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Here at Visual Security Global we know that CCTV installation can be difficult with legal guidelines and UK councils and constabularies often setting their own guidelines, making it hard to know how to tackle each project when installing CCTV systems.


Here we offer a collection of CCTV guidelines, covering most of the UK.

CCTV Installation Regulations

Estimates suggest there are over four million CCTV cameras in the UK, with this number expected to rise as technology becomes cheaper and public security concerns increase. Indeed, recent reports suggest the UK´s CCTV market will be worth an unprecedented $1.92m by 2012. While the Home Office and the Information Commissioner produce the overarching guidelines and codes, there appears to be different expectations for the installation and operation of cameras throughout the nation´s councils and constabularies. We have trawled the internet to find the guidelines that your local government, constabulary and licensing authority expect you to follow.

Local Council Guidelines

Your local council sets guidelines for all CCTV systems in the area. These are usually general guidelines to ensure that your system is not in breach of a series of legal Acts, including the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act. The guidelines are also set to ensure that CCTV systems operate for the right reasons (e.g. crime prevention) and that CCTV systems are in keeping with the wider aims of the council. There are exceptions. Many cities, shopping centres and even car parks have their own Codes of Practice regarding their CCTV surveillance systems, but these are usually issued to assure the public of honest intentions and proper practice, rather than as guidelines.

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Police Guidelines

Your local constabulary sets guidelines for CCTV surveillance systems in licensed premises. As they are in charge of licensing across the region, they may well refuse an establishment the right to operate if their CCTV system does not meet their standards. Each police force throughout the country is at liberty to set its own requirements, although some simply refer people to the Information Commissioners website (listed below).

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Other National & Legal Requirements

If you intend to use your CCTV evidence in a prosecution at any time, your system MUST adhere to the Information Commissioners generic Code of Practice. The Home Office also offer advice guidelines for digital CCTV systems that could be used as evidence The Information Commissioner is already conducting an extensive review of the existing CCTV Code of Practice to make sure it has kept up-to-date with technological and other developments. This review will also take into account the changes to the interpretation of the Data Protection Act. The revised code should be published later in the year.

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Advances in Technology


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High Definition has taken CCTV to the next level, offering double or quadruple the resolution of standard cameras, HD produce much better quality and clearer images. What has made the improvement in clarity possible is that the image sensor now allows for higher megapixel resolution and provides a wider field of view which helps to provide a far better overall picture for surveillance. It also facilitates additional zooming or cropping at a later stage, which is additionally helpful in any criminal investigation. The faster transmission brought about by HD also enables quicker action and response in cases of emergency. While analogue CCTV cameras have to compress data before transmission to the monitor and recording device, what you see on the monitor in the case of HDCCTV reflects exactly what the camera itself is seeing at the time. Another advantage is quicker control. Unlike analogue, any adjustments an operator may make to the position of a camera registers without delay. The camera will turn, tilt and zoom immediately, allowing the focus to fall on any suspicious activity. You will also be delighted to learn that integrating HDCCTV into already established systems does not require a complete overhaul. It is quick and easy. All you have to to is replace the analogue cameras with HD models and upgrade the recording device to reflect the increase in quality and resolution.


IP (Internet Protocol) CCTV systems are the most common because of the advantages they offer over their analogue equivalents. Probably the most obvious advantage is Distributed Video. Analogue cameras connect directly to a recording device and so can only be viewed and controlled at this one location. IP cameras connect via TCP/IP, so the pictures can be viewed by any device, such as PC, iPad, iPhone or Android connected to the network. In addition you can monitor what is happening while you are away from your home or business via e-mail notification of events which results in a quicker response should there be any suspicious activity. IP technology also enables you to have larger, clearer pictures because of its high megapixel resolution, which means that a larger area is covered, you can use less cameras, you have a high Digital zoom factor and the image is clearer so you can see more detail when necessary.

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Analytic CCTV

Analytical CCTV Cameras use algorithms to provide highly accurate ways of detecting changes in the field of view. The CCTV Camera can then be programmed to offer features like: - People counting - Perimeter Protection - Vehicle Detection - Speed Detection - Abandoned objects – such as bags - Loitering detection - Auto Tracking - Object Classification Using Server or Edge based Analytical Algorithms, the system can detect movement, loitering, Trip Wire, Speed Detection and a wide range of custom classification functions. This technology can automate many laborious tasks and simplify searching of events currently costing you lots of money.


ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) is the use of cameras to detect, identify and record a vehicle Number Plates. The use of ANPR is no longer restricted to the Police – Ideal for Car Park entrances, Garage Forecourts and other restricted zones are where the entry and exit of vehicles needs to be monitored. Detect: The ANPR camera detects movement of a vehicle and reads the number plate using ANPR technology. Identify: Number plate data is received by the ANPR recognition engine which identifies the vehicle against a target Database. Record: Recording the number plate and Driver if necessary along with time and date information ANPR is especially useful in traffic control environments, entrances, exits perimeter roads and main roads. Call Blank Systems now to discuss your requirements and arrange a for a site survey for a quotation.

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