In one of the plot points in his seminal novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', George Orwell tells us about how 'Big Brother' would be used to spy on citizens, gathering evidence to potentially use against them in order to uphold their totalitarian regime. Released in 1949, long before the mass commercial availability of security cameras, the usage of 'telescreens' in the novel to survey citizens has been compared to the work of today's CCTV installers and the cameras they set up.

The difference with reality is that the vast majority of CCTV cameras today are actually owned and operated by private individuals and businesses, rather than government institutions – and are used to protect their own properties (as well as the people who may inhabit them). In fact, many local councils have actually been cutting back on their own CCTV to save on costs and are encouraging the use of private cameras (which in itself has caused controversy)[i]. So in truth, this particular theme brought up in the novel, isn't really applicable to the society we actually live in.

Clearly, CCTV can be (and is) used for good; individuals and businesses are simply protecting their property, and with their livelihoods potentially at stake, the rise in cameras around the country should come as no surprise. However, it can be said that many CCTV installations are ineffective – whether through their placement or simply because of their age and abilities; just a single one could potentially be as effective as a whole host of cameras, especially when they aren't performing to their true abilities.

The Rise Of CCTV Installers In The UK

The comparisons to Nineteen Eighty-Four are nothing new, but it is something that has increasingly come in vogue in recent years, simply because of the rise of CCTV cameras across the country. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has predicted that there are between 4-5.9 million CCTV cameras in the UK, with that number steadily rising. Greater London is constantly mentioned as being amongst the world's 'most watched' places, with a number of its borough's featuring highly in lists compiled by industry insiders. Hackney alone possesses around 2,900 cameras[ii]; a camera-to-person ratio that reads 1:94.

It isn't just in the biggest areas that CCTV installers have been setting up a mass of private cameras in either: towns such as Woking, Swindon and Wigan possess at least 250 CCTV cameras more than any other town – and more than a city as large as Birmingham. With this constant rise in CCTV cameras, the question remains; are cameras actually being used effectively in our towns and cities?

How Can CCTV Be Used Effectively?

The obvious reason for the rise in cameras is simple; CCTV works. Businesses and individuals are able to invest in such a system safe in knowing that they can monitor what is occurring on their premises.

But there's much more to this than just plumping for any type of CCTV system and mounting it on a wall; if you're looking to improve your CCTV set-up, here are three ways in which a camera security system can be used effectively:

  • The Quality of The Images. Firstly, it's important to establish the fact that more-modern systems are able to record images in high-definition, leading to a better identification of people who may be involved in an incident. Not only does this help to establish what has happened and who may be involved, but if the case ever goes to court, in order for the footage to admissible as evidence, it must clearly identify the subject[iii]. HD footage will be a great help in achieving these aims.
  • The Placement of The Cameras. Even the best eyes cannot see if they're obstructed; deciding where the best places are, in which to place cameras, is simply vital in providing a decent level of security. Think about the areas that you need to protect; is there anything that may provide an obstruction? What about the lighting of the areas? Do they aid or hinder the field of vision? Do you need to observe the public street outside, or does your property back onto another private property? Not only is thinking about the position of the cameras important in order to capture usable footage, it's also important in abiding by a number of related legalities. CCTV installers can help you to create a plan that would help with this.
  • The Need For Maintenance. With the numbers of security cameras growing, it goes without saying that there will be many older types of CCTV systems still in use. The beauty with contemporary CCTV is that it can work alongside older CCTV, acting as a conductor in a better-defined orchestra. Ineffective CCTV is often down to a lack of regular maintenance and whilst many older types of systems may have served their owners faithfully over the years, the operating quality may have simply deteriorated. It's only by undertaking regular maintenance that can you ensure that your cameras are in great shape.

Protect Your Property, With Maxtag

If you're looking to establish a camera system within your property, then why not allow the experts here at Maxtag help? For over 20 years, we have been working as CCTV installers around the UK, creating bespoke security solutions for retailers, private individuals and public institutions alike.

Whether you're looking for a single camera, an IP system to better manage your existing network or a shop full of modern HD CCTV that can deliver images to you on any device, no matter where you may be – feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.

Get In Touch With Our CCTV Experts Today

If you would like further information on our dedicated security camera service, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly CCTV installers today. You can give us a call on 0800 044 3160, or alternatively, you can send an e-mail to us at




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MAXTAG (UK) Limited

8 Suttons Business Park Reading Berkshire RG6 1AZ United Kingdom

0800 044 3160