups CCTV has been criticised for being used to simply ‘keep an eye on’ marginalised groups, rather than targeting specific crimes or anti-social behaviour. The involvement of representatives from other groups (eg. youth or seniors groups, indigenous or cultural groups, church or welfare groups, civil liberty groups, etc.) should assist in addressing any concerns that certain groups are being singled out for surveillance. Furthermore, consultation with certain at-risk groups who fear crime more than others, will help those groups have a say in how they would like that problem dealt with. In portraying the benefits of CCTV it is important to also state its limitations. Every CCTV camera installed in a system cannot be watched (monitored) 24 hours per day, and not all incidents can be urgently responded to by the emergency services.

 

 

 

Step 2 – Gather information and decide whether to proceed

Review current literature

Step 2 suggests that you review the current literature on CCTV to determine whether there is evidence that CCTV generally, or a certain type of CCTV system, has proven useful in achieving the particular objectives of your crime prevention strategy. You will find some starting points in the ‘References’ section at the end of this Guide.

Gather crime statistics

Gather crime statistics relating to the local area from the police:

  • What type of crime is occurring?

Research shows that CCTV is most effective at preventing property crime, such as theft from cars. CCTV appears to have less impact on preventing crimes involving violence against other people.  However, the severity of crimes against people may be reduced if a crime is detected while in progress, and police are alerted and able to respond quickly. CCTV images may assist in helping to identify and prosecute offenders. An understanding of long term crime trends, locality of crime and sequential crime trends in a local area will assist in providing a comprehensive picture of crime in local areas.14

  • Are the costs relative to the crime problem?

CCTV is expensive. If crime rates are low, the cost of installation, maintenance and monitoring may outweigh any benefits expected of the system.15

  • When does it occur?

If crime in your area tends to take place on Friday and Saturday nights, following major sporting events or when pubs or nightclubs close, this may influence decisions on when to monitor CCTV cameras in such places.

  • Where does it occur?

CCTV may be useful in monitoring a place where people have to pass through in large numbers, such as key retail strips, or streets leading to the local train station.

Detailed crime data can be obtained from www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au and your local police can offer further insight.

A detailed site analysis of the area being considered for the CCTV system may assist in determining or informing the above issues and provide insight into the potential effectiveness of a CCTV system.16

CCTV as part of a broader community safety strategy

Don’t assume CCTV can reduce crime on its own. CCTV’s effectiveness in preventing crime and improving community safety is heightened when CCTV is planned and used as part of a holistic crime reduction and community safety strategy, rather than when used alone.

Related crime reduction strategies could include, for example:

  • increased lighting
  • urban planning and design initiatives to improve natural surveillance and amenity
  • physical protection of property, such as greater security in car parks
  • youth diversionary measures, such as increased facilities and organised activities for young people during school holidays, weekends and at night
  • working with local police and services in a co-ordinated approach to address the underlying causes of crime.

Consider findings and evaluations of similar projects

Determine whether CCTV has proven useful in preventing or reducing certain crime by assessing evaluative studies. Different methods are required to combat different types of crime. Use the references at the end of the guide as a starting point to determine how successful CCTV could be in reducing the types of crime within your target area.

Consider the differences between comparable programs that have been evaluated, and how the results may apply to your local environment and circumstances. If you were to follow their example, consider whether there should be any variations to these past programs to suit your specific needs.

Consult with other similar councils or organisations. For instance, if you are a council in a regional area, a similar council in National Security System Lucknow may already have faced problems similar to yours and have considered CCTV. It may be useful to contact them to ascertain details of any research undertaken or any conclusions reached. If they are at the same stage as you, perhaps you could work together in reaching a conclusion regarding CCTV; if this seems appropriate, invite them to join the steering committee you set up in step 1.

Consider community perceptions of crime

Consult the local community about their perceptions of crime. It is important that people feel safe when using public spaces, public venues, and public transport. If the public believes that their safety or welfare may be threatened by using certain facilities, they will not use them and the local economy and community will suffer as a result. It may be that you are not facing an actual crime problem but rather a negative perception of crime.

