Recommendation for a good cheap cctv camera please.

  ened 17:31 12 May 2014

Both our cars are parked outside the house on the street. There has been a spate of 'keying' incidents. My wife's car has suffered very badly. It is old and I want to get her a new one but feel I would like to monitor the street at the same time.

I am looking for a good camera which will sit in a window at the top of the house. My computer and router are in the cellar and I don't really want to leave my computer on all the time (especially as many of the incidents appear to be at night).

I don't know much about this subject so would appreciate any advice both on which camera to purchase and how to use it effectively: ie record to it's own hard drive or what?

I have been advised that it is illegal to do this but the police said that, even if it couldn't be used in court, at least they would find out who the culprit is. This is one of the few areas of town that is not covered by their own system but apparently it is not deemed serious enough to even put a temporary camera up.

All suggestions will be gratefully received and investigated.

  wee eddie 09:47 13 May 2014

The use of CCTV, viewing an area outside your own property is a Legal Minefield.

For example: Should you discover who was 'Keying' your car, that person would have a case against you for the invasion of his privacy that was far greater than anything the keying of a car would produce. The fact that this is illogical is neither here nor there.

I drive a Taxi (Hackney Cab) and carry a camera with me as SAC will not allow me to install CCTV. My Lawyer has told me that I have to verbally warn anyone, and have proof that I have done so, that I am about to photograph them and that a Printed Notice is not, at the present, regarded as sufficient warning.

  spuds 11:02 13 May 2014

wee eddie

Not sure how the law works in Scotland, but here in England more and more Hackney cabs and private hire vehicles are being fitted out with cameras, in fact in my area the police and fleet owner's are all for it.

  spuds 11:18 13 May 2014


This subject was raised a few months ago, and quite a few recommendations and suggestions were given, so it might pay to try and search the PCA archives.

I have cctv systems, and depending on how much you are prepared to pay, will fit the issue, but be warned the higher the quality, the dearer the item becomes.

The video recorder's come in various styles, from a simple card to hard drive versions, time recording would depend on use, and whether automatic or manual. Cameras though, are an entirely different matter, because all sorts of considerations need to be taken into account. Day/Night vision, length and width of area covered etc, and of cause final image expectations.

What I would suggest,is that you have a look in eBay at some of the deals there. You might be able to get a 4 camera plus DVR starting from about £85.00. I use one similar pack, with an added 1TB hard-drive, which covers most of my needs in the area covered, even better with an outside light that automatically switches on, when people are in range. The cameras own led's can make a difference.

With regards to cctv being illegal, it is not, providing you place notices informing that cctv is in use. Some kits come with warning signs, but to buy extra is no problem, again look at eBay for these. but be warned, that sometimes, signs attract offender's perhaps more than deters!.

  wee eddie 13:56 13 May 2014

Different Councils, different rules.

SAC, says no, but allows us to photograph Customers as they enter the Cab.

Southampton Council's Lawyers required that all CCTV's be removed from Cabs.

Even with Hard Drive Encryption and a Registered Data Controller there are problems of personal privacy.

  ened 17:39 13 May 2014

Thanks to both of you for the advice. The first time it happened we were attended by one of 'Blunketts Bobbies'. She informed me in no uncertain terms that it is illegal to record the area outside your property. This struck me as being odd because the first thing police tend to do if there is a crime, or a girl goes missing, is contact all shops etc to see if they have any images of the situation.

Since then there have been further occurrences and the police have 'strongly advised' me to purchase and install cctv, even going as far as recommending where to shop for such.

spuds I appreciate that quality is most probably linked to cost. I need a camera which will have a wide angle and be good enough to recognise faces. It will be situated on the third storey but the cars are parked right out front. I have looked on Amazon but the reviews are varied hence I was hoping for a recommendation. I don't want to make a production, just catch the little blighters.

From the legal point of view I would erase the disc every morning once I had ascertained there was no damage.

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