Basic security is something that everyone should be taking seriously at their home or business premises including strong doors and windows with good locks and making sure to keep doors and windows locked even when you are at home or at work. Lighting is also a good idea, the kind that is motion activated, and, or turns on and off intermittently.

The next step in good security is to have an alarm. This can be an alarm that just sounds at the property or one that is sent to a security firm, and or, the police.

Closed-circuit television or CCTV is something that we see everywhere in the modern life and the United Kingdom has more CCTV cameras per person than anywhere else in the world.

CCTV for your home or business can be achieved at quite a low cost for a basic system, although you can spend a lot of money on a high tech one. Your insurance premium will be lower as a result and even if you have fake cameras, they will be a deterrent to would-be burglars. A criminal is much more likely to pass by your house if you have CCTV. Cameras should be placed out of reach so that they can’t easily be disabled.

In the event that you do get burgled, the CCTV footage will bear witness to the crime and make it easier for the police to identify the criminal responsible. Solving the crime and providing the evidence to prosecute in a court of law will also be enhanced.

A psychological advantage of having CCTV is increased peace of mind. It is even possible to have an app on your phone when you are away from the property to check in and make sure everything is alright.

There are some privacy issues that you need to be aware of. Filming outside of your property could put in contravention of the Data Protection Act. The law is exactly clear on this at the moment but as long as you don’t film beyond your boundary you should be okay.

George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, set in a totalitarian state, has a character called Big Brother, non-avid readers will know the phrase from the popular TV programme of the same name whereby contestants are installed in a building that has cameras in every room and one by one are eliminated from the show. The ethics of this show are somewhat dubious, but it does reflect modern society and makes us reflect on the idea of constant surveillance and what that means to us as a society.

In conclusion, the advice from the Police is that good locks, an alarm system and lighting, together with keeping your doors and windows locked are more important than CCTV. That being said, surveys carried out by various organisations have found CCTV to reduce crime but not by a large amount. But it won’t do any harm and is sure to give you peace of mind.

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