CCTV – helpful or invasive?

In this age of constant communication, there’s often a cry for more personal security via the form of CCTV monitoring. As a team of investigators who monitor people’s activities manually (via surveillance) all the time for investigations, we thought we’d weigh in on the ever running debate: To film or not to film?

Firstly, what is CCTV?

CCTV is a closed circuit television recording, often stored to tape for a short period of time, used to monitor activity of a certain area. An example might be a CCTV camera set up outside a shop. If it’s robbed, footage of the incident would be captured on film and able to be used to help find the culprits and solve the crime. CCTV footage like this was used to help solve the murder of Jill Meagher.

So what does that have to do with security or surveillance?

CCTV is often used to help keep things secure. As in the example above, automatic surveillance would help both track down the culprit of a crime, and potentially prevent it, as the sight of a CCTV camera can be a deterrent.  The benefits of constant surveillance can also extend beyond just solving crimes. Footage can be used to help prove other things, such as infidelity, fraud, teenage troublemaking and other issues that people often need professional help with.

So what are the issues?

The problem with constant monitoring? Well, firstly, it is always on. You lose a lot of your privacy if there are always cameras filming around you. Also, it can be difficult to work out who is allowed access to the footage. If anyone and everyone can view them, that’s a major invasion of privacy. Set the rules too tight, and there’s not much use to them if no-one’s allowed to see them! Also, CCTV is static. It can’t follow a subject, it has no objective, and it’s not working towards a goal. Often footage from CCTV is grainy, unfocused or just at slightly the wrong angle, so it doesn’t quite capture exactly what you need.

When would you go with an investigator’s surveillance?

In the end, a trained professional, running surveillance with a purpose in mind, knowledge of the subjects habits and full knowledge of what is and isn’t acceptable, privacy wise, is always going to get you the best and most accurate footage. While it would make our lives easier to have constant footage everywhere to prove our point, it would not be a good substitute for a proper investigation. In the end, we think we should err on the side of caution. Leave surveillance up to the professionals, and keep people lives more private. The last thing we want is people jumping to conclusions on the basis of grainy and inaccurate footage.

The detectives here at Elite Investigations are ready to help you find the truth and provide you with good quality evidence, legally and accurately  obtained. If you think something is going on behind your back, and you want to know the truth, give us a call on 1300 721 715 or email