CCTV cameras
CCTV cameras

CCTV surveillance: Enhancing safety, efficiency

Did you know that there are about 770 million cameras in use, with 54 per cent of these being in China? 

Did you know that the heaviest surveyed cities are not in the world's top 20 most populated cities?

Do you know that increased dominance and capabilities of closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance could make society safer and more efficient?

On February 28, 2018, Superintendent Adamu Seidu, at the memorial service held for Alhaji Safieddine, who was killed in a robbery incident at the Heavy Industrial area in Tema, said.

“I was sure I was going to make some arrest; but at the scene, when I turned left, turned right, there was no CCTV camera, and immediately, I knew evidence would be a problem.”

Analysing 251 crimes recorded by the British Transport Police, CCTV was available to investigators in 45 per cent of cases and judged helpful.

CCTV, also known as video surveillance, is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place on a limited set of monitors.

It differs from broadcast television in that the movement is not openly transmitted, though it may employ point-to-point (P2P), point-to-multipoint (P2MP), or mesh-wired or wireless links.

Surveillance of the public using CCTV is common in many areas worldwide.

In recent years, body-worn video cameras have been introduced as a new form of management.

It is often used in law enforcement, with cameras on a police officer’s chest or head.

In industrial plants, CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control room.

An example is when the environment is not suitable for humans.


About 65 per cent of CCTV cameras in the world are installed in Asia.

In 2018, China was reported to have a huge surveillance network of over 170 million CCTV cameras, with 400 million new cameras expected to be installed in the next three years, many of which will use facial recognition technology.

In the US, there were an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras in 2011.

Video surveillance has been common in the US since the 1990s; for example, one manufacturer reported net earnings of $120 million in 1995. 


When running a business, the importance of a Video Surveillance System or CCTV cannot be understated.

With modern and advanced security systems, a CCTV camera allows you to significantly reduce the cost of protecting your business premises and your assets.

The systems reliably provide quality and seamless monitoring, which gives you peace of mind as you go about your daily operations.

Whether your business is a retail outlet or a commercial property, you need to make careful and well-thought-out considerations when it comes to your security.

There are many advantages of CCTV installation in your business premises, including reducing vandalism; reducing the risk of breaking-ins; enhancing safety within your business premises; and reducing employee or staff incidents.

Traffic flow monitoring

Many cities and motorway networks have extensive traffic-monitoring systems, using closed-circuit television to detect congestion and notice accidents.

Many of these cameras, however, are owned by private companies and transmit data to drivers’ GPS systems.

Private homes

CCTV cameras effectively deter potential intruders as their use increases the risk of identification through the camera footage.

Many homeowners choose to install CCTV systems inside or outside their homes, sometimes both.

If someone scouts through an affluent suburb seeking the most accessible house to break into, having a prominent CCTV system, alarm, or another security measure, makes the house appear to be a more difficult target, so they will likely move on to the next place.

Modern CCTV systems can be monitored through mobile phone apps, allowing people to view live footage of their house from anywhere they have internet coverage.

Some systems provide motion detection so that an alert can be sent to a phone when movement is detected.

CCTV can also be used to help solve crimes.

In London alone, six crimes are solved each day through CCTV footage.


Every citizen deserves to be protected and treated well. Unfortunately, that cannot be guaranteed if we don’t also take specific preventive measures to protect our lives, loved ones and properties.  

CCTV camera mounting should not be the sole responsibility of the government.

Citizens, institutions, well-wishers and non-governmental organisations can collectively buy, install, or mount these smart cameras at vantage points to gather intelligence, which will assist law enforcement firms to investigate, arrest and ultimately reduce crime, theft and violence on our streets.

All institutions, non-governmental organisations, well-wishers and households need to be deliberate and proactive about security matters.

The writer is an Investment Banker & Financial inclusion activist.

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