CCTV a vital component in a solution

CCTV is one of the main stays of a modern security system.

Its primary focus is to act as a verification system for other security measures.

CCTV can be a single or combination of systems and technologies to form the overall security solution, some of these may include:

  • Visible band or infrared CCTV
  • Thermal Imaging
  • Video Analytics

While CCTV, thermal imagers or video analytics are useful technology, all these will rely to some extent on the effectiveness of the control room and the security officer within.


CCTV is normally used to achieve one or more of the following:

  • Detect an intruder within a reasonable time frame
  • Verify an alarm from a Perimeter Intruder Detection System (PIDS)
  • Provide support to a guard or security force
  • Provide evidence suitable for use in court

Most electronic detection systems assured by CPNI work on the five minute rule. This assumes that each part of a perimeter or sensitive asset is views by either a guard or CCTV once every five minutes. This limits the potential time for an attack and forces an attacker to carry out rapid attack, therefore being more likely to trigger an electronic detection system.

See CCTV for CNI perimeter security for a brief introduction to CCTV on a CNI perimeter.

See UAV’s as a host for CCTV for guidance on aerial footage for security uses.

See Storing of Recorded CCTV Images for guidance on how long CCTV recordings should be stored for.

Thermal Imaging

Thermal imagers can be used as part of a CCTV system, giving longer operational ranges than traditional visible and infrared illuminated cameras. Thermal imagers use the heat radiated from the object, as opposed to the light reflected from its surface, to form an image.  As a result, thermal imagers can be used to determine the class (vehicle, person, animal) of a target. It will not allow an operator to identify the person, or the colour of a vehicle.

Testing and commissioning of a thermal imager cannot be done with a standard CCTV test target such as Rotakin, CPNI have therefore developed a test target to mirror Rotakin which is visible and gives good contract in the thermal band. See Thermakin Standard for plans to make this test target.

For further advice on thermal imagers see:

Surveillance thermal imagers for an overview of thermal imagers

Thermal Imager Guidance for in depth technical guidance

Video Analytics

CPNI assure video analytic systems around a number of scenarios. The programme and scenarios were originally formed under the i-LIDS programme in conjunction with Home Office CAST. As the i-LIDS programme is no longer active, CPNI have subsumed the following scenarios under the CPNI video analytics test programme:

  • sterile zone
  • abandoned baggage
  • parked vehicle
  • doorway surveillance
  • multiple camera tracking
  • new technologies - thermal imagery and active near-infrared.

The top four scenarios are currently being tested under a manufacturer funded model in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment (BRE)

Read More - source

Intruder Detection, Tracking, Monitoring and Lighting

CPNI Introduction to Perimeter Protection

Detection and Tracking is a fundamental part of modern electronic security. Intruder Detection Systems (IDS) and Perimeter Intruder Detection Systems (PIDS) form the main part of the CPNI detect philosophy. These should be supported by CCTV to aid with the detection task and to assist in the tracking and monitoring of a situation.

  • IDS are detection systems within a building
  • PIDS are detections systems around the perimeter of a site

Where a detection system will primarily provide notification that an individual has passed a given point, door or fence line, tracking technologies can enable a site to track an intruder across a site following an initial perimeter breach.

All perimeter systems, whether providing delay (a fence), detection (a PIDS) or deterrence and detection (CCTV) should be supported by good quality lighting. This will enable sites to gain the maximum benefit from their detection systems and support a response to an attack.

Security Management Systems (SMS) combine electronic security products with the aim of providing the control room with a richer picture about the site and about any attacks. SMS potentially link a number of different systems which may include:

  • IDS
  • PIDS
  • CCTV
  • Automatic Access Control Systems
  • Mapping systems

Protect yourself against national security threats

Advice from the CPNI - The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure

The most effective way for an organisation to protect itself against national security threats is to use a combination of physical, personnel and people, and cyber security measures. For example an expensive swipe-card and PIN access control system is of little use if there are inadequate checks on who is given a pass in the first place. It will also fail if the system can be remotely accessed or bypassed.

CPNI’s protective security advice to the organisations that deliver the UK’s essential services is based on this principle. Multi-layering the different measures will provide the best mixture of deterrence and detection, and help to delay any attack.

More information about the range of advice from CPNI and partners is available on the website.

Appropriate and proportionate

Any procedures, measures and investments put in place must be appropriate and proportionate for that specific situation. Every location, even within the same organisation, will be different and so the security requirements will change accordingly with locally identified threats and vulnerabilities. Implementing the wrong measures may prove costly, unnecessarily disruptive and may even alienate staff. Careful planning and specialist advice will always be necessary.

As a general guide, the following principles should be central to any decisions:

  • It is not possible to protect everything so prioritise the areas to protect.
  • Measures should be proportionate to the threat.
  • Do not let the cost exceed the value of the asset being protected.
  • Security is more cost effective when incorporated into longer-term planning.

Before taking any decisions, a full risk assessment should be undertaken within each individual location to understand the various threats and vulnerabilities and their potential impacts to help identify the most appropriate security response.

Crime Reduction Officers – who can be contacted through the local police service – can provide advice about general crime prevention. Organisations with a particular concern about being a target for terrorism should also make contact with their local Counter Terrorism Security Advisers.

Read More source