CCTV training became a mandatory requirement for CCTV licence following the effect of Security Industry Act 2001 establishing the Security Industry Authority – the SIA. The Security Industry Authority therefore made it compulsory for all CCTV operators to hold a Security Industry Authority (SIA) Licence if their roles involve Public Space Surveillance (PSS CCTV).
This led to the introduction of a modular (SIA) CCTV training course combined to form a programme suited to the occupational needs of a CCTV operator – designed to introduce learners to the CCTV control room environment and relevant legislations.
A good understanding of the legislations and codes of practice is important given that the CCTV operators’ main task is to monitor the activities of members of the public in a private or public space or identifying a person – for preventing and deterring crime by way of recording evidence for use in a court of law. To be able to carry out this role you’ll need a SIA licence for CCTV operators.
Most CCTV control rooms are owned by the Police and Local Authorities monitoring activities in crime black spots and the town-centres. The Local Authority control rooms are concerned with preventing crime and disorder; including antisocial behaviours and other public order offences, dealing with incidents such as intimidations, nuisance neighbour’s, litters, dumped rubbish, (fly-tipping) graffiti/vandalism, harassment, including racial harassment, noisy behaviour, abandoned and/or untaxed vehicles, drug dealing, alcohol, tobacco or fireworks being sold to children, drinking on the street etc.
Nowadays CCTV images can be accessed remotely online without the need to be in front of the CCTV monitor. Remote Video Response Centres (RVRC) utilise this technology to deter criminals by transmitting audio messages from the monitoring centre to the location where the crime is taking place – providing some of the benefits of manned on-site presence.
This new technology cannot completely replace manned guarding and cannot be as efficient as an on-site security guard with relevant security training, but offers high value evidence compared to the older system used only to view and record crime. With RVRC the operator is able to inform any response teams of the changing location of the criminal using a good communication system, ensuring that response teams are not exposed to unnecessary danger (in line with British Standards, such as BS8418). Alarm Receiving Centres (ARC) and CCTV control rooms function as call centres contacting relevant emergency services where necessary. The Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) policy infers that CCTV systems which do not meet the standard would receive limited or no Police response. One of the advantages of manned guarding over CCTV remote monitoring and Alarm Receiving Centres ARC the ability of a trained and SIA licensed Door Supervisor or Security Guard to physically deter crime and deal with most situations on-site thereby minimising the need for emergency services.
On the other hand, security and emergency systems help the Security Officer by:
- . Allowing for better monitoring of vulnerable areas
- . Providing additional ‘eyes and ears’ to the information and evidence gathering process
- . Providing accurate information, enabling efficient and effective control of emergency situations
- . Providing security officers with necessary information upon which to act, without the need to expose themselves to risk or harm
- . Increase flexibility to the way in which security patrols can be undertaken
This implies that human (SIA licenced CCTV) operators, with the required CCTV training and qualification; on-site security officers and the CCTV systems, all need to be in use to maximize security.