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Shop Security Camera Systems – Why are they important & how should they be used?

CCTV cameras are becoming a common sight in both private and public properties with many home and business owners investing in them.

They are among the most widely used technologies in the world with as many as 5.2 million cameras found in the UK alone. That’s 1 camera for every 13 people in the country!

A huge chunk of this statistic is made up of CCTV cameras used in the retail sector for protection from security threats such as shoplifting, intrusions, burglaries, and vandalism.

These are prevalent threats that affect almost all shop owners and cause substantial financial losses, forcing some to even permanently shut down.

Read on further to find out why shop security camera systems are so important and how they should be used for maximum effectiveness:


CCTV cameras, or closed-circuit television cameras, are one of the most effective security systems and a great solution for shop owners looking to maximise both safety and security.

Their effectiveness can be judged by the fact that, when choosing a property to break into, one of the first things that criminals look for is the presence of CCTV cameras and they prefer to target places not under surveillance.

There are several benefits that shop owners can avail by installing CCTV cameras in their shops and here are all the reasons why they are so important:

Preventing and reducing theft

Shoplifting is cited as a major contributor to retail shrinkage and a major concern for most shop owners.

It is usually made possible due to sheer oversight from the people in charge and their inability to keep an eye on every inch of the shop and every customer.

Strategically placed CCTV cameras can help prevent not just shoplifting but also other serious crimes and acts of vandalism, break-ins, and internal theft.

The mere sight of a surveillance camera is enough to deter anyone planning to carry out a crime owing to the fear of being watched, recorded, and possibly caught.

Producing useful evidence

Security camera systems aren’t just effective in deterring crime but are also extremely useful if a crime is committed in the area under surveillance.

They provide valuable footage that can help identify the perpetrators of the crime, which can also be used as legitimate evidence in court.

Some CCTV systems come equipped with special features such as facial recognition that helps law enforcement agencies catch the perpetrators more easily and quickly.

Real-time surveillance

In addition to providing recorded footage, CCTV cameras also allow real-time video surveillance easily conducted from a remote computer, mobile phone, or tablet.

Such monitoring allows shop owners and managers to keep an eye on every inch of the property, even if they aren’t physically present on the premises.

It is a fact that a majority of employees tend to work the hardest when being monitored by someone in charge. Therefore, remote real-time CCTV monitoring improves not just security but also employee productivity.

While this feature allows for great control for the shop owners, special care must be taken to adhere to CCTV laws for businesses and not go overboard with the privileges and infringe on the employees’ or customers’ privacy.

Customer satisfaction

CCTV cameras promote a safer environment not just for the owners and employees but also for the customers.

A shop that has a history of getting broken into and burgled will have its customers thinking twice before visiting for the fear of getting caught in the middle of a crime.

Customers appreciate the effort shop owners make for their safety and security, and the investment that the owners put into such security systems is paid through customer satisfaction and retention.

CCTV cameras also allow to closely monitor and observe customer behaviour with respect to buying habits and preferences, helping provide them with a better shopping experience

Reduced costs

As compared to traditional methods of surveillance done through hiring round-the-clock security guards, CCTV cameras provide a more cost-effective and highly reliable security solution.

Also, with CCTV technology getting better and the demand for surveillance systems increasing, you can benefit from state-of-the-art CCTV cameras at a much lower price.

You can easily have a full-scale modern CCTV solution with a higher resolution, better size, and night-vision at a fraction of a cost than you would have to spend otherwise.


As discussed above, CCTV cameras are one of the best security solutions adopted by countless businesses worldwide, including numerous shops and retail stores.

Their effectiveness, however, is dependent on how they are used, and merely installing them in your shop will not give you the desired outcome.

To unlock the full potential of CCTV systems, there are a few things that need to be considered. They include:

  • Choosing the right type of CCTV camera,
  • Proper placement,
  • CCTV laws for businesses, and
  • Professional installation, maintenance, and monitoring.


There are various types of CCTV cameras to choose from, all of them varying in the way they look, the environmental conditions they work best in, the areas that they can cover, and the image processing features that they have.

A good CCTV camera makes sure it captures clear footage irrespective of the time of day, light availability, or extreme weather conditions.

The most popular types of CCTV cameras include:

  • Bullet CCTV cameras
  • Dome CCTV cameras
  • C-Mount CCTV cameras
  • PTZ Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras
  • Day/Night CCTV cameras
  • Infrared/night vision CCTV cameras
  • Network/IP CCTV cameras
  • Wireless CCTV cameras
  • High Definition (HD) CCTV cameras

CCTV cameras may be used as a visible or hidden deterrent, and the camera’s shape plays a pivotal role in whether it will be instantly recognisable or not.

Some cameras, such as bullet CCTV cameras, are bulky and generic and difficult to conceal. Other models, such as dome CCTV cameras have a dome-shaped casing that the camera sits in, making it difficult to tell which way the camera is facing.

Environmental conditions, such as whether the cameras will be used indoors or outdoors, or whether they will be used for day-time or night-time surveillance, or both, also dictate which camera type can be used.

A camera’s coverage and field of view determine how wide of an area a single camera can cover. Some camera models are built to be fixed in one position, while some models offer more flexibility and allow the camera to capture footage in more than one direction using features such as panning, tilting, and zooming.

CCTV cameras also come equipped with advanced features such as built-in alarms, facial recognition, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), and pet-friendliness that can help make them more efficient and effective, but come at an additional cost.


