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Spy Camera Scenario: Using CCTV to record problem neighbours

Scenario

Over the course of 2 years now, I have been the victim of increasingly aggressive abuse from my neighbours. Beginning with a minor altercation after one of their children trampled my Rose bed, it has since escalated to shouting threats whilst on my property, and possibly vandalising my shed. It’s turned mine and my wife’s life into a nightmare, and we simply don’t feel safe in our own home anymore. The police seem unable to respond without evidence, so our only option is to try and catch them on camera. Do you have any tips for using CCTV to record problem neighbours? What are the legal implications for recording them?

A typical British residential street
image via

Solution – Using CCTV to Record Problem Neighbours

This can be an incredibly stressful problem to have to resolve, but luckily CCTV is one of the most effective ways to capture evidence of it in order to reach a resolution. There is a wide range of options for ways to set up cameras for this purpose, but generally we find most customers get the best results from a covert setup. Larger visible security cameras can certainly have a deterrent effect, but often installing them on the side of your property can escalate a conflict, and the cameras can even end up as targets themselves.

One popular example is our low light pinhole camera and SD card recorder kit. Instead of using night vision, the camera is designed with a high sensitivity chip, letting it record after dark without infra-red. This means you can easily set the camera up in a window overlooking your garden, recording through the glass- something not possible with IR cameras. The wired camera uses a high grade Sony sensor, providing sharper image quality than wireless cameras without the risk of interference. It is also tiny- measuring only a couple centimetres- ensuring it will stay hidden when placed in a window. The addition of one of our in-line CCTV microphones outside the window will help ensure abuse and threats can be recorded with audio as well as video.

If the incidents are happening slightly further away from your window, the most reliable way to record them will likely be one of our compact hunting cameras. The devices feature a built in SD card recorder and PIR sensors to trigger motion detection, all powered by standard AA batteries. As they are a complete standalone unit, with no need to be connected to any external devices, this makes them perfect for use in larger garden properties, or at the end of a long driveway. We even stock a model that can send out MMS alerts to your phone when triggered, letting you use it to monitor your property whilst you are away! The camouflage green finish makes it easy to conceal in a hedge, or strapped to the side of a nearby tree. In regards to legality, CCTV is mainly governed by the Data protection act, which only covers commercial usage- not domestic. What this means for you is that, provided that the cameras are only covering your own property, you are well within your rights to set up and record CCTV. This doesn’t apply to other properties however, so it is not permissible to set up a camera pointing into your neighbour’s yard, for example.

Ultimately, for anyone facing this type of situation we recommend checking with your local police or council for specific requirements a regulations surrounding CCTV systems.

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