You may have noticed the increasing presence of rapid deployment CCTV systems by the sides of motorways, or at music festivals. As a useful alternative to traditional CCTV systems, they are being used in variety of different locations, and have a number of advantages over standard video surveillance. In this piece, we will look at what exactly rapid deployment CCTV cameras are, where they are typically used, and why they have become so popular.


What are rapid deployment CCTV systems?


Rapid deployment systems are typically temporary or semi-permanent security cameras that are usually mounted onto mobile CCTV towers, vehicles and redeployable domes, or even atop existing structures like street lamps and walls. Some of these towers can extend as high as 9 metres, making rapid deployment systems ideal for watching over large sites. Just like ordinary CCTV systems, rapid deployment cameras provide video footage for surveillance and evidence purposes, but can do so in a greater number of situations.


Why are they so popular?


As well as their versatility, the systems are popular due to how quickly and easily they can be deployed, with some able to be set up in a matter of minutes. Standard forms of CCTV, on the other hand, can take up to a day and a half to install. This makes rapid deployment CCTV systems ideal for short term use, such as during live events, or on construction sites. As we have noted in our article on construction site security, building sites are particularly vulnerable to crime, especially theft, vandalism, arson, and break-ins. This makes CCTV and other security measures absolutely imperative in these types of locations.


Like standard CCTV cameras, many rapid deployment CCTV systems can be remotely monitored. Footage captured can be transmitted directly to a receiving centre when the built-in movement sensor is activated.


Any suspicious behaviour can be immediately noted and rapidly addressed. Remote monitoring teams can trigger sirens and flashing lights to ward off intruders, and will ring the police if they do not leave the premises. Some rapid deployment CCTV cameras also have passive infrared detectors, which sense movement and alert operators. These systems are therefore effective in reducing crime, as well as preventing anti-social behaviour, vandalism and fly-tipping.


Rapid deployment CCTV systems are also favoured because of their price; for instance, they are significantly cheaper than hiring manned guarding. They also can be installed almost anywhere, as many are battery-operated (like some wireless CCTV systems). It therefore does not matter if there is a power source nearby and, as some of the batteries used can last for years, there is no worry of them running out of power. Additionally, a rapid deployment CCTV tower is immediately noticeable to others, making it a highly effective visible deterrent to would-be criminals.


What are some of the typical features of rapid deployment CCTV cameras?


 Some typical features of rapid deployment CCTV systems include:

  • Network accessibility – This allows both a security company and others to remotely access footage. For example, if you needed to access a site but wanted to check it was safe to do so before leaving your vehicle, you could use your mobile phone to monitor the footage first.
  • Pan-tilt-zoom capabilities – Some PTZ CCTV cameras have a 360° pan, 90° tilt and high optical zoom, ensuring the camera has no blind spots. PTZ cameras can even be set to track particular areas at specific intervals, or used by the operators to manually track suspicious individuals or vehicles.
  • GPS tracking technology- This keeps abreast of the camera’s location to ensure that it remains in place.
  • PIR detectors – These sensors detect movement and automatically alert operators of any untoward visitors to a site.
  • Audio functionality – This enables operators to speak to and listen to individuals on site, which can be useful for warning off intruders.


Where are they typically deployed?


As well as live events and construction sites, some of the other places they are commonly used include:

  • Town centres
  • Housing associations
  • Road deployments (to manage major and minor roadworks)
  • Rail deployments (to monitor level crossings)
  • Anti Social Behaviour Zones
  • Large commercial or industrial sites
  • Farms


Rapid deployment CCTV systems have grown in usage in recent times. This has happened for a range of reasons, such as their multitude of uses, effectiveness at deterring and stopping crime, brief installation time and low cost in comparison to alternative security measures.