Poll: Would you allow the software on your PC/laptop

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General Chat Thread, CCTV system in General; We seem to get a lot of vandalism here, so we've decided to upgrade the CCTV system. Sounds like a ...
  1. #1
    dezt's Avatar
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    CCTV system

    We seem to get a lot of vandalism here, so we've decided to upgrade the CCTV system. Sounds like a good idea, that's what I thought until I found out where the cameras were going.

    I want to know if anyone out there would allow the software that views the cameras on their PC/laptop, or would you be dead against it.

    We have put cameras all round the school, no problems there, inside and out, all looks good, then we come to the contraversial ones, cameras inside the girls and boys toilets. Personally I disagree with this and don't think the should be there, but SMT have decided it was a good idea.

    Here is a newspaper article on the cameras, its only the local rag, but it could lead to bigger things.

    CCTV article

  2. #2
    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    Is that even legal cameras inside the toilets????

  3. #3
    dezt's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    I've had a look on the net, as long as the cameras are not facing the urinals or cubicals then it is legal.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    If the cameras are facing the door to monitor entrance and exit then I don't have a problem, as soon as they pan round to even look at the sinks I start to wonder, especially as we know we have girls getting changed in the toilets sometimes.

    I am starting to look at cameras for my school too and was wonderign what notification other schools had put out first to warn students, parents, staff and governors that it was happening.

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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    You have to put a sign in a prominent position (e.g. over the sinks) to notify people that they are being recorded. You also have to restrict access to the footage to only designated people, but that also applies with classroom cameras.

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    KarlGoddard's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    Quote Originally Posted by dezt
    I've had a look on the net, as long as the cameras are not facing the urinals or cubicals then it is legal.
    Yep, perfectly legal as long as clear notices are placed informing people of the monitoring.

    We have cameras in our pupil toilets which cover the entrance areas to the toilets.

    Since being installed incidents of vandalism - blocking sinks / flooding the room etc - have significantly fallen according to our caretaking staff.

    Even if we don't actually catch an act of vandalism on the system we can generally match up faces who were in the room around the time of the 'incident' and get one of them to cough who it was etc....

    Overall they are a great detterent as well as a great tool to assist after an incident

  7. #7

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    We have them outside each of the toilets doors so we can spot who is going in and out but I don't think we would ever get them inside, or consider it.
    If I remember rightly we put our cameras up over the summer, was a bit of a spontaneous decision (well as spontaneous as they come in schools) and then first the kids knew about it was the cameras and the signs and even then most did not twig.
    Whereas before it was lucky if we got some after an incident in the toilets (from arson to general vandalism) now it is rare that we don't get someone.

    We have the sofware to remotely access the CCTV digital box on our PC's but don't really use it. When we do it is normally if something is going on that we have been alerted to.

  8. #8
    KarlGoddard's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey
    We have the sofware to remotely access the CCTV digital box on our PC's but don't really use it. When we do it is normally if something is going on that we have been alerted to.
    thats exactly how we use it. We don't sit and monitor 'as it happens' so to speak, we generally retrieve footage after something has been brought to our attention.

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    Re: CCTV system

    we have cameras all over the place, none of them have been placed inside toilets, and i doubt ever will! Im not sure parents would totally agree with it, legal or not. Most cameras are on entrances and exits to the school, protecting us mainly from break-in rather than vandlism.

    We have remote view software installed so cameras are accessable from any workstation.

  10. #10

    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    I know that I would not be comfortable having access to footage in a toilet/changing room. I don't even allow kids to use the IT suite if there is only me there! (I'm paranoid and can't afford to lose my job following dodgy accusations)

    As for giving access to all and sundry, what's the point? IMHO the only people requiring access would be the member of SLT in charge of behaviour and anyone technical for support reasons.

  11. #11
    mark's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    We have 2 digital sprite systems that the SMT hadn't realised were viewable over the network - works quite nicely, can save avi's etc. Problem is they set the resolution too low so they can record more footage - 4 weeks.
    I've made a court appearance once - was on the worst camera on a wireless link tho' and even tho' the kid was virtually full face, filling the screen - the magistrate couldn't make him out, and he got away with it, even after confessing to the Head beforehand!
    We have another system with remote control cameras but the monitoring s/w is crap.
    We give access to the SMT, plus the Social Inclusion ex-coppers who do the same as everyone has said - it's quite effective. Toilets are covered from the outside.
    The only time I have anything to do with it is to teach new ppl how it works of to fix it.

  12. #12

    john's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    I have seen them in use and like those systems. X-vision made the one I really liked, very good to use and was much better than DVR based solutions.

  13. #13


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    Re: CCTV system

    We also have a digital sprite system, which (compared to previous system) is brilliant. It sits on a separate physical network with a second NIC in the bursars and one of the deputy heads workstations - that way we fulfill our legal obligations and no-one else has a reason to access the footage.

    The classroom IP cameras we have currently record snapshots (I mean to upgrade the backend to video this year) that we review once an incident has occurred.

    I would never consider installing cameras in toilets and (I hope) nor would SMT - I'd certainly refuse to have anything to do with it if they did.

  14. #14
    ChrisC's Avatar
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    Re: CCTV system

    One of the schools we work with just got about 14 Lan cameras, mind you they take up a serious ammount of disk space (even when set on record on movement)

    Chris

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    Re: CCTV system

    we are investing in a series of IP camera's to be placed in the ICT suites to monitor theft, as well as to protect staff who are in the classroom on their own - though if im in and its empty i lock the door behind me..

    have mixed feelings about the monitoring software being on my PC though, think i'd install it to keep the piece but never use it unles there was a valid reason AND i was not on my own - C.Y.A.

    Quick question - can you log when the software is used? (date time camera id?)



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