We discuss common colour models for background subtraction and problems related to their utilisation. A novel approach to represent chrominance information more suitable for robust background modelling and shadow suppression is proposed. Our method relies on the ability to represent colours in terms of a 3D-polar coordinate system having saturation independent of the brightness function; specifically, we build upon an Improved Hue, Luminance, and Saturation space (IHLS). The additional peculiarity of the approach is that we deal with the problem of unstable hue values at low saturation by modelling the hue-saturation relationship using saturation-weighted hue statistics. The effectiveness of the proposed method is shown in an experimental comparison with approaches based on Normalised RGB,
, and HSV.