Security Guards Vs CCTV

Written by Lauren Davison

18th April 2023

When it comes to securing your business, security guards and CCTV cameras are two of the most popular options. However, it can be difficult to decide which option to go for.  When it comes to security guards vs CCTV, which is better? In this article, we will compare security guards and CCTV, and explore the pros and cons of both types of security measures.

What Are Security Guards?

Security guards help protect people in a wide range of environments, from retail stores to construction sites. They are employed to help protect a site from potential hazards such as criminal activity.

A security guard’s role can involve a variety of responsibilities. These can involve carrying out regular patrols of a site, authorising entrances to particular areas of a building, and reporting any suspicious activity.

What is CCTV?

CCTV, or Closed Circuit Television, is a system of connected cameras and surveillance equipment.

CCTV cameras come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. These can include:

  • Bullet CCTV cameras
  • Dome CCTV cameras.
  • Pan Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) cameras.

And many others. There are a wide variety of cameras for you to choose from. When it comes to choosing the right CCTV cameras for your business, research is key.

When we compare security guards and CCTV, both can be used in a variety of ways. Security cameras can be used fo monitoring the perimeter of a site to providing evidence that a crime has taken place. It’s a popular security measure for businesses across the UK, and this is because of some of the advantages that we will explore in this blog. Read on to find out more…

Advantages Of Security Guards Over CCTV

Security guards are a hugely popular security choice for protecting businesses, and the number of security guards continues to rise. In fact, there were approximately 165,600 security guards in the UK in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 151,100 in the previous quarter, according to Statista.

So, in light of the security guards vs CCTV debate, let’s examine some of the advantages of using security guards over CCTV…

advantages of security guards over cctv

Quick Responses

Security guards can take swift action to any incidents that might occur. Whether they’re reporting suspicious activity or dealing with a customer complaint, having a security guard on site means you’ll have immediate responses to any incidents that might occur.

A security guard’s ability to respond to situations rapidly is a key advantage when comparing security guards and CCTV. It also means they can prevent issues from escalating and limit any potential damage or threats.

Security Guards Deter Criminal Activity

Security guards provide a strong security presence to a wide variety of businesses, including universities and factories . When a criminal sees that a site has a strong and visible security presence, it can deter them from targeting that site. For example, it can intimidate criminals and make them fearful of getting caught. Security personnel’s presence can arguably be more intimidating to criminals when considering the debate between security guards vs CCTV.

Their physica presence can alsobe a advantage of security guards over CCTV as they have the ability to detain the criminal until law enforcers such as the police arrive. This strong sense of security can also make criminals reconsider their actions, and realise they’re likely to get caught.

Ultimately, security guards can be effective deterrents against crime at a premises, and help reduce crime levels.

security guards vs cctv


One of the benefits of security guards over CCTV, is the flexible service that guards can offer a business. When employing security guard services, you can tailor the service to meet the specific security requirements you may have.

For example, you can easily increase the number of security guards when needed. Or, you can specify that you’ll need a static security guard.

Disadvantages Of Security Guards

Although security guards can be a powerful security measure, there are also factors to consider when it comes to potential disadvantages of security guards over CCTV.

disadvantages of security guards over CCTV

High Costs of Security Guards

Hiring security guards, particularly if you require 24/7 surveillance be expensive. CCTV cameras have proven to be a valuable and popular alternative to security guards in cities across the UK.

Depending on the shifts you require and the working hours, you might need to hire multiple security guards, which can have a significant impact on costs. This can be one of the most signifcant considerations when you’re exploring security guards vs CCTV.

Security Guards And Human Nature

The role of a security guard and the demanding hours that can sometimes be required, come with the risk of human nature. Human nature can pose a disadvantage when looking at security guards and CCTV, as fatigue, distraction, and personal biases may compromise a guard’s vigilance and decision-making abilities.

In contrast, CCTV systems benefit from their consistent and objective monitoring capabilities. They operate tirelessly, without succumbing to boredom or fatigue, and provide a record of events without bias. 

When debating security guards vs CCTV then, it could be argued that CCTV camera systems provide a reliable and impartial means of surveillance, particularly in situations where human factors may prove unreliable.

security guards can help deter crime

Security Guards Can’t Be Everywhere At Once

When it comes to looking at security guards and CCTV, another point to consider is that guards can only be in one place at a time. This can affect the level of security in multiple ways.

For instance, a security guard could potentially miss a security incident elsewhere on site. Or if multiple issues are going on around your site, an individual guard is only able to respond to one incident at a time. Plus, their limited ability could leave gaps in surveillance coverage. This is a significant benefit of CCTV over security guards as it could potentially allow security breaches to occur undetected in areas outside the guard’s immediate vicinity.

However, one option to help with this is CCTV monitoring, where guards can observe multiple areas of a site through various CCTV monitors.

Advantages of CCTV Over Security Guards

CCTV has become a top source of security for many homes and businesses within the UK. But when we look at the security guards vs CCTV debate, what benefits do these systems offer? Check out our list of CCTV advantages below.

