Security Services


  • Coleraine: 028 7032 6166
  • Belfast: 028 9016 0580
  • L'Derry: 028 7161 0238

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Q: Can an employer use a hidden video camera in the workplace?
A: In Europe employers can use security cameras to visually monitor the workplace provided that the camera does not pick up private activities. A "Private activity" is defined as "any activity carried on in circumstances that may reasonably be taken to indicate that any of the parties to the activity desires it to be observed only by themselves, but does not include an activity carried on in any circumstances in which the parties to the activity ought reasonably to expect that the activity may be observed.
Individuals committing illegal acts in an area open to the public or within plain view of persons who have a legal right to occupy the area do not have a legal right to object to surveillance, nor can they claim invasion of privacy.Covert cameras must only be used in the short term where illegal activity is suspected.Please read the data protection act to clarify this or speak to your local crime prevention officer for advice.

Q: Are there any areas that an employer cannot use surveillance cameras?
A: Any area in which employees or customers can reasonably expect some degree of privacy would not be recommended.

Inadvisable locations for surveillance:

Change Rooms
Fitting Rooms
Private Offices (without consent)
Always remember to respect employees' rights to privacy by only using electronic surveillance where there is a legitimate reason.

Q: What is the difference between covert and overt camera equipment?
A: As the names suggest a covert camera is a hidden camera and cannot be easily detected, and an overt camera (CCTV) is usually a fixed camera system in full view that not only records the selected area but also acts as a visible deterrent to potential offenders.

Q: What details do I need to worry about regarding the installations?
A: You need to determine a time for the installation to be done that minimizes any exposure. Cameras can be installed while employees are working in the immediate area. However, it is always easier to do the work when no one is around. You need to consider the following factors: Will your employees see the representative? Is the time of the installation unusual for contracted work to be done?

Q: Where will you place the camera?
A: A Covtek representative will determine the exact placement of the camera at the time of the site survey and may review the location when it comes to installation. Unlike traditional security cameras which are easily hung on the wall and aimed at a large area, covert cameras must be positioned so that they will view the exact target area and capture the perpetrator in the act of wrongdoing.

Q: What do I do after I have the evidence on film?
A: That is entirely up to you. Our clients deal with the evidence in a variety of ways, including allowing the employee to resign, terminating the employee with cause, and criminal prosecution. Most clients terminate the employee. How the termination is handled should be consistent with customary termination proceedings you can seek advice from your local crime prevention officer.

Q: Who reviews the recordings, and how much time does it take?
A: You can review the tapes yourself or a technician can do it. The amount of time it takes depends upon the amount of activity on the tape. For instance on a standard VCR recording, if you are looking for an after-hours theft in an unoccupied space, the reviewing time can be very short (1 to 2 hours). On the other hand, reviewing tapes that contain footage of an active area (such as a cash register or an employee work area) will take longer (3 to 4 hours). Digital camera systems usually take a shorter period of time due to superior reviewing features. Reviewing can be literally a few minutes using Digital technology with an event log or movement detection system.

Q: What is CCTV?
A: Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a system which operates on a "closed loop" basis. Unlike normal television which is available to anyone with a suitable receiver. CCTV pictures/images are only available to those directly connected to the "loop".

Q: Where should CCTV be used?
A: Anywhere! Literally - not only as a security measure but can be used to monitor staff protection, staff management, shrinkage and criminal damage.

Q: Should I use Overt or Covert surveillance?
A: This is normally a personal issue however overt (visual) cameras are more popular especially as they not only record but act as a deterrent also. Covert (hidden) cameras are used for delicate situations whereby you have ongoing problems that cannot be properly addressed using conventional methods the installation of covert cameras should be restricted to short term use.

Q: Should I use Colour or Black & White?
A: Another personal issue - although there are some guidelines to be adhered to: Colour does not work well in dark conditions unless you have lighting or use of Digital Cameras. Infra-red will not work with Colour Cameras. picture. Black & White will work well at night with the aid of Infra-red or normal Halogen Lighting.