CCTV REGULATIONS 2013

What do you need to do if you are considering installing (or have already installed) a CCTV system at your property? (A CCTV system includes the camera, storage, recording and all associated equipment)

 

SURVEILLANCE CAMERA COMMISSIONER

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 introduced the regulation of public space surveillance cameras in England and Wales. As a result, the surveillance camera code of practice (2013) was issued by the Secretary of State under section 30 of the act to ensure that the use of cameras in public places is regulated and only used in pursuit of a specified purpose. The code, which came into force on 12 August 2013, seeks to balance the need for cameras in public places with individuals’ right to privacy

The code applies to the use of surveillance camera systems that operate in public places in England and Wales, regardless of whether or not there is any live viewing or recording of images or information or associated data. The role of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) is to encourage compliance, review operations and provide advice about the code You can contact the SCC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

INFORMATION COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regulates and enforces the Data Protection Act (DPA) which covers images being recorded by CCTV cameras. Please note that in light of the Rynes judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union, if your CCTV covers any areas beyond the boundaries of your property it will no longer be regarded as domestic processing and be exempt from the DPA. If you have any questions or complaints about the use of domestic CCTV, please contact the ICO at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0303 123 1113

 

GENERAL GUIDANCE

An individual has the right to protect their property and this can be done by using a CCTV system where it is necessary, such as a security measure. However, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner recommends that users of CCTV systems should operate them in a responsible way to respect the privacy of others

A CCTV system to protect a domestic dwelling from acts of crime and anti-social behaviour is now commonplace. Although this seems a reasonable use, there have been a number of complaints to the police, ICO and the SCC from neighbours and other members of the public using pavements in the vicinity who believe that cameras are being used to spy on them and their families

The below will guide you through steps for ensuring that your CCTV security system reduces the risk of intruding on the privacy of others, including neighbours. SATS4U will complete this with you, prior to installation -

 

REASONS FOR GETTING A CCTV SYSTEM -

* why do I need CCTV?

* could I use another means to protect my home, such as improved lighting?

* what do I want my CCTV camera to view and record? (this could be the front door, a parking space, the back yard, a shed etc)

HOW YOUR CCTV SYSTEM AFFECTS OTHERS - it is important to consider the privacy of others while setting up your system

* where will I position the CCTV to ensure minimal intrusion in to my neighbour’s and other people’s privacy?

* will the range of the cameras overlook my neighbour’s property, pavements, and other areas? (if so, consider ways to reduce intrusion such as using privacy filters)

* how will my neighbours feel about my CCTV?

You also need to be aware that if your camera(s) captures images outside the confines of your of household, those images are subject to the DPA. Please see the Information Commissioner’s Office website for more information about domestic cameras covering areas other than your own property

 

LETTING PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOUR CCTV SYSTEM -

Ensure that you are transparent to those around you when installing your CCTV system. You can do this by -

* informing your neighbour(s) about your system

* putting up a notice informing people that recording is taking place

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A CCTV SYSTEM INSTALLED, YOU SHOULD CHECK THE FOLLOWING -

* your system is still required

* your cameras do not intrude on your neighbour’s property (ensure you are complying with the DPA)

* you regularly delete recordings and that they are not kept for longer than is necessary (for the protection of your property)

Please note that if your camera is pointing directly at a neighbour’s property, you should take steps to reposition it as soon as possible

 

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CCTV SYSTEM -

If you are thinking of installing a CCTV system on your property, you should be aware of your responsibilities -

* it is your responsibility to make sure that the CCTV system is installed correctly

* you are responsible for all the information that is recorded by your system

* you must make sure that the information is not used for any other purpose than protecting your property

* you understand how your system works, please make sure you read the manual and if necessary ask your installer to show you how to operate it

 

STORING THE RECORDED INFORMATION -

Ensure you follow the steps below when storing the information you record on your CCTV system -

* you should make sure that the date and time on your system are accurate

* check that you have enough recording space

* you should not store any information or images for longer than is necessary to protect your property, which means you should delete the information once it is no longer required

* you should make sure that the information recorded is used only for the purpose for which your system was installed (it is not appropriate to share any recordings on social media sites)

* you must keep the recordings secure and access to them to a minimum (you are responsible for what happens with the information)

(WE ARE ABLE TO QUOTE ADDITIONAL COSTS FOR MONITORING CCTV SYSTEMS)

 

AFTER INSTALLATION -

 

Once you’ve installed your CCTV system, you should consider the following -

* it is important you check your system regularly to make sure that it is working properly (this may include cleaning any debris affecting the camera and wiping it down after bad weather)

* you should also check the position of your camera from time to time, to make sure it still captures the right images and does not overlook someone else’s property or public space, including public footpaths

 

USING INFORMATION AS EVIDENCE -

In certain circumstances, the information you record may be used as evidence, by police or insurers. You should bear in mind that -

* if your system captures information of an incident, it could be used by the police to aid an investigation

* it is important that the information you record can be used as evidence if required

* if you are not sure, check with your installer or your local police authority

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