Why was the User Group formed and what are the Aims and Objectives of the CCTV User Group?
The User Group was formed in 1996 at a time when the use of public area CCTV surveillance systems was growing rapidly in the UK with the availability of new Home Office funding due to the Governments’ CCTV Challenge Competitions, but at the same time there was a dearth of experience available to advise managers as to how they should be run.
It was also recognised that whilst CCTV equipment manufacturers, consultants, suppliers and installers each had their own Trade Associations, but no one ‘spoke up for’ or directly provided advice and assistance to the actual users of CCTV equipment. The ‘User Group’ was formed to fill these gaps and to represent the users and reflect their needs not only at every level of Government, but also with companies involved in the provision of CCTV services.
The aims and objectives of the User Group are to:
- To provide help, assistance, professional advice and the opportunities for networking for those involved in the development, management and operation of Public Area CCTV systems.
- Encourage ‘best practice’ amongst all those involved in the planning, installation, implementation or management and operation of CCTV systems;
- Encourage the introduction of universal standards for the implementation and use of CCTV;
- Promote the effective and efficient operation and management of CCTV systems;
- Formulate nationally recognised standards by which all end users of CCTV will wish to abide;
- Promote the need for the professional training of CCTV Managers and Operators and encourage the development of appropriate courses
- Discourage the unnecessary or inappropriate proliferation of CCTV in public places proposed without justification by an ‘Operational Requirement’;
- Discourage the use of public area CCTV surveillance methods by any groups or organisations which are not publicly accountable.
The term ‘best practice’ is occasionally misunderstood, as some believe that ‘best’ practice is subjective and what may be considered to be the best today will almost certainly be overtaken tomorrow by something better. The CCTV User Group recognises that such continuous development should be welcomed and encouraged, and always wishes to hear of new approaches. Where these appear beneficial the CCTV User Group will seek to ensure Members are made aware of them. In the context of the management and operation of CCTV systems the term ‘Best Practice’ is used solely to recognise those systems and procedures which fully comply with all legal and procedural requirements and will provide good evidential quality images.
Our Aims and Objectives are however complimentary to the Governments approach to ‘Best Value’ and our members are at the forefront of actions to identify all the factors which affect the value of CCTV schemes and develop appropriate measurements of performance.
In this context technological development is also important and those service companies who are members contribute greatly to informing members of technological improvements.
Our formal constitution can be found here.
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