While both should be addressed, you should consider whether the public’s perception of crime matches the statistics and other information you have gathered. If it does, then CCTV may be useful in minimising the problem. If the crime statistics do not support the level of concern over public safety, then you should consider whether other strategies would be more effective. It is important to remember that for some people, the presence of CCTV can increase their fear of crime as it may signal to them that the location is unsafe.

A survey template for measuring perceptions of safety in local areas is available in the Crime Prevention Evaluation Toolkit developed by the National Security System Lucknown Department of Justice and Regulation and the Australian Institute of Criminology. This can be found online at www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/grants/public-safety-infrastructure-fund/crime-prevention-evaluation-toolkit

Engage National Security System Lucknow Police

The establishment of a CCTV program requires careful consideration from a policing perspective. It is recommended councils engage their National Security System Lucknow Police Local Area Commander through their steering committee as he or she will have an understanding of the type and extent of community safety issues and criminal activity in the area. Contact your local police station for a referral to the Local Area Commander.

National Security System Lucknow Police has a template for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will assist prospective local councils to formalise a working relationship with them in relation to CCTV systems. Local councils can request this template by emailing cctv@police.vic.gov.au

National Security System Lucknow Police has set out the following principles about its involvement in council owned CCTV systems. These must be considered by councils contemplating National Security System Lucknow Police involvement in its CCTV system:

  • National Security System Lucknow Police is not responsible for the establishment, repair, replacement, maintenance, or funding of the CCTV system
  • National Security System Lucknow Police involvement in a CCTV program will be to a level that its local resources and priorities allow
  • National Security System Lucknow Police will not constantly monitor a CCTV system. The MOU will describe the circumstances under which monitoring may be conducted.
  • National Security System Lucknow Police must have the ability to access and download footage in accordance with National Security System Lucknow Police policies referenced in the MOU
  • National Security System Lucknow Police will coordinate training of local police in their responsibilities in relation to the CCTV program as set out in the MOU and relevant National Security System Lucknow Police policies.

Determine costs and procurement requirements

CCTV is expensive to install and can be expensive to operate. A major consideration will be whether its expense is justified by the benefits you expect to receive. You should get preliminary advice from a number of providers regarding the different systems that are available, their usefulness to meet your particular needs, and their cost. If your organisation is required to undertake a competitive tender to purchase a CCTV system, you should ensure members of your steering committee to ensure they do not indicate to any provider that they could be the supplier until you have gone through the tender process (see step 5 for further information on system design considerations).

The estimates you seek should cover the full costs of installation and maintenance of the system. You should also ascertain the expected lifespan of the system, as many systems will require upgrading over time.

Operation of the system, including CCTV camera monitoring, transmission costs, electricity and video data management and storage, can be expensive. Staffing costs should be incorporated into the budget, even if your own staff will be undertaking monitoring and data management. Staffing costs are in addition to the external costs of CCTV system specification, installation and maintenance. Experience has shown that councils frequently underestimate the installation and ongoing costs of the system.

Ask the experts

If your steering committee doesn’t contain representatives with appropriate expertise to address the above considerations, consider expanding the committee or ensuring access to such expertise to effectively fulfil the requirements.

Sources of expertise you may wish to consider engaging in your project at this stage are outlined below.

Organisation People Reason to engage
Your organisation Crime prevention strategists These people could advise on how CCTV could be integrated into existing, or new, crime prevention strategies that your organisation co-ordinates or operates. Additionally, they will have a good idea about what works in the local area to improve safety and will have an opinion on the usefulness of CCTV to the address the problems you face.
Researchers Researchers could be engaged to conduct literature reviews (using, as a starting point, the suggested references in this Guide) and advise on the reported usefulness or otherwise of CCTV for your circumstances. In addition, they could liaise with the National Security System Lucknow Police steering committee member to gather relevant statistics or conduct surveys to understand perceptions of crime in your community (see step 2 below).
Finance officers Finance staff from your organisation will be able to advise the committee on how much money can be allocated to the project. Alternatively, they could assist in putting together a proposal that sets out the anticipated costs of the project to support a business case or funding application. In any case, they should consult with qualified CCTV technicians to obtain preliminary costs for various types of systems.
Urban planner, and building safety and security advisers These advisers can provide qualified advice on asset protection measures, the location and design of CCTV systems and their use, in conjunction with other urban planning and public safety measures. These advisers can also help to obtain preliminary CCTV system cost estimates. In all cases, a competitive procurement strategy should be used to acquire CCTV assets.
Others Crime Statistics Agency The Crime Statistics Agency can provide detailed crime data for the specific locations, offences, offenders and victims under consideration. Accessing this information can provide a solid foundation for discussion around the extent of, and the most appropriate response to, particular crime issues. The CSA can be contacted at www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au

