Work exposure and vigilance decrements in closed circuit television surveillance
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Computer and Security Science
The aim of this study was to examine operator effectiveness in terms of detection rates and potential vigilance decrements in a proactive or real time CCTV surveillance task. The study was conducted in two stages. During stage one, 42 operators who were employed full-time in CCTV surveillance observed a 90-minvideo and were required to detect four types of target behaviours. No vigilance decrement was found for this sample as a whole. Stage two involved collecting additional data from 31 novices and dividing the existing operators into two sub-samples, consisting of generalists and specialists depending on the type of surveillance they performed at work (total N=73). Fifty percent of target behaviours were detected and false alarms were high. Vigilance decrements were found for novices and generalists, but specialists maintained their performance for the first hour and then increased it. Results are discussed in terms of surveillance background, work exposure, transfer of learning, selection, training and motivation and the impact of these on vigilance and CCTV performance.