Experienced CCTV operators favor accuracy over response time, study reveals

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Research by experts from Nottingham Trent University, the University of Bristol and University of Leeds has revealed the CCTV operators would rather spend a few more seconds assessing the potential danger posed by a specific situation rather than hurry up and raise an alert.

As an article on the matter informs us, the study recorded eye movements and ratings of perceived suspiciousness to find a relationship between CCTV operators’ gaze and manual responses.

Results of this research study indicate that CCTV operators can anticipate potential dangerous situations very quickly and adopt a two-second delay before making a judgement, which enables them to make a more accurate decision on the situation and limit the number of false alarms.

Trained CCTV operators were found to show greater consistency in fixing location and a greater consistency in judging suspicious behaviour than the untrained observers and were also more reliable at spotting suspicious events in ambiguous footage.

However, the study found that trained operators did take slightly longer than the untrained observers when deciding whether to label a scene as suspicious.

The study said: “Trained operators may choose to undertake more processing before reaching a decision about manual responses. Additional time observing events is likely to result in increased visual information and decreased ambiguity about events being displayed, and it is possible that operators use a waiting strategy to minimise the number of false alarms.”

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