Security cameras are one aspect of business security that is commonly used across many different business types. Often a number of video cameras transmit their signals to a specific point, frequently a set of monitors. This system is known as closed-circuit television (CCTV) the name derives from the fact that although a television signal is produced it is not transmitted openly, and as a consequence cannot be picked up by exterior parties (Levine, 2000). The term CCTV can be technically used to refer to most types of video cameras; however, it is generally used to apply to those that are involved in security applications (Introna, 2000). In retail stores, CCTV systems are often used for security, monitoring both consumers and employees with the aim of preventing crime from occurring and for catching and prosecuting those that are involved in criminal acts within the store.
I have worked at Best Buy since I was 17 years of age beginning in the sales department, and currently am the Security/Loss Prevention Manager for my store. This role comes with a high amount of responsibility and I take pride in doing my job well and ensuring that my staff do also. Throughout my career at Best Buy one aspect of technology which I have used extensively and consider crucial to my work is the CCTV network of security cameras which is present as part of our store security system. CCTV plays a significant role in maintaining the security of our store, and is helpful in a number of other aspects. Most importantly the CCTV system allows the monitoring of both consumers and employees behavior from a distance. Even though the presence of security cameras throughout the store is a well known fact, many people forget that the cameras are operating or hope that they are in a blind spot and act in a manner which they would not wish to be observed in. The most common example of this is theft. The CCTV network is very useful for determining when and where shoplifting or acts of fraud occur, and as the system records the footage, it can then play a role in identifying thieves, in proving that an individual stole from the store, as well as providing a key role in internal investigations into employee theft and dishonesty. However, the monitoring of theft and dishonest practice are not the only uses of this powerful technology, it is also used other purposes such as finding lost children, determine the locations of staff members during emergency drills as well as acting as a deterrent to theft. This essay will consider the technology involved in CCTV, its history and how it is used as well as the legal ramifications occur as a consequence, with particular emphasis on the role of CCTV in retail security. Finally I will discuss my own personal experience with CCTV and how it affects my role at Best Buy. History One of the early uses of CCTV occurred in London in 1961 at an underground railway station. The purpose of the system wasn’t security, but was to allow drivers to ensure that the doors of the railway car were clear before they departed the station (Keval & Sasse, 2006). However, CCTV cameras were in use as early as 1940 and the industry has been growing ever since (Mohammed, 2010). The use of CCTV as a means of surveillance for public areas as well as business has become commonplace, and there are many different purposes for CCTV systems. One common example is the use of CCTV as street surveillance, looking for drug related activity, for the identification of missing persons, as well as for identifying any criminal activity (Keval & Sasse, 2006). Within retail stores consumers are observed through CCTV in the in order to look for illegitimate activity or evidence of theft. Monitoring is not limited to