Everything you need to know about van CCTV

Protecting your van has never been more important. With van thefts on the rise, you are now wanting to protect what is yours. Your tools and equipment are expensive and a simple CCTV system installed in your van can not only protect your equipment but can protect you personally when driving.

The police can only protect your property so much and this is why CCTV systems are on the rise. Businesses are installing CCTV on their entire fleet of vehicles as this theft could close a business overnight. 


Is van/fleet CCTV a necessity?

With the news currently focused on van theft, protecting your livelihood has never been so big.


Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is a TV system that will record audio and visuals on a privately maintained closed circuit. Closed circuits cannot be publicly accessed and the data these cameras are recording and transmitting will be stored on a hard drive / SD card inside of the digital video recorder (DVR). Recordings that are being captured are used mostly for the purposes of security and are in place to prevent theft, increase protection and deter vandalism.


If you are reading this then it’s possible you are wanting CCTV for inside your van or similar vehicle and if this is the case then you will need to consider quite a few factors.


  • Small businesses are suffering from this 'epidemic' of van tool thefts and this news article states it's due to a new skeleton key.
  • Van owners are being forced to look at additional security when leaving their vehicles unguarded or face the reality of not having work the following day.
  • "So far 26,000 tradesmen and women have signed the petition claiming they have been let down by police, courts and insurance companies after having the tools of their trade stolen from vans." (source)
  • Figures as high as one van every 23 minutes are broken into in the UK and that is a 30% increase in the previous year. 



Van CCTV Schematic

Predominantly SURE Transport will fit a 4 camera CCTV kit the same as the schematic below, however, this can vary dependant on what the customer wishes to view in their vehicle.

SURE Transport supply CCTV vehicle kits for bus And van fleets that are delivered to the specific requirements of the vehicle manufacturer.

We can supply and fit CCTV to any vehicle including vans, buses, coaches, CCTV police vans and even emergency service vehicles.

van cctv camera positions

We have taken the stress out of buying CCTV, in our 4 channel CCTV kit all components are compatible, compact and easy to set up. With our plug and play cables, you will be able to easily set up these four cameras up. This kit is perfect for a car, van, taxi and emergency vehicle.

  • 4 Channel Digital Video Recorder (MDVR4S)
  • 4x 720p ST815 plug and play CCTV Cameras 
  • 1x 1TB Seagate Barracuda Hard-Drive 
  • 2x 10M RCM aviation connector extension cables
  • 2x 5M RCM aviation connector extension cables
  • Capable of linking up to 4 cameras from this DVR
  • DVR compact 188mm (L) x 187mm (W) x 67mm (D)
  • Built-in GPS
  • Remote Access via tablet, mobile or desktop
  • 720p Camera Output

Our recent install for EVM Automotive



Research and studies

What do studies show?

One study showed that individuals a few years ago would apply pressure on the van door with their knees before peeling the door down from the top. It has now taken an even scarier turn as these thieves are using electronic key fobs to break into vehicles and show no signs of damage (these fobs are being sold for £30 on stores such as Amazon and eBay).

"The total value of theft claims processed by Simply Business has increased from just over £1.9 million in 2015 to almost £2.8 million in 2016, reflecting the trade community’s growing concerns over the safety of their equipment.

And this figure doesn’t account for the time it takes to replace tools, and time spent away from the usual working week, having to liaise with the police, insurers, and clients.

Thieves are also stealing more valuable equipment, with the average tool theft claim value reaching £1,626 - a 40 percent rise from the average in 2015." (source)


Factors to consider when buying vehicle CCTV

The first thing you need to consider is the placement and position of your camera, what are you looking to capture and where do you want the wires to run (if the DVR is hardwired into the cameras).

We recommend wired cameras as wireless cameras can come with a multitude of problems including loss of signal, weather intermittence, and lower image quality. If you are fitting a van that is particularly long then you may also encounter problems with front-facing cameras that are trying to transmit data to DVRs that are located at the rear of the vehicle.

The image quality is also affected by most wireless cameras offering lower resolution output and then on top of this, the visuals will be massively affected by weather conditions (which isn’t great if you live in the United Kingdom).



Equipment we recommend

When fitting CCTV to a van (of equal or small size to a Mercedes Sprinter) SURE Transport will often supply an MDVR4 which is a 4 channel DVR that allows 4 cameras to directly hardwired into the back of the device.

The MDVR (DVR) will come with a built-in GPS system meaning you don’t need any extra equipment for tracking the vehicles and all of the live view/tracking can be viewed on a mobile device including both mobile phones and tablet.

The cameras supplied on most vans or indeed taxis we fit-out are either the Stortech D056-C650 micro dome or D056-AHD camera which can come with either a 2.5 or 3.6mm lens or the Elite System Solutions SV6 camera. 


Digital Video Recorder (DVR) Range

The SURE MDVR range allows you to manage up to 9 cameras and comes with optional features such as remote access to the cameras via mobile devices, tracking and full playback of all camera channels.

With both a hard drive and SD card version, we can provide a DVR to fit any space and serve multiple purposes.


Vehicle CCTV Camera Range

Our vandal resistant colour fixed dome cameras are enclosed in a hardened polycarbonate dome and come with IP65 weather-resistant casing. With these cameras being hard-wired into the DVR they provide high quality, high-resolution pictures in any weather conditions.

These analogue cameras are extremely robust and are the perfect surveillance solution for a range of vehicles including vans, buses and coaches.


Vehicle CCTV Camera Kits

SURE Transport has now introduced camera kits with the choice of 2 or 4 cameras for your van CCTV. These kits include the DVR, Cameras, Cables and Hard-Drive/SD Card. This solution takes all the stress out of buying CCTV and saves you hundreds of pounds from buying the items individually. 