CCTV Cameras Are Versatile

When we look at security guards vs CCTV, the cameras have the ability to monitor those areas that a security guard can’t reach. Many CCTV cameras are small and portable, whereas individual security guards are limited in the number of areas they can cover.

Security guards may have to patrol a whole site which could leave some areas open for criminals. Having CCTV cameras in place means another layer of security for all kinds of environments such as schools.

This means not only does CCTV offer enhanced security, but it reduces the opportunity criminals have to sneak in and out of sites unnoticed.

cctv cameras are versatile

CCTV Requires Less Manpower

The technological capabilities of CCTV are one advantage of CCTV over security guards. Having security cameras in place reduces the need to have individual guards patrolling each area of a site. This can help save both resources and money.

You can also install a remote CCTV monitoring system, which reduces the need to hire several security guards. With security camera monitoring, a single guard can monitor multiple areas at the same time.

cctv requires less manpower than security guards

CCTV Cameras Can Provide 24/7 Surveillance

One of the advantages of CCTV over security guards is that they can supply 24-hour surveillance.

While security guards typically work in shift patterns and swap and change personnel, CCTV cameras can provide a consistent, reliable stream of monitoring.

When we compare security guards and CCTV, cameras also come with the benefit of not being affected by human nature. This kind of consistency can provide peace of mind that there’s ongoing protection in place at all times. To discover more benefits of CCTV, you can also read our article here.

cctv can provide 24 hour surveillance

Disadvantages Of CCTV

Alongside these positive aspects of using CCTV security systems, it’s also important to consider the disadvantages of using CCTV over security guards.

CCTV Cameras Can Be Damaged

When we examine security guards vs CCTV, the security cameras come with several signifcant risks. Cameras can be damaged, stolen, deactivated and potentially even hacked.

Whether they’re smashed by a criminal trying to damage your premises or the camera suffers a technical malfunction, CCTV cameras may need to be fixed or replaced, which means extra costs.

disadvantages of cctv over security guards

CCTV Can Reduce Crime But Not Stop It

CCTV is a powerful tool against crime, particularly as it provides concrete evidence. However, when we pit security guards and CCTV against each other, there are also limits to what CCTV cameras can do.

These security cameras can’t prevent all crime, but they can act as another layer of security. Alongside other security measures such as security alarms, CCTV cameras can add further protection to a site.

CCTV Can Have Blind Spots

While CCTV cameras are a highly effective security solution, a lot of cameras come with a limited range of visibility.

When we explore security guards and CCTV, we should also consider the limited scope of many security cameras compared to agile guards. Although there are CCTV cameras available with 360-degree rotation, many cameras will inevitably have blind spots, meaning some areas may be left more vulnerable than others.

Due to the limited range, you might need to install multiple CCTV cameras to ensure all necessary areas are protected. Although this increases the level of security within a site, it can also lead to increased costs.

so, security guards vs cctv which is better

So, Security Guards Vs CCTV: Which Is Better?

Although this article has explored security guards and CCTV cameras, and asked the question of which is a better security solution, there is another option available to you.

Using a combination of the two can supply you with greater security, and help you get the best out of both security guards and CCTV.

If you’re considering whether security guards or CCTV are the best security solution, there are a couple of key things to consider which might help you reach a decision:

  • Available budget.
  • The specific needs of your site.

When we reflect on the security guards vs CCTV debate, it’s important that we recognise that both security systems come with their advantages and uses. It all depends on your individual requirements.

Want to know more about the latest security news? Visit our blog! You can find articles such as our guide to CCTV security and whether dummy security cameras are effective.

Let’s Stay In Touch

Want to stay updated with our latest content? Enter your email address to subscribe to our free newsletter.

Related Articles

Top 5 Cities With The Most CCTV In The UK

Top 5 Cities With The Most CCTV In The UK

In this article, we’re taking a peek into the cities with the most CCTV in the UK. Each area tells a tale of cameras, lenses, and monitoring systems silently watching over streets, alleys, and public spaces.

Do Schools Have CCTV?

Do Schools Have CCTV?

Do Schools Have CCTV? Throughout this article, we will be discussing the laws surrounding CCTV at schools as well as their advantages and disadvantages!

How To Install CCTV Camera: Top Tips

How To Install CCTV Camera: Top Tips

Our guide on how to install CCTV camera will cover who can install CCTV, how much it costs, and other top tips for CCTV installation, Read on to find out more…

Can CCTV Be Hacked?

Can CCTV Be Hacked?

The simple answer to the question of whether CCTV can be hacked, is yes they can. As the reliance on CCTV for security and monitoring continues to grow, so does the potential vulnerability to cyber threats such as hacking.

Guide To CCTV Security

Guide To CCTV Security

Our guide to CCTV security dives into the world of CCTV security, unraveling its importance, the different types of CCTV cameras and how it empowers us to protect what matters most.

What Are The Benefits Of CCTV?

What Are The Benefits Of CCTV?

There are over 4 million in the United Kingdom alone, which is unsurprising given how it’s known for having more cameras per head of population than any other country. But what are the advantages of CCTV?