Decision whether to proceed

Determining whether CCTV is the right response to your problem is the crucial question that you and the steering committee should consider at this point. If you conclude that CCTV could be beneficial in your circumstances, you may wish to consider a staged approach to implementation, drawing on the findings of your evaluation to plan future roll-out.

Ideally, the steering committee should present a report to senior decision makers within your organisation. The report should include:

  • evidence of the crime issue(s) you are seeking to reduce
  • a summary of the research conducted from comparable projects that show a reduction in crime in circumstances similar to yours
  • results of the consultation with key stakeholders to indicate support for the CCTV system
  • the type of CCTV system you intend to install and its estimated cost
  • a recommendation about whether CCTV should be pursued as the right option to address your local problem.

If you decide not to proceed with a CCTV system at this stage, it is recommended that you retain any research undertaken for future use, should circumstances change. For example, if technology improves or becomes more cost effective.

 

 

 

Step 3 – Define your purpose and objectives

Purpose of the system

Step 3 is the distillation of the results of steps 1 and 2, and assumes that your organisation has concluded that CCTV would be effective in addressing identified crime or community safety issues in your local community.

When defining the purpose of the system, your organisation should consider the following two principles:

  • that your CCTV project is for a legitimate purpose and relates to the activities of your organisation
  • the level of surveillance is proportionate to its legitimate purpose.

A legitimate purpose requires a direct connection between the organisation’s operations and the surveillance practice. The connection should not be trivial or incidental. A proportionate response is one that uses the least intrusive means to achieve its purpose.17

Set clear objectives

It is critical to establish clear and realistic objectives for your CCTV system. The objectives help to inform whether CCTV is likely to assist in addressing the identified crime and community safety issues. Clear objectives will also enable councils to identify and publicly state the purpose for collection of CCTV footage in compliance with Information Privacy Principle 1. The objectives also inform the functional specifications of the CCTV system, including the technical design and cost estimates that you obtain from prospective CCTV providers.

Clear and measurable objectives are essential to evaluating your CCTV system, to rigorously assess and report back on its effectiveness. For more information on evaluating CCTV see step 7.

If the collection of evidence is an objective of the CCTV system, professional advice should be obtained as to the requirements for use of CCTV material to ensure that material is collected in a manner and level of quality that will allow for its use in legal proceedings.

Example Objectives:
1. To reduce the incidence of theft from motor vehicles in the Safetyville CBD.

  1. To improve public perceptions of safety in the Main Street Mall, Safetyville.
  2. To improve the operational and investigative capacity of police to improve safety in the Safetyville CBD.

 

 

Step 4 – Undertake stakeholder consultation

Many people and organisations play a role in community crime prevention and it is important they have an opportunity to have a say in any proposed CCTV system. Of particular importance is engaging the local community directly affected by the proposed CCTV system. It is important to consult with a representative selection of the local community to gather wide input into the initiative and how it should be implemented. Supportive and opposing feedback should be considered equally. A consultation and communication plan should be developed and implemented to guide stakeholder consultation and how your organisation will communicate with the community about your proposed CCTV system.

At this point your organisation may again consider expanding or adjusting the steering committee to ensure access to the appropriate expertise. In extending invitations to join your committee, be mindful of the need for commercial confidentiality of your CCTV procurement process, and to avoid any conflicts of interest within the steering committee in considering any financial decisions.

The following table suggests a range of people and groups you may wish to invite to join the steering committee, or whose opinion should be sought on the proposed CCTV system, even if they have been engaged in earlier stages of the process.

