Security Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 344–356 | Cite as

Simulated multiplexed CCTV: The effects of screen layout and task complexity on user performance and strategies

  • Alex W Stedmon
  • Sarah Harris
  • John R Wilson
Original Article


Successful closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance relies on the skill and competence of operators performing complex visual tasks. Techniques can be employed during the design of control rooms that facilitate performance by increasing the probability of operators noticing an incident, maximising viewing comfort and reducing workload. This article describes an exploratory study in which two experiments were developed to simulate a multiplexed CCTV security monitoring task of a specific area. The experiments investigated the effectiveness of techniques for facilitating operator performance: mapping the images presented on CCTV according to the layout and logical viewing process of multiple images. The findings suggested that manipulating the layout of images improved task efficiency and provided novel insights into strategies and behaviours that participants adopted. Further consideration was given to suspicious activities within the context of a university campus and raised interesting questions regarding the generalisation of suspicious acts across different locations.


closed circuit television surveillance suspicious behaviour control room design operator performance human factors 



Work funded through the EPSRC Rail Research UK, with the cooperation of Network Rail. The authors are indebted to the anonymous reviewers of this article who offered valuable and constructive feedback.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex W Stedmon
    • 1
  • Sarah Harris
    • 1
  • John R Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Factors Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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