Major Incident Recovery Plan

What happens when the worst happens?

If you have a Video Surveillance System, you need to ask yourself this question.

From the owner of the smallest ‘off the shelf’ CCTV bundle, to the data controller of the largest network of connected video storage, your answers should all be easily to hand.

The Major Incident Recovery Plan is a vital document to help you, and any investigative agency, if and when the worst happens.

The bigger the system, the more detailed the document. The corner shop may just need a couple of pages. A Town Centre would need considerably more.

The purpose of the plan is to have all the necessary information to hand when it’s required. It ensures that your system and surveillance are maintained throughout, with no loss of coverage or recording. It provides immediate knowledge of the critical information that is key during the early stages of a large investigation.


Many now have these plans stored digitally, so they can be accessed straight away and relevant information passed immediately to those requiring it.

So, what should be in a plan?

Well, apart from all the usual information that should already be documented as per any local legislation for information and surveillance, there are a few details that will make any immediate request for assistance go much smoother.

  • Name / Tel Number of all persons who have full access rights to the DVR/NVR/VMS: Someone must always be contactable. Having only one person, and for them to be on holiday is not good. This is not just technical access (password). They must also have a key to the office or cabinet if physical access restriction is in place.
  • Installer / Service Contract Engineer information.
  • Location of User Manual and System documentation.
  • Camera amount and coverage map.
  • DVR/NVR/VMS Manufacturer, Make, Model etc
  • Recording format. Video / Audio.
  • Recording List: Camera Number, Resolution, Frame Rate, VMD in use etc..
  • Details of any software required – Player / Client etc
  • Evidential Export Methods: There may be methods to extract and retain video data via network interface, off-site ‘bit for bit’ authenticated cloud storage, USB or optical disk.
  • How to extract 10 Mins of 1 camera?
  • How to extract 10 Hrs of all cameras?
  • How to preserve ALL footage?
  • How long do the exports take? Knowing the speed of exports is hugely important to ensure that the parameters and priorities of a recovery are met.

Parameters and Priorities should be documented by the requester. These detail what is needed and what is the most important? That way, using the maps and timing information, it will be possible to make effective decisions of what information is recovered and in what order.

The plan should have an annual review to ensure that all information is still valid.


You may think that your cameras would never catch an incident of such importance and that your DVR would never hold vital evidence in a crime of international interest. Think again.

By Spreadys Posted in EEPIP

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