Tag Archives: Body Worn Video

Home Office consults on using body-worn video for police interviews

New Home Office regulations will allow police to use body-worn video to record interviews with suspects under plans now being consulted on. Police can already use evidence captured by wearable cameras, but the changes will mean that, for the first time, they can be used for suspect interviews away from the police station setting.

It follows joint work between the Home Office and the police to help maximise time spent on the front line by police officers and reduce unnecessary trips to and from police stations.

Metropolitan Police Officers, London, UK

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd said: “Having met officers across England and Wales, I’ve seen how technology is bringing 21st Century solutions to age-old policing problems. I want our police officers to have access to the best possible equipment and to be able to use it to bring greater efficiency to front line policing. We will keep looking for ways in which to save time and work more effectively, and we’ll do everything we can to support forces as they adapt for the future.”

By the end of this year, 60,000 body-worn video cameras will have been deployed by police forces across England and Wales.

As part of the new regulations, the Home Office is also strengthening the protections in place for interviewees and will require all interviews with suspects to be recorded when a working audio device is available.

The new plans set out in full suspects’ rights and entitlements and also include a definition of vulnerability such that it’s perfectly clear when interviews must be conducted with independent support for the suspect from an appropriate adult and, if one is requested, a solicitor.

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AMG Systems to discuss integrated technologies at Global MSC’s Security 2017 event

Network transmission solutions specialist AMG Systems will discuss the latest developments in environmentally robust fibre, analogue, IP/Ethernet, wireless and hybrid communication systems when the company exhibits at the Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition 2017 in Bristol.

The two-day event is hosted by consultancy Global MSC Security, with this year’s theme being that of ‘Integrating Technologies’. The conference and exhibition is designed to bring together experts from across the security industry, sharing their knowledge with delegates from local authorities, hospitals, universities and both private and blue chip companies. This year’s event looks into the ways that security is changing, integrating with other disciplines and adapting at a rapid pace to meet the demands of what end users now require from their security solutions.

Speakers and topics include:

*Daffydd Llywelyn (Dyfed Pewees Police and Crime Commissioner): Public Space Surveillance initiative

*Professor William Webster (director, Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy): Body-Worn Video Research

*Tony Porter (Surveillance Camera Commissioner): National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales

*Detective Inspector Edward Heath (Avon and Somerset Police): Cyber Crime

*Bernadette Bashford-Payne (estate Control Centre manager, Canary Wharf): ‘Inside a Large Control Room’

*Jim Burgess (associate director, Perform Green): ‘Integrating CCTV in Bristol’s Smart City’

*Mick Neville (ex-Metropolitan Police Service: SeeQuestor Review

Discussion of key security challenges

At the Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition, AMG Systems is exhibiting on Stand 25. The company’s business development director Sara Fisher said that the organisation is looking forward to meeting delegates and discussing the key security challenges that they face in their day-to-day operations.

SaraBullockAMGSystems

Sara Fisher of AMG Systems

“Our specialist transmission knowledge can provide enormous benefits for integrated projects, saving on infrastructure expenditure, time for install or upgrade and reducing complexity,” said Fisher. “I’m keen to talk to any delegates who’d like to learn more about the way that legacy systems can be transitioned relatively simply to IP and Ethernet, with all the advantages that brings, and to those who’d like to discuss any other aspect of security and data network provision.”

AMG Systems manufactures intelligent, industrial grade, robust edge-of-network transmission solutions which have been used extensively in CCTV and security systems, as well as in sectors as diverse as the oil and gas, Critical National Infrastructure, defence and transport industries.

AMG Systems is the only UK-based IP and Ethernet transmission product manufacturer and solution provider. The company’s degree of in-house control mean that its products are less vulnerable to cyber security attacks than those from other companies, which rely on third party hardware and software.

The Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition 2017 takes place on Monday 13 and November 14 at the Bristol Hotel on Prince Street in Bristol. For more information and to book a delegate place visit www.globalmsc.net/seminars-2/

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NICE Systems launches digital policing solution to help law enforcement agencies close cases on faster timescales

NICE Investigate automates and expedites the entire digital investigation process, in turn leading to more effective evidence processing and facilitating successful prosecutions.

Police departments everywhere are investing in digital policing initiatives to better safeguard the public. Yet the exponential growth in digital data energised by an increasing number of sources, such as body-worn cameras and private and public CCTV footage, now presents the challenge of how to effectively process all of this ‘siloed’ information.

NICE Investigate, a new digital policing solution from NICE Systems, breaks down information silos and replaces lengthy, manual processes with automated workflows to expedite the entire digital investigation process. This goes well beyond the capabilities of the digital evidence management solutions in use today. NICE Investigate streamlines the collection, organisation and sharing of potential evidence such that investigators can make sense of disparate data.

