CCTV in the police. Information technology of the 21st century

CCTV of the police. Information technology of the 21st century

Scientific and technological progress leads to video surveillance range expansion and penetration into all areas of humans lives. Accordingly, in 2021, they are embedded in the work of law enforcement agencies.  Let’s talk about how and for what purpose video surveillance is used in the police.

Targets and objectives of CCTV introduction in the police

A camera at a police station, a personal DVR, and intelligent video monitoring software help to solve the following goals:

  1. Elimination of undesirable incidents such as:
  • cases of authority abuse;
  • the unjustified use of physical force against citizens;
  • aggressive and inappropriate behaviour of citizens towards police officers.

      2. Prevention of crime and offence by the quick response to events.

      3. Crime detection rates increase. For example, a pilot study of British researchers found that video surveillance increased the detection of severe crimes by 40%. Read about the investigation of events via video surveillance in this article.

      4. Reaching a new level of work by optimizing processes. Investments in technology are essential for internal communications development and the automation of identification processes, access control, record and archive management.

      5. Increase of citizens’ satisfaction in general.

Personal DVRs

Russian current legislation clearly defines the possibility of using personal video recorders: such equipment can be used only in forensic practice. This means one thing: in 2021, individual DVRs are legally used only by traffic police and police officers.

However, Russia does not have a single system for video footage collection and record from camcorders. Decisions on what to do with the records are made locally (by the head of a particular police unit). Regulators are the FSIN and the Interior Ministry’s departmental orders, many of which are not in the public domain. And most importantly, Russian laws do not provide penalties for falsification or destruction of records.

Experiments results

Back in 2012-13, an experiment was conducted in the historic Venice quarter of Rialto. One half of the police department, including patrol officers, was equipped with miniature video cameras.

The results of the study:

  • the total number of unwanted events involving the use of force by police officers decreased by 60% (from 61 cases to 25 per year);
  •  the total number of complaints against police officers dropped by 88 per cent (from 24 cases to 3 per year).

Video equipment for police cars

Police cars were equipped with video audio recording equipment to reduce traffic police and citizens misbehaviour on the road.

Cameras have an IR light to record events in any conditions. A rear-view camera and a course camera are also included in the set. They constantly monitor the traffic situation and parking of a service car.

The police surveillance camera is protected from outside interference. To keep records safe, you can only access them using a password.

Records from the police car help to understand the accident and provide proof for litigation.  

Police station software

The technological needs of police stations are formed objectively. Innovative solutions can change policing’s nature (on the ground, in the administration) and make it more automated.  At the same time, the choice of video monitoring software should be based on technical parameters that provide:

  • easy integration;
  • dissemination of information within the police station and through related information channels;
  • the possibility of rapid analysis.

Plug and Play solutions

Police stations require simple, ready-made, plug-in and work-to-work solutions.  As a rule, the Interior Ministry employees are not trained IT specialists, so they need such software, which operates instantly and independently. This helps to avoid significant integration and implementation costs.

Flexibility and scaled deployment models

Despite the identity of the system, each police station has its own need for video surveillance. One needs extensive local deployment, the other needs a flexible solution for network cameras with DVRs, the third needs cloud video surveillance.

You also should consider scaling capabilities to meet the growing technical needs in the future.

Video analyzers

Only intelligent video analyzers can give an increased return in the long term from investment in video surveillance. It acts as a multiplier of force, increasing the efforts of limited staff.

With the help of artificial intelligence elements, video cameras are able to:

  • process data continuously;
  • carry out an operational search for suspects by photo and state numbers plates of the vehicles;
  • identify and speed up strong evidence for investigations;
  • close cases successfully.

Thus, the police’s productivity increases, while video surveillance acts as an irreplaceable and objective assistant.


To improve internal processes and increase public safety, it is essential to evaluate the police department’s current infrastructure and the benefits of simple solutions, taking into account the possible growth of needs. Naturally, financial investments in the introduction of intelligent solutions for the police should not be excessive, as they are financed from the state budget.   

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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