5 Common Misconceptions About CCTV and the Truth Behind Them

UPDATED: 26/09/2023

CCTV systems have become an increasingly popular security measure for homes and businesses, but there are still many misconceptions surrounding them. We attempt to shed light on the mysteries and doubts about them to help you make an informed decision for your property. Here are five common misconceptions about CCTV and the truth behind them:

1. CCTV systems are too expensive.

graph comparing the small cost of a cctv system to the huge cost of a robbery

Truth: Deterring a robbery can save a huge amount of money compared to the initial investment into a CCTV system because it prevents losses from occurring in the first place.

By deterring a burglary, it means that any valuable items or cash that would have been stolen will remain in the possession of the owner. Additionally, it can also help to prevent damage to the property that may occur during the commission of the crime.

Long term, deterring a robbery can also save money as it may lower the need for extra security measures like hiring security guards or installing more rigorous protection like steel bars. Property insurance costs may get lower as well as it means your property is less likely to be targeted by burglars.

In addition to preventing losses, deterring a robbery can also have other benefits such as providing peace of mind and improving the overall safety and security of the area. The use of CCTV systems can also aid in the prosecution of criminals and help bring closure to victims of crime.

READ: The costs of not having a Security System

Mental distress costs

illustration comparing peace of mind of having security to the distress and anxiety of being robbed

Besides the direct financial costs saved, there is also the mental impact to think about. For a homeowner, a break-in is a traumatic, life-changing event. Not only do you lose valuables, but also sentimental items that can never be replaced. The emotional toll, combined with the hassle of filing insurance claims and dealing with police investigations, is a heavy burden to bear.

For a business, a break-in can be an equally devastating blow. Not only do you lose valuable assets and inventory, but it can also take a toll on your mental well-being. The stress of dealing with:

  • Insurance claims: Paperwork, claims processes.
  • Police investigations: Evidence, giving statements, multiple interviews.
  • Potential loss of customers: Customers feeling unsafe, unsightly store damage.

can be overwhelming. CCTV prevents burglars disrupting the hard work you’ve put into your business.

2. CCTV systems only record footage, they don't deter crime.

CCTV systems record footage

Truth: CCTV systems act as a visual deterrent – causing burglars and criminals to think twice when they see security cameras.

Security camera systems can prevent burglars and other criminals from committing crimes. Cameras can be placed in visible areas, such as the entrance of a building or on the exterior of a property. The presence of security cameras indicates that the property is under surveillance and any criminal activity will be recorded. This is a strong deterrent for criminals as they are more likely to avoid properties that are well-protected. Furthermore, camera footage can aid in the identification and prosecution of criminals, making them less likely to repeat their actions.

Additionally, CCTV systems work very well when integrated with other security measures such as alarms, motion sensors, and remote monitoring. This provides an added layer of protection and deterrence.

3. CCTV systems are only useful for catching criminals after the fact.

illustration showing real time response between cctv detecting a burglar and police intervention

Truth: CCTV systems can be used for more than just catching criminals after the fact, they can also be used for responding to and stopping a robbery while it is happening.

This is possible due to the live monitoring capabilities of modern surveillance cameras. Live monitoring allows you to view footage in real-time, which means that you can detect suspicious activity as it occurs. Once suspicious activity is detected, it can be reported to the appropriate authorities, such as the police or security guards, who can respond in real-time to stop the robbery while it is happening.

Additionally, CCTV systems with remote monitoring capabilities allow the footage to be viewed remotely, which means that even if you are not physically on the premises, you can still be aware of any suspicious activity and take appropriate actions. This can be especially useful for businesses that operate outside of normal working hours. Additionally this is great for the home owner who is away on holiday or a trip.

UPDATE: Two great examples of CCTV fighting crime in real-time. Read about the restaurant and the vape store who both used CCTV to catch a criminal in the act.

4. CCTV systems require a lot of maintenance

Truth: Modern camera systems are designed for low maintenance.

Misconception: One common misunderstanding about CCTV systems is that they require a lot of maintenance, making them a hassle for property owners. However, the truth is quite the opposite. Modern camera systems have been designed with convenience and efficiency in mind, minimizing the need for extensive maintenance.

Remote Monitoring for Effortless Oversight

Modern CCTV systems offer the advantage of remote monitoring, which simplifies the task of keeping an eye on your security cameras. With remote control at your fingertips via a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you can easily access your CCTV system from virtually anywhere. This capability means you can check footage, assess camera performance, and troubleshoot issues without the need for physical presence at the property.

Time and Effort Savings

Gone are the days when maintaining CCTV systems meant dedicating significant time and effort. With remote monitoring, you can swiftly attend to any concerns, reducing the time and labor traditionally associated with system upkeep.

Checking your CCTV system remotely not only saves time but also minimizes the effort required for routine maintenance tasks.

Early Issue Detection and Automatic Updates

Many modern camera systems include features for automatic updates and proactive maintenance. These capabilities help ensure that your CCTV system runs optimally. Automatic updates keep your system equipped with the latest software improvements and security enhancements, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities. Furthermore, these systems can detect issues early on, allowing for prompt resolution and avoiding costly downtime.

In summary, the misconception that CCTV systems demand extensive maintenance is debunked by the convenience and efficiency of modern camera technology. With remote monitoring capabilities, property owners can effortlessly oversee their CCTV systems, saving both time and effort. Additionally, automatic updates and proactive maintenance features help keep the system running optimally, further minimizing downtime and ensuring reliable security coverage for your property.

5. CCTV systems are only useful for businesses.

residential protection with CCTV systems

Truth: Security camera systems can benefit homes too – providing peace of mind and added security for homeowners.

CCTV systems are not just useful for businesses, they can also be beneficial for homes. Homeowners enjoy all the benefits that a business with security cameras will. It can provide peace of mind and better protection for homeowners by deterring burglaries, monitoring and recording any suspicious activity, and providing evidence for prosecution if a crime were to occur.

Having camera surveillance in place can provide an extra layer of security for homeowners, especially for those who are away from their homes for long periods of time. It can also be useful for monitoring the safety and well-being of elderly or disabled family members who are living alone. Likewise, cameras can also be used for monitoring children, pets, or any other activities in the home

In conclusion, CCTV systems can be beneficial for homes as well, they can provide peace of mind and added security for homeowners, deter burglaries, monitor and record any suspicious activity, and provide evidence for prosecution if a crime were to occur.


To put it briefly, there has been a lot of shade thrown on CCTV systems, possible because of their limitations in the past or sub optimal installations. However as discussed, security camera systems are a very valuable safety measure for homes and businesses. If you had any doubts mirroring these misconceptions listed, hopefully they are now resolved and you are on your way to building a solid security system for your property.

two security cameras; one black, one white

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