“Investigators face some tough challenges,” noted Ed Davis, a former Boston Police Commissioner. “Collecting and securely sharing potential evidence is surprisingly manual and time-consuming, while analysing the disparate pieces to recreate the ‘Who, What, Where, When and Why’ of an incident is more complicated than ever. A software solution that addresses these issues and leads to higher case clearance rates would be invaluable to any police department.”

Identifying, collecting and copying digital evidence

“Today’s investigators inevitably spend too much time identifying, collecting and copying digital evidence from various sources, including video from citizens, private and public sector CCTV video, audio recordings, photos and more,” stated Chris Wooten, executive vice-president at NICE Systems. They often lack the tools needed to organise and make sense of all the different pieces of information.”

Wooten continued: “At the same time, budgets are flat and workloads are increasing. Inefficient processes threaten to delay investigations, incident resolution and prosecution. NICE has now leveraged its experience of working with thousands of police departments and its expertise in information management for emergency communications centres to develop a solution that addresses these issues.”

NICE Investigate improves investigator efficiency and effectiveness through four core capabilities:

*Compatibility with multiple evidence sources

NICE Investigate integrates data from most existing applications and sources, including CAD and RMS systems, body camera video, physical evidence like photos and documents, public and private CCTV video, in-car video, interview recordings, citizen tips, audio recordings, gunshot detection systems, automated license plate readers, social media and more. This enables police departments to collapse information silos, choose Best-in-Class systems from leading providers and protect their investment in existing systems

*Automated workflow

The solution expedites criminal case building by organising evidence into a digital case folder, using a powerful correlation engine to suggest potential evidence and enabling investigators to electronically initiate requests for evidence and evidence processing

*Content analytics and visualisation

Content analytics examines digital content from connected sources. Visual tools display the information, making important patterns and relationships easier to understand. By uncovering more relevant information and visualising it in useful ways, crimes that would otherwise go unsolved can be successfully prosecuted

*Secure collaboration and sharing

Investigators can easily and securely share evidence electronically, enabling multiple investigators within an agency or across agencies to collaborate on a case while maintaining the chain of custody and integrity of the evidence. Investigators no longer have to waste valuable time copying and transporting digital evidence for prosecutors.

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ICO Blog: ‘An updated CCTV Code of Practice fit for 2014 and beyond’

Jonathan Bamford – head of strategic liaison at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – discusses the ICO’s updated CCTV Code of Practice and outlines why a revised Code is required to meet the demands of modern society.

It’s nearly five months since I last wrote about the importance of having a CCTV Code fit for the demands of modern society. At that time the draft version of the Code was out for consultation. Now, all of your comments have been considered and our updated CCTV guidance is available on the ICO’s website.

The updated CCTV Code is one that’s truly fit for the times in which we live. The days of CCTV being limited to a video camera on a pole are long gone. Our new Code reflects the latest advances in surveillance technologies and their implementation, while also explaining the key data protection issues that those operating the equipment need to understand.

So what’s changed? Well, in some respects it’s a case of ‘keep calm and carry on’. The fundamental principles that need to be followed remain the same. People must be informed about the information being collected about them with relevant use of privacy notices and signage where required. The information also needs to be kept secure so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, and effective retention and disposal schedules must be in place to make sure information is only kept for as long as necessary before it’s securely destroyed.

The ICO has updated its CCTV Code of Practice

The ICO has updated its CCTV Code of Practice

However, the Code must reflect the times. The pace of technological change since our CCTV guidance was last updated in 2008 – let alone when it was first published some 14 years ago – has been considerable. These advances bring with them new opportunities and challenges for making sure the technology continues to be used in compliance with the Data Protection Act.

One common theme from the enforcement action we’ve taken in relation to the use of surveillance cameras is that there needs to be a thorough privacy impact assessment. This needs to be conducted before deploying these increasingly powerful and potentially intrusive technologies. The Code will help operators to stay on the right side of the law and save them from wasting money and resources on non-compliant systems.

New and emerging surveillance technologies

The new and emerging technologies section of the updated Code covers the key surveillance technologies that we believe will become increasingly popular in the years ahead.

A number of organisations are starting to use body-worn video. These small, inconspicuous devices can record both sound and images. This can mean that they are capable of being much more intrusive than traditional town centre CCTV. On that basis, their use needs to be well justified with safeguards put in place such as to ensure they are not used when they’re not needed. There must be strong security in case the devices fall into the wrong hands. The Code details specific guidance to help deal with the challenges of using these new devices.

The guidance also considers technologies that are not currently commonplace, but which may prove increasingly popular in future. Just last month, the Civil Aviation Authority released figures showing that over 300 companies have now been given permission to operate UAS (Unmanned Aerial Surveillance) in the UK. This figure has risen by a third within the last 12 months alone. Many of these devices can now be bought for a few hundred pounds and can record imagery. There’s important guidance on how they can be used by organisations to record personal information.

Recreational users are also encouraged to operate UAS responsibly. For example, recording should be restricted and only carried out in controlled areas where people are informed that monitoring may be taking place. It’s important that organisations understand these obligations at an early stage if they’re to remain on the right side of the law.

