Archive for the ‘Home Office’ Category

CCTV installation guidelines

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Installing CCTV can be difficult as legal guidelines for the installer are surprisingly vague.

Across the country, there are different expectations for CCTV installation. UK councils and constabularies often set their own CCTV installation guidelines, making it hard to know how to tackle each project.

CCTV installation regulations

Estimates suggest there are over four million CCTV cameras in the UK, with this number expected to rise as technology becomes cheaper and public security concerns increase. Indeed, recent reports suggest the UK’s CCTV market will be worth an unprecedented $1.92m by 2012.

While the Home Office and the Information Commissioner produce the overarching guidelines and codes, there appears to be different expectations for the installation and operation of cameras throughout the nation’s councils and constabularies.

Your local council sets guidelines for all CCTV in the area. These are usually general guidelines to ensure that your system is not in breach of a series of legal Acts, including the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act.

The guidelines are also set to ensure that CCTV systems operate for the right reasons (e.g. crime prevention) and that systems are in keeping with the wider aims of the council.

There are exceptions. Many cities, shopping centres and even car parks have their own Codes of Practice, but these are usually issued to assure the public of honest intentions and proper practice, rather than as guidelines.

Your local constabulary sets guidelines for CCTV in licensed premises. As they are in charge of licensing across the region, they may well refuse an establishment the right to operate if their CCTV does not meet the standards.

Each police force throughout the country is at liberty to set its own requirements, although some simply refer people to the Information Commissioners website.

When installing CCTV, there are national and legal requirements, and the following links can offer you advice:

If you intend to use your CCTV evidence in a prosecution at any time, your system MUST adhere to the Information Commissioners generic Code of Practice

If you intend to use CCTV in a licensed premises, you can find independent legal advice (to be used alongside your local constabulary’s guidelines).

The Home Office also offer advice guidelines for digital CCTV systems that could be used as evidence. Click here

The Information Commissioner is already conducting an extensive review of the existing CCTV Code of Practice to make sure it has kept up-to-date with technological and other developments. This review will also take into account the changes to the interpretation of the Data Protection Act. The revised code should be published later in the year.

For the UK – If you require anymore information, we recommend that you contact the Information Commissioner’s Data Protection Helpline on +44 (0) 1625 545745.

This list is by no means exhaustive but offers the installer and user general advice. More detailed advice and guidelines can be found through Info4securitys list of council and police guidelines.