Subscriber Discussion

Make CCTV Mandatory In New Buildings?

There is a petition on for the UK's homeland security agency to make it mandatory for CCTV in "all new domestic and commercial premises." The petition was started by, "a network of CCTV Installers covering the whole of the UK" and has 10 signatures so far.

The rationale is that it would deter crime and solve cases because the police can rarely do much unless they have hard evidence (which video surveillance would provide).

So, IPVM wants to know:

Make CCTV mandatory? For what purpose?

Well, the spokesman for the group running the petition says this, "If we can push forward with these changes, it’ll bring down the fear of crime among householders and business owners ... Fear of crime is one of the issues that blight communities across the nation, and reliable camera systems restore confidence." Additionally, they argue it also makes more evidence available for court cases.

Unfortunately, surveillance cameras are not magical talismans that ward off evil. People need to still intervene to prevent or mitigate crime.

Expanding CCTV to all buildings may be nice for the industry, but I don't expect for a second that it would significantly mitigate crime, or restore confidence, or bring down fear.

In fact, it would more than likely just fans the flames of those who cry 'Big Brother is Watching' to begin with.

I can speak first hand (from my interaction with the police and the council staff that monitored the cameras back then) that the incidence of dealing, using and general drug related crime plummeted following the introduction of the cameras in our state capital. I was (fortunate?) enough to be in the monitoring centre when a smash and grab occurred at a jewelry store in the CBD. By using the monitors, a police officer was able to track the movement of the offender as he fled through the maze of arcades on foot - and he directed the police resources to apprehend the villain. On the down side, the statistics suggested that the dealers and petty crims simply moved to the nearest city that had no surveillance.

There is another petition to mandate CCTV in Australian piggeries - and it has 5000+ signatures. Of course, their reasons are different... they are convinced that undue piggy suffering is occuring and want to make sure the piggies are slaughtered in a humane fashion (if such a thing exists or can even be defined). Note: CCTV is still not mandated in Australian piggeries. can be a powerful tool for change when a groundswell of popular support/outrage occurs... like freeing the wrongly accused from prison, banning ABBA from getting back together, etc.

But don't hold your breath on this UK CCTV mandate. For the most part, is the modern day online version of picketing. Except now you don't have to stand outside with a big sign with witty sayings while passing motorists yell at you to get a job.

10 signatures is a veritable joke.

In fairness, the piggeries one has a real social cause behind it. The other one, well, is a shallow attempt by a camera vendor to promote camera sales.

Your wide-eyed optimism is quite refreshing, but alas I can hear the drums...


In principle if the police could have access to more cameras that would be an additional tool, from that side it’s a plus.

The cost of installing a basic camera system in a building is nothing in comparison to the cost of the building.

It would increase sales, for the analogue/DVR smaller systems, hence the smaller integrators/technicians. What’s the harm in that?

The question would be, who will insure that the system is maintained? And, Will it be oprational after 6 month or one year, most probably it will be neglected and stops working.

As for the “Big Brother Watching”, the “Big Brother” has access to our mobile cameras, having an additional camera or two in the lobby won’t make a difference.

I would say yes, but make sure someone is responsible to keep it running.

Its descretionary. I don't think the world is ready for Orwell' 1984. Once we have a governance process where we know who uses the system and how it is managed then yes it maybe a reality then but I think we are a long way from escaping the abuse that comes with too much surveillance.

The common response that when CCTV cameras are installed in a certain area that the crime moves to another area. Well what if all areas had CCTV installed, where would the crime go to then?

To the areas with the lowest number of megapixels, of course!


Good one! :)

Then when the number of pixels is satisfactory in all areas, they will go to the areas with unreliable event-based recordings.

If CCTV becomes mandatory, the natural progression will lead to the industry being regulated by the gov't.

The CCTV/Security industry can regulate itself without "help" from the Government.

Once it's mandatory then the government will start regulating it. We all know what government regulation leads to.