CCTV systems have become almost a way of life. We see CCTV cameras everywhere and politicians are even beginning to use them as campaign issues – just look at some of the recent comments in UK Gordon Brown's campaign. Conversely, many people are beginning to view them with increased suspicion feeling that their privacy is being eroded. It's difficult to deny though, that CCTV does have a significant role to play in observing delinquent behavior and recording this for later viewing.
We have installed CCTV systems in a number of environments and have had positive feedback from the managers and owners that the systems have enabled them to improve their bottom line profits by reducing the theft, poor productivity, vandalism and the time spent seeking to reduce general nuisance behavior or identifying those responsible for it.
A primary benefit reported by many environments such as leisure and sport complexes, holiday sites, clubs and pubs is the customer perception that they are safe because of the increases level of security that CCTV brings. The public is becoming increasingly more sensitive to personal safety and the proactive and profit minded business owner realizes that he needs to make his customers feel safe while spending money in his establishment.
More conservative business events have also realized that CCTV increases the public's feeling of security. Environments such as hospitals and shopping centers, schools and even police stations have all begun sporting CCTV camera to ward off feelings of uncertainty and insecurity.
Managers of these establishments have also come to relly on recorded CCTV footage to highlight unproductive or delinquent staff behavior. Using these images they are able to develop better business practices leading to higher profits.
So although there are many who feel that CCTV is eroding personal privacy – it is ironic that the same CCTV they argue against, increases their feeling of well-being and personal safety.