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Let's focus on safety and security

With security stepping up as the London 2012 Olympics rapidly approaches, CCTV Systems are to come under the spotlight in a concerted effort to raise operational effectiveness.

In the run up to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London Olympics 2012, the need for ensuring maximum effectiveness of the UK’s existing security infrastructure, has never been greater.

In this period of heightened security concerns, given the vital role that Closed Circuit Television can play in helping to maintain a safe and secure environment, the UK’s first “National CCTV Improvement Week” is set to be held during the 6th - 12th May 2012.

It’s aim is to encourage a broad range of CCTV users and operators to set aside some time to evaluate their existing video surveillance systems, and then look at ways of identifying where simple basic improvements could be made to hopefully improve overall performance, increase operational effectiveness, and address any existing data management or privacy concerns.

The event is of particular importance with regards to the vast majority of privately operated CCTV cameras, that are often relied upon to produce vital evidential recordings needed to assist in serious crime and terrorism related investigations.

During NCIW 2012, any individual or organisation currently using CCTV to enhance their security and public safety, will be able to audit, ‘health check’ and review the performance of their security cameras, so as to hopefully identify any technical or operational issues that may at present compromise or in any way devalue their effective use.

Similarly, users will also be encouraged to evaluate their monitoring, recording and transmission systems, to more accurately determine their overall suitability and effectiveness for purpose.

Depending on the type of security camera system being used, operators will be urged to carry out a general review of their existing video surveillance infrastructure at any one of three distinct levels, whichever is considered to be the most appropriate for their specific individual requirements ....

• A Basic CCTV Operator’s ‘health check’ based on the "CCTV Users 10 Point Plan"
 A more detailed Operator evaluation, using various NCIW 2012 developed documents designed to help gauge their existing CCTV system’s effectiveness ... or
 An independent assessment to be carried out by a suitably experienced individual or practice
  ( for example, a respected CCTV consultancy, crime advisor or installation company).

The concept of encouraging CCTV users to routinely review their current setup and then carry out any necessary improvements, will undoubtedly help to raise standards in operational efficiency, overall image quality, data compliance and privacy concerns, and of course, the admissibility of security camera recordings for evidential use in any post event 'Forensic Surveillance' role.

Given the existing breadth of CCTV deployment throughout the UK, a huge number of organisations could be considered as highly likely to benefit from active participation in NCIW 2012.

For example, the range of potential participants could readily include Local Authorities, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, retailers, banks and building societies, petrol retailers, hotels and restaurants, shopping centres, independent commercial premises, museums, theatres and cinemas, airports, train and bus stations, sports venues, pubs and bars, department stores, leisure parks, .... and the list goes on!

Over the coming weeks, a comprehensive suite of evaluation documents providing for both auditing and basic performance testing, will be developed and made available for download on the NCIW 2012 microsite.

If required, specific documents could be customised for use by individual supporters, for example constabularies, crime reduction partnerships, health or education authorities, local councils, trade bodies, or indeed any larger scale CCTV system operator.

Whilst the event is being developed as part of the ongoing TRUSTED© CCTV Improvement Project, the vital objectives of "National CCTV Improvement Week 2012" will undoubtedly benefit from the positive participation of a wide range of both Supporters and Media Partners.
With this in mind, there is an open invitation for any individual or organisations that would like to participate, or indeed help support NCIW 2012, to register their interest at the earliest opportunity.

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