Overview#Surveillance by Video is the Surveillance (Monitoring) by using cameras (also called Closed Circuit Television, or CCTV) which has grown throughout the world to unprecedented levels.
Most towns and cities are moving to CCTV surveillance of public areas, housing estates, car parks and public facilities. Growth in the market is estimated at fifteen to twenty per cent annually. Many Central Business Districts are now covered by Surveillance by Video systems involving a linked system of cameras with full pan, tilt, zoom and infrared capacity. Their use on private property is also becoming popular.
Surveillance by Video systems involve sophisticated technology. Features include night vision, computer assisted operation, and motion detection facilities which allow the operator to instruct the system to go on red alert when anything moves in view of the cameras. Camera systems increasingly employ bullet-proof casing, and automated self defense mechanisms. The clarity of the pictures is usually excellent, with many systems being able to read a cigarette packet at a hundred meters. The systems can often work in pitch blackness, bringing images up to daylight level. The technology will ultimately converge with sophisticated software programs that are capable of automated Facial recognition, Behavioral Characteristics, crowd behavior analysis, and (in certain environments) intimate scanning of the area between skin surface and clothes. The power and capabilities of cameras will continually increase, while the cost and size will decrease.
Surveillance by Video is reasonable to assume that covert visual surveillance will in some environments be ubiquitous.