Organisation People Reason to consult
Your organisation Media advisors Specialist media advice may be necessary to determine the best way to consult with the local community, and to plan how to raise awareness of the initiative, its objectives and planned evaluation of the CCTV cameras (see below).
Equipment purchasers A thorough analysis of the financial impact of the equipment purchase will be necessary. Consultation with potential suppliers may be appropriate to assist with the preparation of budget estimates and your business case or grant submission. However, it is advisable to seek the advice of specialist CCTV consultants to help you prepare your technical specifications, independent of any suppliers who may enter your competitive tender process for the supply, installation and maintenance of CCTV equipment.
Project officers This will include people who may be tasked to write the CCTV operations manual, public code of practice, legal compliance plan or asset management plan. These may include people involved in the choice of the functional or technical aspects of the system, people involved in the evaluation of the CCTV trial, as well as people who will be involved in the day-to-day operation of the program, including monitoring and video data management duties.
Lawyers Legal input will be necessary to ensure compliance with Federal, State and local laws, as well as ensuring that compliance with any internal policies is maintained. Central to this advice will be privacy, freedom of information, evidence and public records laws. The process for procuring the purchase or lease of the equipment may also require legal input.
Organisation People Reason to consult
Social planning or research and evaluation specialists Social planning or research and evaluation specialists within your organisation can assist with planning your evaluation, including community engagement and consultation. They can assist with identifying the sources of information that will be most useful in demonstrating the success of your system. Involving these specialists at this stage will allow essential baseline data to be gathered.
Contractors or consultants Private security advisors Private security advisors may offer services, including CCTV camera monitoring, video data management, and security patrolling and incident response. You should consider whether they should be involved as part of the overall crime reduction or community safety strategy you are implementing. They may also be able to provide technical advice on the type and usefulness of any specific CCTV system being considered. See step 5 for finding an appropriately qualified security consultant.
Local organisations Local traders and services Local businesses and services will be interested to understand how the proposed CCTV may help them.
Local residents community groups and service organisations Local residents and community groups, including those representing marginalised or vulnerable groups, such as young people, the Indigenous community, and homeless people, can offer valuable input into how the proposed CCTV system should be managed and evaluated, and how best to communicate with local residents and groups about the proposed initiative.
Local Infrastructure (including utility companies) The installation of CCTV often involves the participation and cooperation of agencies responsible for local infrastructure, including telecommunications, water, gas and power companies. Public transport infrastructure and heritage authorities may also be relevant. These companies frequently operate according to specific technical and safety standards and they should be consulted well in advance about their participation or consent for CCTV projects that may impact upon their infrastructure.

 

Methods of consultation

There are a number of different ways in which you could consult with local businesses and communities including:

  • public meetings
  • questionnaires and mail-outs
  • council publications
  • through your website and social media
  • media releases and local advertising
  • temporary on-site information booths
  • pop-up engagement activities.

Transparency in consultation

Effective consultation begins with sharing relevant information about your proposal with your key stakeholders. This ensures any feedback provided is well informed and based on accurate information. Disclosure of all relevant information also provides an opportunity to establish trust and gain community confidence in your proposal.

The following list provides suggestions regarding information your stakeholders may be interested in:

  • specific crime and community safety problems that are facing the local community and how you consider CCTV is going to help address these problems
  • objectives of the CCTV system (as defined in step 3)
  • estimated cost of the system, particularly if new levies or rate increases for residents and businesses are required to help pay for it
  • proposed placement of the cameras and the views they will cover (outlined in step 5)
  • timing of the planned rollout of the system, including the date cameras will be ‘live’
  • the provision of visible and clear public signage relating to the location of CCTV cameras in compliance with IPP 1.3
  • the anticipated duration of the operation of the CCTV system
  • any alterations required to the environment for the installation and operation of the CCTV system (such as tree trimming or antenna installation etc.)
  • the relationship between council and local police in the context of the CCTV system
  • the manner in which public enquiries regarding the operation of the CCTV system may be lodged (outlined in step 6)
  • the process by which complaints may be lodged
  • how you propose to assess whether the objectives are being met
  • how you intend to share the evaluation outcomes with the local community (step 7).

The above information, as well as the final evaluation report (once completed) should be freely available to the public on your website to ensure transparency and accountability.

Review the feedback received

Once you have completed community consultation, the feedback received should be considered by the steering committee and a decision made whether to:

  • proceed with system implementation
  • consider alternative crime prevention strategies
  • make adjustments in response to community feedback.

