While the British government has launched a new video surveillance code of practice, the event will have limited impact on growth of the UK market for video surveillance equipment, according to a new report from IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), a leading global source of critical information and insight.
The United Kingdom is an important outlet for the vendors of video surveillance equipment, being the world’s fourth-largest regional market behind China, the United States and Japan, according to the IHS report entitled “The World Market for CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment”.
The new code of practice offers guidelines for best practices in public area surveillance systems in England and Wales. However, compliance will be voluntary and no enforcement or penalties will be imposed for breaking the code.
“Surveillance systems in public areas are estimated to account for only a small percentage of the U.K.’s cameras, with the vast majority installed on private property,” said Josh Woodhouse, surveillance market analyst for IHS. “Furthermore, the code of practice should entail little worry even for those equipment suppliers and installers working in public places. This is because they are already used to complying with far more stringent surveillance legislation in other countries.”
For example, some countries have stricter data protection rules, allowing a relatively short maximum length of time that video footage can be stored. Some countries also prescribe written warnings that must be displayed about the nature of video surveillance in that area.
A boom of installations in the late 1990s and at the beginning of the new millennium saw the number of surveillance cameras in the U.K. grow rapidly. Using its historical unit shipment data collected from suppliers of video surveillance equipment, modeling replacement rates and new installations, IHS estimates the U.K. had 4 million surveillance cameras installed in 2012. This equates to one camera for every 16 people.
Despite enduring a tough time in the current economic climate, IHS forecasts that the U.K. market for video surveillance equipment will grow between 2013 and 2017. Some of this growth will be for new installations, but much of it will come from new systems replacing of existing ones that are aging.
“The new systems will offer improved image quality through such features as high-definition compliance, wide dynamic range, and day/night functionality,” Woodhouse noted. “And in spite of the large number of systems already installed in the U.K., vendors should not ignore the opportunity this regional market continues to present.”