A security camera is a camera which is used to monitor an area for security purposes. The footage from the camera may be reviewed continuously to look for potential security breaches, or examined after the fact in the hopes of getting a glimpse of a criminal or a situation. There are a number of different environments in which a security camera can be used, and security cameras have grown increasingly common in many parts of the world. Some privacy advocates have raised concerns about the proliferation of security cameras.
In some cases, a security camera is simply a static camera which is frozen in position and mounted in plain sight. Other cameras can be remotely operated to pan an area for more information, and some are hidden so that people are unaware of their presence. Signs indicating the presence of surveillance cameras are commonly posted around security cameras.
One of the classic uses of a security camera is in retail security. Retail stores are prone to theft, and using security cameras can sometimes act as a deterrent to would-be criminals. The cameras can also be monitored for signs of suspicious behavior, or the footage can be evaluated after a theft to learn more about the perpetrator. Retail cameras can also increase the coverage of the floor, reducing the number of clerks on duty by allowing one person to see into every corner of the store.
Security cameras are also used at secure facilities such as banks, military installations, and so forth. In these instances, the cameras are often continuously monitored by security staff for signs of a problem or breach. Security cameras can also be used in the facility to keep an eye on employees. In banks, for example, cameras are focused on every teller to monitor transactions, which can be useful in the event of a customer dispute.
Some cities utilize security cameras as a crimefighting measure. By distributing cameras in high-crime areas, the city hopes to deter crime and to create a record of any criminal activity which could be called upon in investigations and legal proceedings. Surveillance cameras may be monitored continuously by police or a security firm, but more commonly, the security camera footage is stored for a set period of time and then deleted if no one has a cause to examine it.
Home security systems may also utilize security cameras. Cameras can be used to see visitors at the door or gate, and to monitor the perimeter of a home or compound for signs of suspicious activity. For people with valuable possessions or safety concerns, security cameras are often a key part of a security system.