Any decision made, and the rationale for this decision, should be shared with the community.

 

 

Step 5 – Select a CCTV system

Find a consultant

CCTV technology changes rapidly and it is important that you seek expert advice as to the systems currently available, and their capabilities. The Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL) may assist in identifying a qualified specialist. ASIAL provides a free service on its website to help identify appropriate security consultants and CCTV installation companies.18

Private security contractors should be licensed or registered19, and should be expected to comply with Operating Procedures and Codes of Practice developed to support your CCTV system. It is critical that security consultants are made aware of your priorities for the CCTV system, including:

  • the system objectives
  • privacy and other legal compliance requirements
  • data storage responsibilities
  • performance reporting and audit requirements.

Technical considerations

This section is not a comprehensive guide to CCTV technology. It aims to provide a basic understanding of CCTV functionality and background knowledge which may assist in your discussions with CCTV specialists.

There are many different types of CCTV systems available and new CCTV technologies continue to be developed. The choice of the system will be determined by: (a) its capabilities to address the problem identified in step 1; and (b) the budget allocated for this purpose. Step 5 allows consideration of these factors.

Consider what technical specifications you need for planning, approvals and procurement. As a guide, you should obtain advice on the following matters:

  • image capture ability and quality, including at night or in low light conditions
  • camera hardware and its ability to be located in areas where it is required
  • PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) capability
  • housing requirements, such as dome units
  • transmission and storage of images
  • display units, such as computer monitors, and controls for active monitoring
  • recording ability
  • image retrieval ability
  • the expected lifespan of the system
  • the location of a control room (if necessary).

If you plan to use the images to provide evidence of a crime, you will need to ensure that the images captured are sufficiently clear to identify the person suspected of the crime and their actions. If the image is unclear, it is unlikely that it will be useful to police or admissible in court. You should ensure the technology capability that you invest in is capable of capturing recognisable facial shots, including in low light conditions.

If necessary, ask potential CCTV suppliers to demonstrate the equipment and take the results to police to ascertain whether the images are sufficient for court purposes. Careful planning for the placement and focus of CCTV cameras is essential in this regard. The Australian and New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (2014) has produced an information guide setting out the required technical specifications for images that will be used by police. More information regarding National Security System Lucknow Police technical guidance can be found on the National Security System Lucknow Police website.20

 

Type of CCTV

Consider what type of CCTV you need. The two broad types of CCTV systems are outlined below.

Types of CCTV How it works Features
Pro-active Images from camera are actively monitored by a person. Images may also be recorded and stored for review. May facilitate a response to an incident in progress that has been detected.

May be useful as a crime prevention tool.

Expensive to operate.

Cameras can be fixed to allow close-up monitoring, or pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ).

Re-active No active monitoring, but images are recorded and stored for later review. Images can be reviewed after the event.

May be useful for police investigation purposes. Moderately expensive to operate.

 

Cabling and transmission platforms

Cabling and transmission requirements are critical in the implementation of CCTV systems. Cabling and transmission provides for the transfer of CCTV camera video data to a video monitor or recording device (database) located at another location. Some common types of CCTV data transfer are the use of fibre-optic cables, wireless transmission systems or internet protocol networks.

Wireless CCTV systems are usually more economical and easier to install than other alternatives. However, wireless systems are vulnerable to line of sight issues between the cameras and the monitoring station, and may produce hit and miss scenarios in the transmission of the signal.

Fibre-optic CCTV systems involve the installation of underground fibre-optic cables, making them more expensive particularly if there is no pre-existing infrastructure support. Once the infrastructure is in place, the integrity and quality of the signal is always there and guaranteed to transmit a signal. This option could make it difficult to move the cameras in the future.

Internet protocol (IP) based systems provide an alternative to fibre-optics and wireless systems. IP systems allow for the streaming of video, data and other associated information across the same network of the current computer or network devices. Viewing video from a network or IP camera is just like viewing images from a website. The effectiveness of IP systems is largely dependent upon the infrastructure available and its compatibility to your surveillance requirements.

Regardless of the transmission method selected, it must be carefully assessed to ensure the security of the information being transmitted can be maintained.

