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Shop or retail CCTV Systems

Mention CCTV and one of the first places you think of it being used is in a shop. CCTV in a shop or retail outlet is pretty much standard practice these days, sometimes licencing laws will even insist you fit it. Whether a huge superstore with a dedicated security team or a small family shop CCTV can help in many ways.

The problem is in most cases the equipment fitted simply doesn't perform to the required standards. The most common fault is cameras that are too wide-angle meaning they don't record sufficient detail to be effective. People use off-the-shelf CCTV kits which feature fixed-lens wide-angle cameras. As with all CCTV planning, you need to identify exactly what you want your system to do and then ensure each camera is correct for that job with the correct optical range. Feel free to call us during office hours and we can talk through your requirements to establish exactly what you might need.


Theft from shops costs millions of pounds. The people carrying out the crime see it as an anonymous act. They don't think it affects anyone directly in the same way a burglary does but that is not the case. Theft can make or break a business, especially when it takes the form of repeated "petty" theft. If someone raids you and takes several thousand pounds worth of goods you may well be able to claim on your insurance. If they walk out with a single item you can't. Think about the deterrent benefit of CCTV. High-quality HD 1080P images visible to people in the shop leave criminals with no doubt that they have been recorded.

Staff protection

CCTV is a front-line tool in providing staff protection. Often staff handling cash or products which can easily be sold for cash are at risk. Alcohol, cigarettes, jewellery, electronic goods, and even mundane items like shaving razors can all be readily sold on the black market. Violence against staff is a worrying trend. Fitting CCTV helps prove your commitment to staff protection. Remote access either over the internet or within a building allows vulnerable staff to be monitored. We have a remote set-up service that allows you to remotely view any of our DVR recorders over the internet.

Misconduct or theft

CCTV can provide protection against theft from within your company. Temptation can prove too great for some employees. Even if it is just a case of helping themselves to the odd sweet or 2. We had a customer whose sweet business within a shopping centre was losing stock to security staff at night. It's easy to laugh something like that off and the security staff probably thought nothing of taking the odd handful of pick and mix, but over a year that one loss source covered the cost of an entire CCTV system. We are happy to report installing CCTV solved the problem and the retailer was compensated once the evidence was reviewed.

Monitoring till positions can not only protect against theft but also protect honest employees in the event a customer claims to have handed over a higher denomination note.

CCTV as part of your Licensing requirements

If you sell alcohol it is quite likely that you will have to fit CCTV and the footage will need to be stored for a certain amount of time. Once again consider exactly what job the CCTV needs to do and make sure you aren't sacrificing quality to achieve the required storage time.

What type of CCTV cameras

This will vary from location to location but things to consider are whether or not the system needs to work in complete darkness. Do the cameras need to be secure from tampering and would covert CCTV be an option?

Outdoor CCTV cameras

As well as filming within the building it may be wise to consider placing some cameras outside as well. Delivery yards to the rear of a building and rear doors to premises are both areas to consider both from a theft and also staff protection perspective. Once again think about whether the cameras are vulnerable to tampering. Sometimes it is not possible to locate cameras out of reach.

Where to position your CCTV cameras

Make sure that at some point everyone who comes into your shop is filmed in good detail. Zoom in on a pinch point through which everyone must pass. Think about where people stand when they are by the till paying for items (or confronting staff members). There are a number of useful short films in our CCTV Video tutorials section giving ideas for camera positioning.

Try to be objective when looking at your CCTV images

Look at your CCTV system. Can you really identify an unknown person from the resulting images or are you just kidding yourself? A CCTV in a box solution from Maplins, Macro or one of the big shed retailers is going to use wide-angle cameras which lose detail rapidly as you move away from the camera. In some cases, you can't identify people more than 1.5-2 metres from the camera lens. We have all seen poor-quality images on TV, CCTV doesn't have to be like that. Make sure you have high-quality images.

Viewing your CCTV remotely over the internet

All our DVR recorders can be accessed remotely over the internet. You can see live footage, view previously recorded footage, even make settings changes and take backups over the internet. Once again if you need any help call us during office hours and we are happy to offer to advise.