The following written ministerial statement has been laid before the House of Commons by Norman Baker MP and in the House of Lords by Lord Taylor of Holbeach, confirming the appointment of Antony Porter as Surveillance Camera Commissioner for the UK.
The Minister of State for Crime Prevention, Norman Baker, comments: “My honourable friend the Minister of State for Criminal Information, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, has today made the following written ministerial statement….”
“I am today announcing arrangements for the appointment of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner under Section 34 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012,” said Lord Taylor.
“Following an open competition overseen by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, this ministerial appointment will be filled by Mr Antony Porter. Mr Porter’s three-year term of appointment will commence on Monday 10 March 2014.
“The Surveillance Camera Commissioner appointment has been filled by Mr Andrew Rennison who has now completed his term of office. I should like to record the Government’s appreciation of Mr Rennison’s contribution in laying the foundations for the regulation of surveillance camera systems.
“Mr Rennison also holds the non-statutory appointment of Forensic Science Regulator. Arrangements for the recruitment of a new Forensic Science Regulator are in hand, and Mr Rennison will continue to fulfil that role on a part-time basis until a new appointment is made.”
Key elements of the role
The Surveillance Camera Commissioner is responsible for:
• encouraging compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice
• providing advice on the effective, appropriate, proportionate and transparent use of surveillance camera systems
• providing advice on operational and technical standards
• reviewing how the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice is working and advising the Government where any changes may be necessary
A retired senior police leader whose roles have included commanding the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit from 2006 to 2012, Antony Porter received the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours List of 2008.
Speaking about his new role, Antony Porter said: “I’m delighted to accept this appointment and must first acknowledge the excellent foundations laid for me by my predecessor, Andrew Rennison.
“This role presents complex and challenging issues that impact on matters of social policy, Human Rights and crime prevention. My commitment to everyone is to ensure an open and transparent approach to the role.
“I will seek to raise levels of confidence across communities and interest groups as to the use of surveillance cameras and the standards against which those systems operate. Technology moves forward at a fast pace, which will present new and dynamic issues in the future. I look forward to building close and working relationships with all interested parties to ensure those challenges are managed and seen to be managed in the public interest.”