Myth Busters This Week: CCTV and the New Government Guidelines
Myth 1: There are no official rules about CCTV in the UK
The Truth: The UK Government has this month (June 2013) launched its new 'Surveillance Code of Practice.' Andrew Rennison, the UK's Surveillance Camera Commissioner, has been behind its creation and implementation. Full details and a downloadable copy of the guidelines can be found at www.gov.uk
Myth 2: Failure to comply with the Code of Practice could mean criminal or civil proceedings against me and/or my company
The Truth: These are guidelines and not laws, as such. There is a distinct difference between the two. The intention of the guidelines is that companies, local authorities and individuals using CCTV systems will comply as a moral choice, and to show their integrity and public-spirited focus. The guidelines are not intended to be punitive, but to help those who are using CCTV to draw boundaries and to use it in a way that is responsible and community-minded.
While failure to comply will not mean a custodial sentence or a fine, it could be used against you if you have not complied and find yourself discredited in civil proceedings. This could seriously affect your company's professional reputation, so it pays to know the guidelines and follow them.
Myth 3: If I have CCTV on my private property, it is up to me where I position it
The Truth: Under European law, everyone is encouraged to consider the privacy of other people living and working in the vicinity of the CCTV. If you have CCTV cameras on your private property, it is strongly suggested that you avoid angling them in such a way that they can view your neighbours' doors or windows.
Myth 4: Once I have had CCTV installed, I don't need to worry about it again in the future
The Truth: The Government Code of Practice states specifically that you must review your CCTV system periodically to make sure its use is still justified. If not, it should be decommissioned with immediate effect.
Myth 5: I do not have to tell my staff or clients that I have installed CCTV
The Truth: The Code of Practice states that there needs to be a reasonable degree of transparency about your implementation of CCTV. This does not mean that you need to signpost people to the exact location of individual cameras (as this could undermine the system's efficacy), but it is reasonable to inform people that there is CCTV in operation on the premises. This is usually in the form of a written notice, in clear view in reception/public areas.
If you have CCTV on your business premises, you should also have a complaints procedure in place so that you are prepared if anyone challenges you on the position or coverage of your CCTV system.
Myth 6: Once my company CCTV system is up and running, it should just take care of itself
The Truth: As well as periodic checks by a designated expert, the guidelines specify that you should designate a member of your existing staff (or else outsource the role to security company personnel) to be responsible and accountable for your security system.
Myth 7: As the owner of the CCTV system on my premises, I have a right to keep images it collects indefinitely
The Truth: The new Code of Practice states that you may not keep CCTV images for longer than they are reasonably required (for example, until the police have used them to prosecute burglars caught on your cameras). This complies with current UK Data Protection laws. You could find yourself in serious trouble if you infringe these laws.
Myth 8: Anyone in my company can access and store CCTV images
The Truth: Access to the CCTV images your system retains (for specific purposes only, such as an investigation following a break-in) must be restricted. You should not allow anyone except designated CCTV personnel to have access. As well as presenting privacy issues, the validity of the images could be compromised if untrained staff members have access. Images could be altered or lost, rendering them useless as evidence for prosecution.
More Recent Posts
Friday, 13 November 2015 Why RIDING Welcomes Private Investigator Regulation
Why RIDING welcome Home Secretary Theresa May's announcement that private investigators will be obliged to obtain a licence before operating in the UK, or face prosecutio!
Friday, 03 July 2015 Valentine Cheats Beware - Computer Forensics will Catch You Out
Having an affair? Think you'll never be caught out if you conduct it all online? At RIDING, our technology is making it easier by the day!
Friday, 23 January 2015 Vehicle Tracking: We expect the unexpected!
Vehicle tracking can bring outcomes that haven't been anticipated at the outset. This is why we warn our clients that the unexpected can happen....
Friday, 06 June 2014 People Finder: A Personal Journey
I finally came to the decision: I would try and find my father before it was too late. I feared that it would already be too late.
Friday, 11 October 2013 How Vehicle Tracking Saved Me and My Company
When Liz, MD of a successful sales business in Bristol, noticed certain employees claiming unusually high mileage expenses month upon month, she knew she had to call in the experts.
Friday, 27 September 2013 Pre-Employment screening: Why do it?
They shone out on their CV... Everything was spelt and punctuated to perfection... At the interview they seemed confident, open, eager to impress... You want to offer them the job NOW! STOP!!!!
Friday, 13 September 2013 FAQ About Lie Detection: The FAINT test
Q: So what exactly is FAINT? A: FAINT is an acronym for the Forensic Assessment Interview Technique.
Friday, 6 September 2013 Debt Tracing
Since 2007, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of clients asking us to pursue debtors. The collapse of a business has a knock-on effect on other businesses:
Friday, 30 August 2013 Debt Tracing: Dos and Don'ts
Want to trace your debtors and get your money back?
Friday, 23 August 2013 Computer forensics: Why choose us?
We rely more on technology than ever before. The way we work and play is becoming more digitalised. So at Riding Ltd, our computer forensics experts are working hard behind the scenes.
Friday, 16 August 2013 Commercial Surveillance Case Study
They always seem to think they're going to get away with it. Men, women, short, tall, old, young.
Friday, 9 August 2013 Technical Surveillance Counter Measures (TSCM) Riding Ltd's experts uncovered the truth
It was a strange kind of break-in. Even the police officers who came to investigate were stumped.
Friday, 2 August 2013 Riding Ltd's Mystery Shopper Service saved my business!
I started to notice we were getting very few repeat customers, and was beginning to worry about it.
Friday, 26 July 2013 Cheating Partner Caught by Riding Ltd's Computer Forensics Team
When Lisa, 32, started to notice the browsing history on the home computer had been deleted yet again, she was sure something was wrong.
Friday, 19 July 2013 Leave Employment Screening to the Experts
You want to check out applicants before you employ them, but it can be a minefield if you go it alone.
Friday, 12 July 2013 How Much Can Mystery Shoppers Save Your Company?
Mary Portas, retail guro employed by the governmentto revolutionise and save our retail and service industry, says: 'We're probably one of the worst countries in the world for customer service'.
Friday, 5 July 2013 RIDING Case Study: Commercial Defection
A text message comes through at 7am, Monday morning: 'Need info on corporate fraud. Suspected infiltration of my workforce. Please text a time and place to meet.'
Friday, 28 June 2013 Myth Busters:
Technical Surveillance Counter Measures
With corporate surveillance on the increase as companies become more competitive and bugging equipment becomes more readily available, it pays to wise up to the ins and outs of TSCM
Friday, 21 June 2013 Budget cuts to CCTV:
How can I ensure the safety of my premises?
With 20% of local authorities cutting the number and the capability of their CCTV provision, public surveillance is in crisis.
Friday, 7 June 2013 Computer forensics: Frequently Asked Questions
At RIDING, our computer forensics experts are working hard behind the scenes - updating our skills, expertise and technology to keep upwith the latest technology.
Enquiry FormEnquire in confidence online through our website...
Visit Your Local OfficeBook an appointment to visit your local RIDING office...
Live Chat (Online)Get information and advice one of RIDING's expert Case Managers ...
UK & Worldwide CoverageRIDING cover the entire UK and are experts in international assignments...