CCTV is the abbreviation for closed circuit television and it refers to transmitting a signal to specific monitors. The sets of monitors that receive the signal from a CCTV camera are specific and their number is limited. Unlike broadcast television, a CCTV security camera doesn’t transmit the signal openly. The most common feature of CCTV is that of being used for surveillance, and , therefore CCTV security cameras are most likely to be found in crowded places or places where security is a must, such as airports, banks, ATMs, military facilities, casinos, etc. A CCTV camera can also be found in a corner shop or a gas station, if the owner chooses to install one in order to ensure protection for customers.
But CCTV cameras are not limited to watching airports and banks. They can also be installed in environments that are not comfortable for people, or with the purpose to record a process that is observed and controlled from a control room. The conditions under which some industrial processes take place are dangerous for people and it is for this type of processes that CCTV cameras are designed. The law sometimes requires the installation of such CCTV cameras for industrial processes that take place inside reactors or inside the facilities that produce nuclear fuel.
A CCTV camera can now be found inside taxis as well, with the purpose to deter violence against the taxi driver. CCTV cameras are used in police vans when these are on a surveillance mission.
Although their primary purpose is that of ensuring security, the CCTV security cameras have caused an on-going debate, because of the fact that they are increasingly used in public places. The issue is that a CCTV camera violates the right to privacy, which some people consider more important than their own security.
CCTV cameras where initially used inside government facilities and when they began to be used outside these facilities, it was primarily for security inside banks. However, the system has experienced such a growth and the expenses of purchase and installation of a CCTV camera have dropped so much that it is now affordable and advisable for individuals to have their own CCTV security camera inside their homes. CCTV security cameras are now used successfully in parking lots and statistics show that car crime was significantly reduced after the installation of such cameras. However, as far as the other institutions are concerned, the installation of a CCTV security camera has yet to prove its benefits regarding crime deterring. Some communities have embraced this security system, others haven’t. In some cities, there are CCTV cameras everywhere, providing surveillance on estates, car parks, stations and so on. In other countries, CCTV security cameras are not so common because they meet strong opposition due to their lack of privacy.
Eventually it has been agreed that CCTV cameras don’t have a spectacular effect as far as crime prevention is concerned, especially if we consider the fact that these cameras often become targets of violence themselves. However, the effect on detecting criminals is the most considerable and the images caught by CCTV security cameras can be used to prosecute such criminals.
CCTV cameras can also be installed for safety, not just for security. Such cameras will be found in amusements parks, to make sure that no one is endangered when a ride starts, or on subway trains, to confirm that no person will be injured by the closing of the doors.
Traffic congestion and accidents are often noticed with the help of a CCTV camera, which is part of the system that monitors traffic. The registration plates of a car are sometimes read with the aid of a CCTV camera and the owner is fined in case of misconduct in traffic.
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