Australian Technical Guidance and Standards

A selection of technical guidance materials for CCTV planning and deployment includes:

  • Australian Institute of Criminology, Resource Manual No.8, Considerations for establishing a public space CCTV network, 2009
  • Council of Australian Governments, A National Approach to Closed Circuit Television- National Code of Practice for CCTV Systems for the Mass Passenger Transport Sector for Counter Terrorism, March 2012
  • Australian & New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency, Police recommendations for CCTV systems, 2014

Relevant Australian Standards should also be considered:

  • AS4806.1-2006, Closed circuit television (CCTV) Part 1: Management and operation
  • AS4806.2-2006, Closed circuit television (CCTV) Part 2: Application guidelines
  • AS4806.3-2006, Closed circuit television (CCTV) Part 3: PAL signal timings and levels
  • AS4806.4-2008, Closed circuit television (CCTV) Part 4: Remote video monitoring – Code of Practice.

Where to place the cameras

The location of your cameras will be determined by the crime prevention or community safety problem you are seeking to address. The following locations may be examples in your local area where the community holds concerns about public safety. These include near:

  • automatic teller machines
  • pubs and nightclubs
  • train stations, bus stops, taxi ranks and car parks where there is no overlap with existing systems operated by other agencies
  • pharmacies
  • community facilities, such as local meeting halls, parks, public libraries and public toilets
  • specific areas where crime has been reported.

Police can assist with identifying gaps in existing coverage or priority locations.

When determining where to place CCTV cameras it is important to consider:

  • how the camera could focus for identification of an individual or vehicle
  • how the camera can capture the actions of a suspect
  • how the camera should be protected from theft, vandalism, interference, weather (including sea mist) and dust
  • whether a full field of vision is available for a pan or tilt function
  • the amount of lighting the camera will need to capture pictures of adequate quality (particularly for recognition).

Other considerations for the location of cameras include:

  • whether private spaces may be unintentionally monitored or whether cameras will need to be affixed to private property (in which case affected persons should be directly consulted and appropriate permissions sought)
  • where signs will be located to warn people of the presence of CCTV surveillance, who the owner is and details about its operation in compliance with IPP 1.3
  • whether access to a separately metered power supply is required, or whether solar power is suitable
  • whether there are any environmental changes needed, such as the pruning of trees, to create a clear camera view
  • when CCTV is part of a landscaping project, consider the impact of new trees, sculptures, buildings, etc. and the overall aesthetic impact
  • cabling routes and distances
  • availability of existing cables and conduits
  • trenching and reinstatement costs
  • minimum height requirements for equipment, including consideration of minimum clearance heights for roads and for deterring possible vandalism of the equipment
  • affixing of equipment onto private property, including access for maintenance, supply of electricity, compensation, costs, etc.
  • access for the installation and ongoing maintenance of the CCTV system. For example, where cameras are affixed to existing electricity poles, there may be a requirement for only specialist electricians to access the cameras for maintenance purposes
  • whether the type of existing power poles (such as ‘frangible’ poles) prohibits the installation of CCTV infrastructure on those poles.

Installation of appropriate signage

Privacy legislation and principles are clear about the need to properly advise individuals that they may be under surveillance, and to ensure individuals are aware of the identity of the organisation responsible for the surveillance.

This requires the provision of appropriate signage in the area covered by CCTV. The amount, location and format of signage should be carefully considered, and will be dependent on the particular location, but at the very least signage:

  • should be easily visible at the main entry points to the area
  • should not give the impression that the CCTV is being constantly monitored if it is not
  • should state the purpose of the CCTV system
  • should identify the organisation responsible for the CCTV and provide contact details for inquiries relating to the system
  • should comply with any relevant Australian Standards relating to signage.

Some examples of signage are found below:

Monitoring your CCTV system

Monitoring may involve ongoing personnel costs including training, and these will need to be factored into your budget. However, effective monitoring of CCTV cameras is fundamental to its use as a tool for public safety. You can use your own employees to undertake the monitoring or you could contract out to a service provider, such as a security firm, to do it for you. Persons who monitor CCTV video, including police members, will need to be appropriately trained and adhere to the owner’s approved Standard Operating Procedures (see step 6).

