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Can your CCTV transfer digital evidence to police?

Can your CCTV transfer digital evidence to police?

The NBCC is encouraging businesses to ensure their CCTV systems have the capability to upload and share CCTV footage electronically with the police to speed up investigations and identify offenders.

Police forces are increasingly adopting the use of Digital Evidence Management Systems (DEMS), to capture evidential CCTV from businesses but many older CCTV systems can’t utilise this new technology.

DEMS enables police forces to send a business a link where they can upload the CCTV into a secure system in the cloud. This allows police to have quick access to the evidence allowing investigations to progress at speed.

Previously, the traditional method of collecting evidential CCTV was via a USB or DVD disc. This approach caused issues with the introduction of higher quality CCTV, the security risk of physical USB Pens/discs getting lost in transit and many CCTV systems having proprietary software needed to review it. 

DEMS gives police access to the relevant viewing software meaning that all systems can be viewed by the police, in a secure environment.  The approach is free to businesses with the police bearing the cost of providing and maintaining the system.

Patrick Holdaway, NBCC Lead said: “The main blocker to businesses using DEMS is the CCTV system they are using. Some of the older, more outdated systems don’t have the ability to upload and share CCTV footage electronically. These systems aren’t really helping businesses or the police when it comes to gathering evidence and investigating a crime. Just as businesses need to upgrade IT equipment, they also need to update CCTV systems to ensure they are still fit for purpose in a modern, digital world.”

To show businesses if a DEMS is being used by their local police force, the NBCC has developed a map which also shows which DEMS the force is using, although in reality, the process to share video is very similar, which ever system is used. 

CCTV  is important in tackling business crime for several reasons:

  • Deterrence: The presence of CCTV cameras can act as a deterrent to potential criminals. If a criminal sees that a business has cameras in place, they may be less likely to commit a crime, as they know that they are being monitored.
  • Evidence: CCTV footage can provide valuable evidence in the event of a crime. This can be used to identify suspects and can help to secure a conviction.
  • Remote Monitoring: CCTV can be monitored remotely, allowing businesses to keep an eye on their premises even when they are not physically present. This can help to identify potential security threats and respond to them quickly.
  • Employee Safety: CCTV, through technology such as body worn video, can also help to improve employee safety. For example, if an employee is working alone late at night, CCTV can provide an added layer of security and help to ensure their safety.

Over the coming months DEMS is expected to go live in most if not all of the police force areas in England and Wales.

The NBCC has worked with the providers of DEMS to create user guides for businesses to help them upload their CCTV footage when it is requested by police. The guides and more information can be found via the links below:

AXON DEMS Retailer Document 

NICE Investigative Fact Sheet for Business 

You can also download a copy of the map as a PDF: DEMS MAP