not reduce or detect crime, but used in conjunction with other
methods it can greatly assist in the detection of offenders.
A common misconception is that the police own
cameras. In fact, cameras
are predominantly owned by local authorities and private
How the police use
- Track the movements of criminals
- Locate victims of crime
- Identify potential witnesses
- Identify any suspects
- Provide corroboration for evidence
- Prove or disapprove alibis
- Help to determine the seriousness and context of any offence,
particularly in court cases
- Monitor public order disturbances
- Provide surveillance of critical locations
What businesses should know
The Home Office has published UK Police requirements for digital
CCTV systems which gives guidance to potential users of the system.
There are four areas that must be considered in order for
police to use footage or images in criminal investigations.
- Quality – are the pictures good enough?
- Storage – are the pictures stored
- Export – can the pictures be easily exported
from the system?
- Playback – can the pictures be easily viewed
by authorised third parties?
Other issues that will help with criminal
- The ease of burning a copy of the
footage onto a CD or DVD.
Cheshire Constabulary would always prefer to view the footage on
site and take away a copy. A short statement will be taken from the
person who copies the disk for evidential purposes.
- The correct time and date on the footage,
taking into account daylight saving.
If you own a private CCTV camera
If you own a private
camera and you would like
to add it to Cheshire Constabulary’s database, please contact us.
You will need to have the following information:
- The type of
system used, including model and make
- Hard drive capacity and quality
- The retention period of the footage
- Playback method
- Contact details
How can businesses use
systems are operating effectively to deter and detect crime, we
- We recommend that
cameras should be
located at all pedestrian entrance and exit points and set up to
capture full facial images.
- Cameras should be sited as low as possible so that full face
shots are recorded.
- When you place a camera ensure that it doesn't suffer from
glare of backlight.
- A photographic stills camera could also be used on the main
entrance. This would provide superior facial images for
- Place other cameras in important areas around your business
site. This ensures that all areas of your business are
- Dedicated staff should be regularly trained in the operation of
- The system should have sufficient storage capacity for good
quality high resolution pictures and be retained for a minimum of
- Check the specification of the cameras and the digital video
recording systems. We recommend that medium to high
resolution is used as per the PC industry standards e.g. 740 x 576.
Higher number of pixels means greater clarity of picture.
High risk premises
For high-risk premises and shops located in a town or city
centre, consideration should also be given to:
- Discussions with the local Crime and Disorder Partnership, Town
Centre Manager and Town Centre Public
surveillance manager to
consider linking an internal fully functional
camera, panic alarm and
audio system to their control room.
- This link would enable the trained
town centre operators to
track the offender’s route and enable the
Number Plate Recognition) to record vehicle details.
Review your exisiting system
- Could you positively identify an individual from the recorded
images on your
- To assess the system performance, periodically view the
recorded pictures or print out a still.
- Do not assess the system using the live screen.
- Ensure that your current system is recording 12 images/frames
per second (ips)