How else can you ensure your van is more secure?

  • Firstly let's cover the obvious, when you leave any vehicle unattended you must firstly lock it. This will prevent casual thieves from breaking in and taking anything that you wouldn't want to lose.
  • Secondly, take your tools out of your van or just cover them over. Either way, they shouldn't be visible when walking past. If your van looks like a shop window then you can't expect your tools to go unnoticed. This may sound obvious but a lot of people forget or simply don't think about this as being a big issue. Purchase a blanket and hide the equipment that you don't want to be seen.
  • Thirdly, moving into the more techy side, a nice to have is CCTV. Kit out all of your vans with CCTV!

The cost of kitting your van out with CCTV far outweighs the cost of replacing countless tools and hours of work when they are taken. It will also oddly save you a little money when ensuring your tools and van as it will be seen as less of a risk.

  • Lastly, parking location seems an odd one but where you park your van can greatly impact the risk of it being broken into. Backstreets and car parks are the worst for having the contents of your van taken, the best places are well-lit areas on public roads.

Top 5 tool theft areas:

  1. London
  2. Sheffield
  3. Birmingham
  4. Leicester
  5. Chelmsford



Interior Cameras

You must make drivers aware

When operating a fleet of vehicles that have CCTV installed, you need to make your drivers completely aware that they are being recorded. If the cab has CCTV then it is especially important to have the correct signage and consent from the drivers and passengers.

Judges in a courtroom won’t be able to use footage of a driver that hasn’t given consent as good enough evidence. The video won’t carry enough weight and courts only accept completely covert cameras when the footage is used to identify someone’s misconduct when the manager believes there to be a suspicious activity (theft). 


The privacy of your employees and those included in the CCTV is something that must be taken very seriously. This obviously applies to the footage, whether a face can be seen and If you have the correct consent.

If you are going to record the van 24 hours a day you will need to ensure that when an employee is resting in the van, he/she is not being recorded. You can do this by either allowing the individual to alter the camera placement (providing they move it back when they return from their rest) or switch off the cameras when the engines aren’t on.

The cameras are there to protect your vehicle but they can also be used to provide evidence that your drivers aren’t at fault. If your driver is in a crash and it is evident that they weren’t at fault, this will work as evidence for your insurance. If it shows the driver was preoccupied on their phone or whatever the case may be, then you have rights as an employer to dismiss the employee for gross misconduct. 

Gain consent

This will be a running theme throughout these four points but gaining consent is vital. We have had situations in our business and other companies where the driver has taken the action upon themselves to unplug/move the camera, microphone or audio. When no consent is given then they are more in their rights to do this however if this is written into their contracts or they have signed a legally binding document then you have the rights to discipline such actions.

Another crucial factor is that if you abuse the trust between yourself and your fleet, this can cause tons of problems when it comes to the future of your company. The safest way to maintain mutual respect and trust is to just give notice and see how your van operators take the news. If they have nothing to hide then they won’t mind…

Create a camera footage policy

Creating a camera footage policy is the best way to document the agreement between employee and employer. If the footage is stored, used and recorded then you will need to clarify what this footage will / could be used for and you need to outline what will happen to the employee if they are to tamper with the footage or the recording of the CCTV video itself. When managing a fleet of vehicles, you want to outline everything you think could raise a concern or could be an issue. 



Exterior Cameras

Installing external cameras

When installing CCTV you have the great option of interior cameras, however, you can install exterior cameras too. This will provide a full view of every corner on the van, helping you to identify the thief.

"Whilst they undoubtedly more involved to install, the only sure way of getting complete camera coverage all around your car is to set up a security camera looking over it from the outside. For monitoring one location, you can wire up a simple one camera outdoor CCTV system, using a high-grade Gamut Security camera. As the camera does not have to record through glass this lets you use a fully-fledged night vision camera, with powerful IR LEDs in order to get a clear image of intruders in total darkness. The camera prominently installed on your home also has the additional benefit of acting as a preventative measure, deterring criminals from committing any crime in the first place. Wired camera installations can seem more daunting, but they’re really no more complex than setting up a HiFi, and most users can easily get them set up without requiring an electrician. Don’t forget, you can always get in touch with our team of tech support advisers if you have any questions!" (source)


internal CCTV dashboard

interior van cctv

monitoring eye direction for alarm

driver monitoring van cctv

What do the police suggest when securing your fleet of vans?

"Leicestershire Police is warning local van owners to be vigilant after a recent increase in tool theft from vans.

Van owners are being urged to follow these simple steps to prevent them from becoming a victim:

  • if you are staying in a hotel, where possible remove your tools from your van and keep them in your room overnight
  • don't assume your vehicle has locked properly using a key fob lock. Criminals can use devices that block the signal. Always check your doors are locked before leaving your vehicle unattended
  • if you have a garage, use it. If your van is parked on a driveway, consider installing security lighting. If neither of these applies, try to park in well-lit areas
  • consider alarming the vehicle or fitting an internal security cage when tools and equipment are not being used, ensure they are kept securely in a lockable store rather than in your vehicle
  • consider whether the storage area can be alarmed. If the equipment is portable, take it with you
  • don’t leave tools in vehicles unattended or overnight, and place a sign in the window stating they have been removed
  • lock/immobilise vehicles and equipment when not in use
  • visibly mark your machinery and tools using an engraving or chemical etching kit or use a forensic marking kit. Place a sticker in your window to say you have done so - the signage alone can be a very effective deterrent
  • keep a list of tools, together with serial numbers and any identifying marks. You can do this at This will help to trace them back to you if they are recovered
  • consider the use of security patrols around building sites
  • keep the access to building sites secure – fences and gates help prevent unauthorised entry
  • if you have any suspicious visitors on your site please call the Police non-emergency number 101."
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