Many Perth businesses ask whether they should overwrite CCTV system footage, and if so, after how long. Our answer is it depends.

If you have to – so let’s say you need the storage space – then completely review the video before you overwrite it. Just because you didn’t experience any incidence, it doesn’t mean your cameras didn’t catch anyone conducting an illegal activity on your premises!

Also, you never know when the WA Police or some other authority would come to you for footage they can use in an investigation. Having said that, many Perth business owners are not sure whether they can legally use CCTV footage for investigations.

According to the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA):

“A CCTV system becomes a powerful investigative tool for police when the recordings clearly depict events with sufficient detail to identify the person(s) or vehicles(s) involved.”

So yes, you can use the footage, which means you should keep it for a while in case anyone needs it.

But how long do you want before you overwrite CCTV system footage?

How Long to Keep CCTV System Footage?

ANZPAA recommends that business owners store all video recordings for at least 31 days. If your current system cannot store such a large amount of data, then you need to speak with your CCTV specialist about increasing the storage capacity or changing to a new system.

Don’t attempt to fiddle with the settings in the hope of reducing data size, otherwise you’ll degrade the footage quality! And rather than overwrite after 31 days, why not export the video footage directly to a backup system? You can export to a USB storage device, removable hard drive or a DVD.

Other Reasons to Not Overwrite CCTV Footage right away

Perth businesses say they install CCTVs on their premises so they can:

  • protect employees against criminals against violent customers
  • observe and rectify any safety issues in the workplace so they can remove any hazards
  • prevent employees from stealing when money or stocks don’t add up
  • watch and then train employees when customers complain about the customer service
  • remotely check on the business after hours
  • deter would-be criminals after hours by scaring them off

Perhaps you, too, could benefit from these great reasons if you don’t overwrite CCTV system footage too quickly.

Get Quality Home Security Camera Footage

ANZPAA also recommends using camera systems that can output quality recordings. If the quality is too low, the video footage would be so fuzzy, blurry, shaky or grainy that it would be impossible for the community to help you identify the person when the footage is shared on the news or social media.

While ANZPAA doesn’t mention some maximum criteria in their guidelines, if you’re purchasing through a reputable security company, you’re guaranteed to receive a quality CCTV system and cameras (e.g. Hikvision Perth security cameras) that produce high-definition videos the WA Police and workplace safety investigators can use.

Signs That You Need a New CCTV System

ANZPAA also produced a CCTV Resolution Test Chart (page 11 of their CCTV guidelines) to help you tell how much you can trust your current CCTV system. Once you’ve viewed the video, please feel free to get in touch with our CCTV specialist so we can confirm whether you do need a new system.

And remember, be cautious if you choose to overwrite CCTV system footage. Perhaps only do it once you’ve had a chance to review it.


You’ve put a lot of money, blood, sweat and tears into your business, so you may as well protect it with a quality CCTV surveillance system. Select Security can help you find the best cameras and recording devices for your property. Call us on 1300 135 881 to speak with our CCTV security specialist.