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CCTV Buyer's Guide To Covert Cameras

CCTV Help Zone

Quite often a business will have contacted you wanting a CCTV quote because they have a specific security issue they are trying to combat. A covert camera can be the ideal solution to catch an unsuspecting culprit when they least expect it.

A B C to go for...


Above all else make sure the covert camera blends effortlessly into your customer’s property. Look at the fabric of their building, if they already have an alarm PIR fitted then a PIR camera is probably not the right choice so look at a smoke detector or other option.

Be thoughtful with your system design, the new keyswitch covert design is ideal for mounting at head height to capture “mug shots” of visitors. Code: SEE486

Consider whether the customer requires any speech recording, they may need it to get the evidence they require for a conviction. A combined camera and microphone is an option or look at a mini audio lead that can easily be hidden away.


What To Avoid:


Analogue only cameras as they will have limited future lifespan now that more and more systems are going HD.

Unrealistic case designs. Covert needs to be covert otherwise it won’t do its job.

Unsightly cabling. It’s a dead giveaway that it’s feeding a camera, instead use a mini RG59 cable such as CAB302 or CAB308 that can easily be hidden away from prying eyes.

60 Second Guide:

60 Second guide
  1. HD or analogue or why not go for a dual output so you can rest assured it will work with new HD equipment.
  2. Choose a case style from PIR, smoke detector head, keyswitch or even a retail mirror.
  3. Still not sure, why not hide a tiny module away in the fabric of the building? At just 31mm square it’s pretty easy. The camera’s pinhole lens design needs only a tiny hole to view through.
  4. Want audio? Choose from a wall mount design or an easy to hide simple microphone lead.
Smoke Detector, PIR and microphones

The Facts:

The Facts

Surveillance Camera Code of Practice outlines that covert surveillance by a public authority isn’t covered by the code but falls under the wider 2000 Data Protection Act allowing the Police for example to investigate crime and carry out counter terrorist surveillance.

Covert surveillance by a private operator in a public place however should only be used in “justifiable circumstances” ie, where police involvement is likely to follow.

In other organisations and business again covert surveillance is considered “justifiable” where a specific crime is suspected and it will be used to obtain evidence for the Police.

Related CCTV Tips:

How to fit CCTV

Did You Know?

Did you know?

Privacy masking enables you to block out elements of the CCTV camera’s picture (such as a changing room entrance or a neighbour's property) so you only record what’s required.

Jargon Buster:

Covert – A camera that's not openly on display.

Pinhole Camera - These are very small lens that can see through a small hole and used in covert applications.

Read the full CCTV Jargon Buster

In The News:

In the News

If a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has a camera on board then its usage could be covered by the Data Protection Act.

...and Finally:

And Finally

This guide plus other handy CCTV installation tips can be downloaded FREE from our CCTV Installer's Help Zone.

CCTV Help Zone     Shop Covert Cameras

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Next Time: CCTV Buyer's Guide Part 9: Test Monitors

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