Whether it is the jealous MP’s wife stealing a kitten from the home of his mistress in Birmingham or the lady in Coventry caught putting a cat in a wheelie bin, the successful use of mini CCTV camera surveillance has been very much in the news recently, and not just for spying on your pet.
What is Camera Surveillance
Spy cameras are small recording devices that can be hidden anywhere to be virtually undetectable. They can capture high quality digital footage of everything that is going on within a desired space and that footage is saved on a concealed digital recorder for later evaluation.
Now becoming increasingly popular, these mini CCTV units are security devices that are mostly designed to monitor the activities within your home when you are not there. Over recent years they have gained popularity as they can easily be concealed in children’s toys or teddy bears and various objects found within the home, such as clocks or ceiling smoke alarms. This enables the home owner to keep an eye on babysitters, cleaners or tradesmen for example, coming into their homes.
Today, such camera surveillance devices are becoming a standard tool to safely protect your home. However, while they can act as a deterrent, large exposed lenses are easily seen by potential intruders. Mini home CCTV systems are not only small but have been designed to be more inconspicuous than the standard security cameras enabling them to be placed within an object of home decoration such as a clock or a flowerpot for example, and be discreet enough to be undetected.
The majority of mini CCTV systems are also now wireless, making it easier for users to conceal them in any location without too many cables. The video feed from a camera can be accessed remotely from anywhere with an internet connection and so can be transmitted directly to a smart phone or computer.
External Camera Surveillance
For outside use, some small wire-free camera surveillance units are weatherproof and usually no bigger than a golf ball. They can be hidden in ornaments in your garden or behind trees and bushes and will be unseen by those unaware of their presence. They can be infra-red for night camera surveillance and again usually connect to any phone, computer or television wirelessly, still giving clear image recordings.
Movement detectors can also be incorporated, which begin recording only when there is some form of activity or motion within their range. They remain inactive otherwise and can be set to filter or screen the movement of household pets and recording only when there is movement within range makes these surveillance devices highly efficient.
These movement detectors can also be programmed to sound alerts either at the premises or at a remote monitoring station. Alternatively the movement detectors can dial a number programmed into the equipment, of either the homeowner or a neighbour.
The more covert self-contained pinhole devices can measure less than a quarter of an inch. These are generally used indoors because of their size and are fitted with a lens and microphone that can capture video. The term ‘self-contained’ means the camera is a fully functional, independent device that does not require any external wires or hookups to record video or, in some instances, take photos.
Pinholes can be either worn on the body or mounted to an object or a flat surface and their application is far wider than just recording for covert purposes. For instance, a small, discreet camera can be used to record a business meeting for later reference. You often see footage from these on the television ‘outing’ rogue traders and other fraudulent activity.
Also available are what are known as ultra-mini surveillance cameras. These are the smallest that you can find on the market and they can work on nine-volt batteries and last up to ten hours or so. They generally still have a good range, averaging about seven-hundred feet of coverage.
So, as well as the media friendly animal stories, there is a lot of evidence to substantiate the popularity of the spy camera as a household security device. Indeed, last month we also saw in the national news the story of a carer who was filmed on a camera surveillance unit taking money from a severely disabled woman in Bristol.