CCTV cameras have become an essential part of modern home and Business Security Systems. Organizations deploy security cameras for various reasons, including deterring crime, promoting public safety, and increasing business productivity. Surveillance cameras also play an important role in investigating incidences of crime, and can be used as evidence by police. However, the video images need to meet a certain threshold for them to admissible as evidence.
How to capture video images that can be used for evidentiary purposes
- Cameras Position/Angles: Security cameras should be positioned and pointed strategically to ensure that incidences are captured from all possible angles. The cameras should be positioned to capture an overall view of the area under surveillance. Obstructions such as signage and furniture should be avoided.
- Camera Resolution: The resolution of your security cameras determines the quality and clarity of video images. High resolution cameras are ideal for capturing high quality and clear images, including facial features, which can be used in identifying perpetrators.
- Date/timestamp: For video images to be admissible as evidence in a court of law, they must have a clear date/timestamp. This enables law enforcement/prosecution to prove that the incident in question occurred at the said date and time. Date/time stamping also helps in proving that a suspect was present at the scene of crime.
CCTV Systems should be able to store and maintain the integrity of video images for a specified duration before deleting or overwriting. Therefore, the storage system should have sufficient capacity to hold the video recordings. The storage requirements depend largely on the kind of business security application being deployed, and in effect, the number of cameras in the system, as well as the quality and mode of recording.
In addition, the surveillance system should have a mechanism for downloading the video footage onto removable media such as CD or DVD, which can be handed over to law enforcement agencies to be used as evidence. On the other hand, the DVR or NVR should be secured using passwords to prevent unauthorized persons from interfering with the video footage. Physical access to the equipment should be limited to prevent vandalism.