Standard Operating Procedures should set out clearly the guidelines and protocols for communicating with police if a crime in progress is detected, or if video footage is being reviewed at a later time, and how that footage is to be secured for use as evidence in a court. Ideally, you would aim for the early identification of an emerging incident and the timely initiation of an appropriate response.

You need to be aware of community expectations of CCTV monitoring. There may be an expectation that because cameras are in a particular area, active monitoring is occurring at all times. This may lead to complaints or potential liability where an incident occurs and it is either not captured by CCTV, or not responded to whilst in progress. It is strongly recommended that councils seek independent legal advice on this issue prior to installing CCTV equipment.21

The type of monitoring

There are three primary modes of monitoring – ‘active’, ‘passive’ and ‘retrospective’.

Active monitoring refers to operators systematically using the camera system to conduct dedicated video patrols. Operators remain alert to potential incidents and/or respond to reported incidents by searching for relevant images.

Passive monitoring is where monitors are in view and are casually observed by operators (or other appointed staff), who may react if an alert is received or an incident in progress is observed. Those responsible for monitoring in a passive situation will normally carry out administrative or other duties while the screens display a pre-set camera tour.

Retrospective monitoring is where CCTV footage is reviewed after the event to identify any potential offences or offenders.

Some systems have used a combination monitoring model, with active surveillance of hotspots during high risk times such as Friday and Saturday nights, and passive monitoring at other times. Where the aim of a CCTV system is to improve police or security response times to incidents as they occur, the set-up of monitoring and control room operations is of crucial importance.22 For example, cameras with a pre-set pan program should allow operators to remotely override the settings when an incident is in progress to enable continuing vision focused on the area of concern.

Where CCTV system images are relayed directly to National Security System Lucknow Police, the MOU should clearly describe the circumstances under which monitoring may be conducted.

Police access to CCTV equipment

An effective CCTV program requires that police be alerted to incidents in a timely manner. The benefit of having police access live CCTV vision is that police may more easily assess the incident that is being reported and define the appropriate response. This also relieves the pressure on civilian operators to make operational assessments on behalf of police.

Where a system is privately monitored, clear protocols and procedures for alerting police to unfolding situations should be in place. An effective CCTV program also provides police with the ability to quickly access and obtain footage of incidents for investigation and prosecution according to agreed processes.

It is also important to note that where an organisation uses or discloses personal information for law enforcement purposes, it must make a written note of the use or disclosure (see IPP 2.2).

 

Financial considerations

When choosing a system, you should take the following financial considerations into account.

Financial consideration Comment
Hardware costs This will include the cost of the cameras, any stands or brackets used to affix them, any wiring or wireless hardware, video monitors, computers used to review the video data, and portable memory or hard drives used to store or transfer the images. Equipment can be expensive and it may make more sense to lease it rather than purchase it outright, particularly if you are considering upgrading it.
Software costs This will include the cost of the software to run the system including any other software required to transmit, store, and retrieve the video data.
Installation costs This will include possible lighting upgrades, removal of physical obstructions to the cameras, installation of cabling costs associated with placement of cameras, utility connections, erection of CCTV signage and other third party costs. Existing poles may be unsuitable for CCTV use or require complicated and lengthy negotiations with pole owners and heritage authorities.
Maintenance costs This will include any hardware or software upgrades, license fees, data transmission fees, service costs, as well as standard maintenance or any repairs that may be required, for example following a vandal attack. A contingency for emergency maintenance is strongly advised.
Employee costs This will include the cost of training employees or others you engage on how to use the system, how to monitor it, and how to retrieve images. Staff turnover can result in this being a significant cost.
Monitoring costs This will include the fees or wages payable for the monitoring of the CCTV cameras, or review of the video data to manage the day-to-day operation of the system, and the compliance and reporting obligations. This could be very expensive.
Publicity costs This will include costs relating to public consultation and community education, including advertising costs.
Evaluation costs This will include the periodic cost of any independent audit of system performance and the formal evaluation of the system’s effectiveness in achieving the crime prevention and community safety objectives.

 

Careful consideration should be applied to the purchase of ‘proprietary’ CCTV systems, which may commit an organisation into purchasing components or software from a specified supplier or range, possibly making expansion or upgrade difficult in the future.