Jonathan Bamford: head of strategic liaison at the ICO

Jonathan Bamford: head of strategic liaison at the ICO

The updated CCTV Code also addresses long-standing issues where the consultation responses have shown that further clarification of the law is required. One such issue is the need for operators to comply with subject access requests. These requests are an important right enshrined in the Data Protection Act and allow individuals to request a record of any personal information that an organisation holds about them. This includes CCTV footage capturing their image.

However, these requests have been causing a great deal of confusion, particularly for smaller operators unaware of this area of the law. The new CCTV guide includes an expanded section explaining how these requests should be handled, when the information should be given out and details of the statutory deadline of 40 days by which time operators have to provide a full response.

Complementing the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

We’ve designed our guidance to complement the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice published under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The Surveillance Camera Code’s ‘Guiding Principles’ apply to police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities in England and Wales as described in the Act, and contain advice about recommended operational and technical standards that others may find useful.

The technology may change but the principles of the Data Protection Act remain the same. CCTV and other surveillance systems need to be proportionate, justifiable and secure in order to be compliant.

The updated ICO Code will help to make sure that this situation continues for the years ahead.

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ICO warns CCTV operators that use of surveillance cameras must be “necessary and proportionate”

The Information Commissioner’s Office has warned CCTV operators that surveillance cameras must only be used as a necessary and proportionate response to a real and pressing problem.

The warning comes on the same day that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published its updated CCTV Code of Practice. The update includes a look at the data protection requirements placed on the operators of new and emerging surveillance technologies, including drones and body-worn video cameras.

“The UK is one of the leading users of CCTV and other surveillance technologies in the world,” said Jonathan Bamford, the ICO’s head of strategic liaison. “The technology on the market today is able to pick out even more people to be recorded in ever greater detail. In some cases, that detail can then be compared with other databases, for instance when Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is used. This realises new opportunities for tackling problems such as crime, but also poses potential threats to privacy if cameras are just being used to record innocent members of the public without good reason.”

The ICO has moved to warn CCTV operators that the use of surveillance cameras must be "necessary and proportionate"

The ICO has moved to warn CCTV operators that the use of surveillance cameras must be “necessary and proportionate”

Bamford added: “Surveillance cameras should not be deployed as a quick fix, but rather as a proportionate response to a real and pressing problem. Installing surveillance cameras or technology like ANPR and body-worn video is often seen as the first option, but before deploying such systems we need to understand the problem and whether that’s an effective and proportionate solution. Failure to conduct proper privacy impact assessments in advance has been a common theme in our enforcement cases.”

Updated Code of Practice: the detail

The updated Code of Practice explains how CCTV and other forms of camera surveillance can be used to process people’s information. The guidance details the issues that operators should consider before installing such surveillance technology, the measures that companies should have in place to make sure an excessive amount of personal information isn’t being collected and the steps organisations should take in order to make sure captured information is kept secure and destroyed once it’s no longer required.

The ICO’s CCTV Code of Practice complements the provisions in the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice issued last year by the UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner, which applies to police forces, local authorities and Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales (as described in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). The ICO’s guidance covers a wider area, as the requirements of the Data Protection Act apply to all sectors processing personal information across the whole of the UK (including the private sector). The Data Protection Act 1998 does not apply to individuals operating CCTV for their own domestic use.

Recent enforcement action taken by the ICO to stop the excessive use of CCTV includes an enforcement notice served on Southampton City Council after the latter required the video and audio recording of the city’s taxi passengers 24 hours a day.

The ICO also served an enforcement notice on Hertfordshire Constabulary after the force began using ANPR cameras to record every car entering and leaving the small rural town of Royston in Hertfordshire.

In both cases, the “excessive use” of surveillance cameras was reduced following the ICO’s action.

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Zepcam now integrated with Milestone’s VMS

The state-of-the-art 4G body worn video system (BWVS) designated Zepcam that’s widely used by police forces across Europe has been integrated with Milestone’s Video Management System.

The move allows end users to monitor both fixed cameras and images generated by the BWVS through one system on a simultaneous basis.

Zepcam has also announced that it will be entering the transportation sector next year with vehicle-mounted video systems.

Zepcam's 4G body worn video system has been integrated with Milestone's VMS

Zepcam’s 4G body worn video system has been integrated with Milestone’s VMS

The Zepcam solution is distributed in the UK by Interconnective Security Products. The company’s managing director Bobby Logue explained: “At the beginning of 2011, we implemented a strategy to move Interconnective from being a ‘box shifter’ to a solutions provider that adds value to security service providers. One of our tactics was to move our product sourcing from China to Europe, engaging with manufacturers that had dedicated R&D facilities in place as well as an innovative culture. Zepcam is a fine example of the success of our strategy. We expect to reveal further success stories during 2014 from our other supply partners.”

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