Proper placement of CCTV cameras is key in how effectively the systems will perform. There is no one size fits all and what may work for one property might not be so effective for the other.

Since every shop is different in terms of its size, type, and specific security requirements, it is extremely important to come up with a unique camera placement strategy for each shop.

Strategically placed CCTV cameras will not just protect shops from external threats but also ensure a healthy working environment with happy, productive, and compliant employees.

There are a few basic areas that every shop owner must put under CCTV surveillance. They include:

The entrances and exits

The entrances and exits are considered high-risk areas which is why it is important to mount CCTV cameras on all the doors and windows of a shop to monitor the flow of customers and employees.

This will allow you to have a clear view of everyone entering and exiting your shop, along with providing evidence if needed.

Tills and cash registers

Cash registers are a common target because, well, that’s where all the money is, which is why they must be monitored at all times.

The ideal placement should be on a wall behind the cashier so that all activity taking place can be monitored, including transactions and money counting.

Shop floor

The shop floor should be fitted with at least one security camera and, depending on the size of the shop, you could install multiple cameras on all the prime locations.

They must be installed in a way to give full coverage of the floor, including poorly-lit aisles and areas that are difficult for employees to see from the front of the shop since shoplifters are attracted to such areas.

Storerooms, warehouses, and loading areas

Storerooms and warehouses are an important aspect of the retail industry with most shop owners relying on them for storing inventory.

Due to the large amounts of goods stored in them, storerooms and warehouses are a lucrative target for both external and internal theft.

CCTV cameras must be placed at all the entrances and exits and main loading areas, allowing shop owners more visibility and control in case of any missing inventory.

Parking lots

Parking lots are a favourite among criminals and they become even more attractive if they are poorly-lit with no security.

To prevent customers and employees from being targeted, the parking area needs to be secured using constant surveillance.

This not only helps keep an eye on the vehicles coming in and out of the parking lots but also greatly reduces the risk of vehicle theft while increasing public safety and reducing liability.


Despite the plethora of benefits provided by CCTV cameras, they are sometimes met with suspicion and hesitance because they can sometimes be misused.

For instance, shop owners installing CCTV cameras inside fitting rooms and toilets is a huge invasion of privacy, and normal decency, and may make customers and employees wary of CCTV cameras in general.

Since CCTV cameras involve recording people, the government has laid down a few laws protecting their rights to being recorded along with their privacy, and while CCTV usage is encouraged by the law, there are a few things that all shop owners must know and do to use the systems responsibly.

The four main acts that make up the CCTV legal framework in the country are:

To make adherence to the data protection laws easier, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a code of practice for shop owners to follow. They include:

  • Having a legitimate reason for using CCTV cameras,
  • Registering with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a CCTV operator,
  • Effective administration of the surveillance system by establishing clear responsibilities and procedures, along with documenting all aspects of data control,
  • Ensuring that the data is stored securely and can only be accessed by authorised personnel,
  • Informing everyone in the area that they are being recorded, which can best be achieved by putting up clear signage or communicating with the people involved,
  • Monitoring staff and customers as long as they have been made aware of it in writing and explained the reasons behind it,
  • Not installing CCTV cameras in private areas such as toilets and fitting rooms,
  • Disabling audio recording on all CCTV systems since it is a huge invasion of privacy and is largely discouraged,
  • Ensuring that the recorded data is provided, within one month, to individuals who have been recorded on the system if they request to access it,
  • Storing the data only for as long as it is needed, the duration for which varies from business to business,
  • Sharing recorded images and video footage with the authorities, such as the police, if they ask for them,
  • Regularly maintaining and reviewing the system to ensure it’s working as it should and is compliant with all the CCTV laws.


At Calder Security, we understand the specific needs and requirements of shops, along with the security risks attached to them, and can offer a comprehensive range of security solutions that include CCTV systems, burglar alarms, and access control systems.

Our expert CCTV services include:

CCTV installation

We are expert SSAIB-approved security system installers and supply only high-quality CCTV equipment from trusted brands such as Hikvision, one of the world’s leading CCTV manufacturers.

We supply both analogue HD and IP systems as well as advise you on which system would be most appropriate for your shop.

Our team of professionals don’t just install the CCTV system and leave, but also provide full training on the equipment making sure you and your employees are comfortable with it and know how to use it properly.

CCTV monitoring

Our CCTV monitoring services ensure that your property is being watched over by professional monitoring staff when it is unoccupied or most vulnerable.

The real advantage of detecting a break-in while it is in progress is the action that can be taken to deal with it, such as notifying the keyholders or alerting the police.

We use only Trusted Remote Video Receiving Centres (RVRC) and offer peace of mind that any incident detected would prompt an appropriate response.

CCTV maintenance

Annual servicing is vital in keeping your CCTV system in good working order. Even if it seems that the system is running fine, the checks and measures involved in a professional service help with the early detection of potential issues.

During a service, we undertake a visual assessment of all equipment, check connections and cabling, clean the cameras, lenses and housing, assess playback and recording quality, and test remote signalling (if applicable).

CCTV repair

Even well-maintained CCTV systems can develop faults such as loose connections, cameras failing, the system not recording, playback not working, or poor-quality images.

If your system fails to record properly, loses clarity of picture, experiences drop out, won’t playback, or faces any other issue, our experienced engineers can diagnose and repair any faults quickly and with minimal disruption.

Contact us right away for a quick consultation with our leading experts to make your shops safe with state-of-the-art CCTV cameras that protect you, your employees, and customers in every way!

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash