How Effective Are CCTV Security Systems?

26 Apr 2023
BY Zicam Integrated Security Ltd

Businesses have long been using CCTV cameras as a security measure. But is this type of security really effective? To answer this question, let’s look at some of the key information about CCTV cameras and how they have performed so far.


What are CCTV Camera Systems?

CCTV cameras are closed-circuit television (also known as video surveillance) cameras that are used for security purposes. They allow operators to monitor and record activity in a certain area, such as a business, public space, or even the home. CCTV cameras come in many shapes, sizes and types and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Modern CCTV camera systems are digital and may be connected to a computer or network for remote viewing, recording, and storage. Digital devices provide higher-quality images than analogue systems and can allow for features such as motion detection that triggers an alarm. This type of system also allows operators to access the footage remotely via the internet or through mobile applications.

In addition to fixed cameras, CCTV systems may include wireless options that use radio frequency signals rather than cables. These types of cameras are often used for more discreet surveillance needs such as monitoring a child’s activities without their knowledge. They are also useful in areas where there is not enough room for cables or other connections.


Does CCTV Actually Reduce Crime?

The utilisation of CCTV cameras can be especially effective in deterring crime. A review of the studies on their effectiveness from the College of Policing found that the data supported their use as an effective crime prevention tool.

According to the College of Policing’s data, studies showed that that drug-related crimes decreased by 20% and vehicle and property crime had decreased by 14% in places with CCTV systems, compared to places that didn’t.

In general, CCTV cameras have been shown to reduce both violent and nonviolent crimes, including robberies, vehicle thefts, assaults, and public disorder.

Here are some of the main ways a camera system can reduce crime:

  • CCTV cameras can help deter crime through their presence.
  • They provide a physical reminder to potential criminals that they are being watched and could be caught in the act.
  • Images recorded by CCTV cameras can be used for identification and evidence for police investigations following a criminal incident.
  • CCTV footage can also help law enforcement officials identify suspects or gather clues about the criminal’s activities prior to, during, or after an incident.
  • CCTV surveillance networks can help improve public safety by providing real-time monitoring of high crime areas as well as tracking individuals suspected of committing crimes.
  • An effective surveillance system offers greater situational awareness which allows police to respond more quickly and effectively to incidents when they occur.


How Many CCTV Cameras Are There Across The UK?

The UK is one of the top 5 most watched countries in the world and according to Clarion Security Systems, their research estimates that there are over 7,000,000 CCTV cameras in the UK. That’s an astonishing one for every eleven people in the country. In London alone, it’s estimated that there are more than 809,000 CCTV cameras.

Here is a breakdown of the estimated number of CCTV cameras across the UK:

London More than 809,000
Manchester More than 248,000
Birmingham More than 109,000
Liverpool More than 82,000
Newcastle upon Tyne More than 73,500

*Data from the
IFSEC Global ‘Revealed: The UK’s most-watched cities’ publication in 2020.


Are There Statistics On The Effectiveness Of CCTV Cameras?

From the same report by the College of Policing, their data shows that there is strong evidence that CCTV systems are effective at reducing crime.

Their data revealed that car parks were one of the areas that had seen the largest and most consistent effects of CCTV. In car parks, the data shows that crime had been reduced by 37% overall, when compared to control areas. In addition, in residential areas, the crime rate had reduced by 12% overall when compared to areas without CCTV.

Just from these two studies, we can see that implementing CCTV systems can make a positive impact to security and safety. The College of Policing have conducted further studies and we recommend reading more in order to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of using CCTV.


Contact Us

Here at Zicam Systems Group, we are dedicated to supporting businesses across the UK with business security. If you are looking for a specialist in CCTV security systems do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form or by phone at 08000854711.

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