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Imagine if you could tell a vandal to stop what he was doing when he was in the middle of vandalizing your property…or imagine if you could tell a thief to drop your possessions without actually being in the same room with them. Well, with Talking CCTV technology, you no longer have to imagine such things—you can actually do it. Talking CCTV technology was first put to use in 2003, in Wiltshire, UK, and was intended to stop subjects from littering or to order vandals to disperse. 21 areas throughout the UK immediately followed Wiltshire’s lead, with mayors promising to implement Talking CCTV technology to clean up the streets. While the technology was designed to clean up the streets and enhance residents’ safety, it has been met with a mix of criticism and approval.
Unfortunately, CCTV alone is not enough to wholly deter crime. Despite a property being covered in cameras, and despite warnings that all actions will be monitored, some people continue to wreak havoc with no regards to the consequences. Once upon a time, this was due to the lack of response and grainy images offered by older systems. At best, CCTV was a reactive technology that proved to be ineffective in a number of areas.
Today’s systems, however, are much more advanced, and they provide clear shots of perpetrators that can later be used to identify and, if necessary, convict. Many systems are hooked up so that any footage goes directly to a local police station, allowing local law enforcement offers to react to crimes much faster than they were able to before. Additionally, the real time footage that can be accessed from any mobile device with an internet connection allows homeowners and business owners alike to check in on their properties even when they’re not by a fixed monitor and DVR. Each of these advancements has made CCTV technology much more effective than it was even twenty years ago.
Talking CCTV is just one more advancement that makes CCTV systems all the more effective at deterring crime. Now, effective CCTV surveillance can be achieved via audio intervention. The system’s operator can challenge criminals or members of the public via an intercom system that uses IP based speakers and GSM technology. In areas that have implemented the technology, it has proven effective in deterring crimes or preventing individuals from carrying out their criminal or non-acceptable activities.
When the British Government rolled out its talking camera scheme in 2007, citizens were quick to criticize. Though Britain is considered the surveillance capital of the world, with 4.2 million CCTV cameras lining the streets at the time, residents drew the line at Talking CCTV cameras, deeming the scheme “Big Brother Gone Mad.” One resident thought it “absurd…to have faceless cameras barking orders from up high.” When the town of Mandelieu-La Napoule along the French Riviera announced its intentions of installing talking surveillance cameras, residents reacted more or less the same, with people calling it both “impractical” and “horrible,” and many individuals claiming that it was just another way for the government to “control us.”
Areas that have installed the technology have reported lower rates of littering, vandalism against businesses and public properties and street violence – see our Danbury public security article. Moreover, the technology has even been used to successfully locate missing persons. Many residents have claimed that the technology has let residents “breathe easy” when out in public, knowing that prospective offenders know they’re being watched, as so are less likely to do something dangerous. Many people also like the fact that if something does happen when they’re out and about, it is being watched, and help will be on the way immediately.
At Mammoth Security, our team strives to protect you, your family and all the residents of Connecticut by offering comprehensive CCTV security camera systems that are designed to deter crime and increase response time. As of now, our cameras don’t yet “talk,” but they do provide high-resolution footage, clear images and the ability to connect to local law enforcement agencies. So far, the technology we offer has proven to be effective for deterring and preventing crime in the areas we service. Contact our Danbury CT security camera installation team for more information.
Though we agree with the government’s intention to “keep us safe,” we have to wonder: is Talking CCTV taking surveillance technology too far? Weigh in with your opinions!