Covert Video Surveillance

There are basically two types of video surveillance:  1. Overt video surveillance and 2. Covert video surveillance.  Each has its own requirements and purpose and Security Camera King has the equipment you need for both types.  In this article we’ll take a look at both methods and the equipment involved.

Let’s begin with overt surveillance.  Overt video surveillance is a type of surveillance where there is no attempt to hide the fact that you are video recording something.  Generally, the camera may be exposed to the point that it is very easy to detect.

In fact, this is a secondary advantage of overt video surveillance.   Studies have been conducted that prove that visible video recording components (cameras, for example) are enough to deter acts of crime.  At any rate, overt surveillance basically means that the individual or business doing the recording doesn’t mind letting you know they are doing it.  Generally speaking, most cameras used for overt recording are box, bullet, or dome cameras.

One of the primary benefits of overt as compared to covert video surveillance is that the camera(s) can be mounted in a place that provides the best camera shot without regard to exposure of the equipment.  Covert video surveillance is usually just the opposite; the camera has to be hidden from view but still be able to get the shot you’re looking for.

Covert video surveillance on the other hand requires a bit more planning.  Speaking of which, before we go any further please take note of the following paragraph:

A word of caution.  Each state has different laws governing the use of cameras and especially audio recorders without the subject’s knowledge.  Make sure you confirm your state’s laws before attempting to record anyone covertly.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t record improper or criminal activity but planned, deliberate, covert recording may require special concessions on the part of the person recording.  If you choose to hide your cameras or if they are readily visible some states require signs be posted in plain sight such as, “This area is protected by video and audio recording devices.”

Department stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and many other businesses apply to prefer to use overt methods because of the actual benefits they realize from patrons just knowing the equipment is there.  Although obvious display of digital video recording equipment does act as an excellent deterrent it obviously isn’t 100 percent effective (i.e. people still commit acts of crime knowing full well that they are being recorded).

The premise behind covert video surveillance is of course, just the opposite.  Most covert video surveillance involves hiding the camera and equipment from plain sight or using hidden or disguised cameras.  Since modern cameras are so small, they can be built in to just about any device and they can be small.  For example take a look at Security Camera King’s Product# HC-SCREW-WC; this camera is in the shape of a Phillips head screw or Product# HC-PEN, where the camera and DVR are all within the pen and the pen actually writes too!

It’s not always necessary for the camera’s disguise to be tiny.  Large objects can disguise cameras also making it almost impossible to detect that recording is in use.  For example Security Camera King’s Product# HC-BMBOX-DVR is a fairly large boom box that works as a boom box but also contains a camera and SD card type DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

There are no specific instructions on how to conduct overt video surveillance, but there are a few general items to consider:

  • Remember that if you can’t see the camera from the area you are recording, then the camera can’t see you.  This is why disguised cameras as so useful.   Rather than hiding a fairly large and obvious box camera, you can use a disguised camera in plain sight.
  • Make sure you take environmental conditions into account.  For example, make sure there is plenty of light or make sure you use a camera that doesn’t require much light.
  • Even though the camera may be well disguised, if possible place in somewhere out of the way to increase the chance of not being discovered.

Security Camera King offers a tremendous amount of hidden or disguised cameras for covert video surveillance.  To see them click on “Security Cameras” on the left had side of the web page then check out all three categories:  1. Hidden Security Cameras; 2. Wireless Hidden Cameras; and, 3. Hidden Camera Systems.



About Security Camera King

Security Camera King is not just a Web wholesaler; we are a security manufacturing and distribution company that stands behind our product and we make sure to only sell CCTV Systems that we would use ourselves. We will never try to sell you something you wouldn't truly need. We also offer free technical assistance for the life of the product you have purchased from us.

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