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Posts Tagged ‘CCTV’

CCTV in Schools

Friday, November 6th, 2009

CCTV in schools is often a cause of controversy and debate.

Apparently a UK school CCTV system inadvertently recorded footage of school children getting changed, which prompted this new statement from the Information Commissioner’s Office today:

6 November 2009

CCTV in schools

Jonathan Bamford, Assistant Information Commissioner, said:

“CCTV should only be used for a pressing need. It is perfectly reasonable for a school to use CCTV to help secure its premises, but it shouldn’t be left switched on capturing images of school children changing during the day. When a school is staffed and children are on the premises, cameras will not generally be required for security purposes. Organisations that do capture images using CCTV are required by law to adhere to the Principles of the Data Protection Act. Guidance for organisations using CCTV is available from http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/topic_specific_guides/cctv.aspx”

Now I am sure that all statements from the ICO are carefully considered and worded so that there can be no ambiguity of meaning, but I’m not entirely sure that they meant what they seem to be saying in that middle sentence:

When a school is staffed and children are on the premises, cameras will not generally be required for security purposes.

Switch the CCTV off during the normal school day???

Comments below please …

PS – check the website of the newspaper local to the school – the Manchester Evening News – lots of comments from concerned parents …

CCTV clip – train hits lorry, hits man …

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Amazing CCTV clip found over at the Telegraph website:

In the dramatic footage, a train slammed into a flatbed lorry as it was crossing train tracks in the Mediterranean port city of Mersin on Feb 25.

Propelled sideways, the lorry then swept over Cem Tokac, who was standing beside the tracks.

But while the footage, released on Wednesday by Dogan news agency, showed Mr Tokac after the accident, lying motionless on the ground, incredibly the 32-year-old suffered only minor injuries.

“I can’t remember anything about the accident,” Mr Tokac said. “I thought I was asleep. But when I woke up, I was not in my bed. I was on the ground.”

Mr Tokac, who plans to marry in April, said Feb 25 is his new birthday.

“Life is really beautiful,” he said.

CCTV Surveillance Facts?

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

CCTV Surveillance Camera

CCTV camera statistics are often quoted to illustrate how we are all watched by 300 cameras a day, and how many millions of security cameras there are in the UK.

We’ve commented on these ‘facts’ previously and pointed out that they never seem to increase since we first quoted them over five years ago, and wonderment at how these numbers of installed surveillance cameras were ever established?

There was an interesting piece in The Guardian yesterday by Paul Lewis, with many links to research and the original documents that first cited (in some cases made-up) these claims.

David Aaronovitch has been snooping on statistics. His mission: to get to the bottom of the dubious claim, often quoted as fact, that the average Briton is caught on 300 CCTV cameras a day.

The statistic is fiction. Or at least was written as such when it first appeared in 1999 in the book The Maximum Surveillance Society. The author, Sheffield University’s Professor Clive Norris stated clearly in the book that the “contrived account” of a day in the life of a man called Thomas Reams was “a fictional construction” designed to mirror the reality of routine surveillance. That important detail appears to have been lost when the estimate was referenced in a landmark study for the Office of the Information Commissioner.

The original detective work of chasing these stats was carried out by David Aaronovitch in an article in The Times:

The mystery stat was sitting on one of our Times blogs and read “the average Brit is caught on security cameras some 300 times a day” and, God knows why, I just decided to chase the number down and find out where it came from. The colleague responsible for the blog referred me to a couple of news stories, and to a document issued by the office of an important and newsworthy quango.

Hard Disc Drive Storage for CCTV Surveillance

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

veracity logo

Veracity mentioned this article on their website in an email I received recently; it’s a good write-up on the use of hard disc drives in modern CCTV video storage. The article isn’t new but it provides a lot of useful information and we think it’s worth pointing it out to you:

The most obvious current trend in video surveillance is the slow evolution from analogue cameras to IP cameras. Industry vendors of recording systems appear to be divided into two camps : the sceptics, who are wondering when the IP video revolution is really going to take hold, and the informed, who know it is already here and are just getting on with it.

Although the IP video segment of the UK market is currently only around 15%, it is growing rapidly. In Europe, where analogue CCTV cameras are not so entrenched, the growth rate is even steeper.

One of the things that has held back IP video systems up to now is the lack of any real reason for users to switch, even for new installs. What would they have gained, bar a little increased flexibility ? Now, in 2007, the story is quite different : most well-designed IP cameras are progressive scan, at long last leaving behind the problematic interlaced image legacy of the broadcast TV standard. Further, and more importantly, mega-pixel cameras (with resolutions way beyond HD TV) are now here and affordable. At long last, mega-pixel cameras provide the compelling reason to switch to IP-based systems. The improvement in image quality offered by high-quality mega-pixel cameras in nothing short of dramatic, even breathtaking. Another problem which has held back adoption of IP cameras is the vast amount of legacy co-axial cabling installed in existing systems. However, several vendors are now offering Ethernet over-coax solutions, so this is no longer a barrier at all.

Well worth a read, to aid your understanding of the use of big HDDs, RAID storage and potentially high disk failure rates.

Blackberry App for Network Camera CCTV Monitoring

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

CCTV App for your Blackberry

Spotted at the IntoMobile website, an application for your Blackberry mobile that lets you connect directly to your network cameras.

It’s the Blackberry Video Camera Edition from Total Control.

The video camera software is available in five packages:

  • Singlecam Edition: 1 supported video feed
  • Personal Edition: 4 supported video feeds
  • Small Business Edition: 8 supported video feeds
  • Multicam Edition: 16 supported video feeds
  • Enterprise Edition: Unlimited supported video feeds

A good range of camera manufacturers is supported:

  • 4XEM
  • Aviosys
  • Axis
  • Canon
  • D-Link
  • Linksys
  • Mobotix
  • Panasonic
  • Pixord
  • Sony
  • Stardot
  • Toshiba
  • Vivotek

There’s a free demo version available for download – limited to two cameras and ten days.

No ongoing monthly fees, just purchase and use the software.

Lots of information and video tutorials on their site – always helpful when you set about configuring these gadgets.

They produce an iPhone Video Camera Edition too.