CCTV is the abbreviation for Closed Circuit Television. It is a visual surveillance technology system designed to monitor the desired surrounding environment and its activities. In recent years, the role of CCTV has grown to unprecedented levels.

Originally used to deter crime and 'anti-social behaviour' such as minor offenses like littering, urinating in public and etc, CCTV now plays a more important role, assisting the police and security organizations in their investigations.

Britain is currently the leading nation in implementing CCTV, most British towns and cities are moving to CCTV surveillance in public areas, housing estates, car parks and public facilities. Other countries are quickly following. North America, Australia and some European countries are installing the cameras in urban environments which a few years ago would most likely have rejected the technology

CCTV is fast becoming an integral plan for crime control policies and social behaviour control theory in an effort to maintain ethnical public behaviour and public order. It has become an icon for security and its presence is guaranteed to generate a sense of security and welcomed by many.

This form of visual security can be sub-divided into analogue and IP (Internet Protocol) solutions.