Tag Archives: Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

BSIA unveils date for inaugural Liverpool Crime Prevention Exhibition and Conference

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has announced the date for the first Liverpool Crime Prevention Exhibition and Conference. The event will be held at The Crowne Plaza Hotel on Wednesday 25 May.

This free-to-attend gathering will offer security companies an opportunity to showcase their products and allow delegates to view the latest security services as well as listen to engaging seminar presentations delivered by experts in the field.

Organised by the BSIA in partnership with Merseyside Police and the Liverpool BID Company, the event is a must-attend for the North West’s wider business community, major retailers, representatives of local authorities and entertainment venue managers.

The day features a range of experts speakers including Tony Porter, the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner, who’ll be speaking about developments involving the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

TonyPorter

Tony Porter: UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Other confirmed speakers include Dirk Wilson, chairman of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section (who will discuss day-to-day interaction with security staff) and Shaun Holland (crime safety consultant of the Liverpool BID Company) who’ll offer a presentation on tackling retail crime.

Alongside the conference, exhibitors from across the security industry will be on hand to demonstrate their latest products and services, giving delegates the opportunity to witness the very latest technological innovations, meet potential suppliers and find out more about which solutions would best suit their business.

Similar past events held in other UK cities attracted record number of over 300 delegates, with attendees including representatives of well-known city centre retailers, as well as other organisations including insurers, healthcare practitioners and local authorities.

JamesKellyBSIA2

BSIA CEO James Kelly

James Kelly, CEO of the BSIA, commented: “We’re very excited about holding this event in Liverpool. We believe it will provide a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to learn about the latest security products and services, while at the same time hearing about the great work that Merseyside Police does for the city. The BSIA’s security experts will be there to share Best Practice advice and help secure a positive future for local businesses.”

*To secure your delegate or exhibition place at what promises to be an informative and educational event, complete the online booking form by following these links:

Delegate Booking Form

Exhibitor Booking Form

**Alternatively, visit the events page on the BSIA website: http://www.bsia.co.uk/events.aspx

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UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner issues Annual Report 2013-2014

The UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s inaugural Annual Report outlines both the work the Commissioner, Tony Porter, has completed and his future plans.

The report explains how the Commissioner:

*continues to promote the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice to relevant and non-relevant authorities
*has launched an easy to use self-assessment tool for any organisation to demonstrate how they are meeting the principles contained in the Code
*has continued the work of his predecessor, Andrew Rennison, to simplify the CCTV standards framework in order to encourage the industry and operators of CCTV systems to meet minimum standards
*will be issuing guidance to users of domestic CCTV following his concerns about the growing number of complaints around the use of CCTV at people’s homes

Download a copy of the Annual Report 2013-2014

Tony Porter: UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Tony Porter: UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Foreword to the Annual Report

In the Foreword to the Annual Report, in which he addresses Home Secretary Theresa May, Tony Porter states:

“I am pleased to present to you the first Annual Report from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner. This report covers the period from the appointment of the first Surveillance Camera Commissioner (on 13 September 2012). I am grateful to my predecessor Andrew Rennison who undertook the functions of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner until his departure in February 2014. Much of his work is reflected in the body of the report and he has kindly attached an open letter which follows this Foreword.

“I intend to ensure that the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice (PoFA Code) is promoted to relevant authorities under S33 (5) of the Protection of Freedoms Act so that they fully understand and fulfil their duty to have regard to the PoFA Code. I also intend to explore other opportunities to promote the PoFA Code to non-relevant authorities, thereby seeking voluntary adoption across a broad range of sectors.

“According to a survey conducted by the British Security Industry Association on the number of cameras in the UK (published in July 2013), just 1 in 70 of CCTV systems are state owned. This reinforces that a major part of my role is to reach out to others who use overt surveillance in public space – not solely relevant authorities. I will detail plans later in the report, but I have already met with universities and spoken to some residential social landlords and the British Retail Consortium and will continue to reach out to others to whom the PoFA Code is applicable.

“The use of CCTV in domestic environments continues to cause concern among the public and is a high generator of complaints across various agencies. With a view to showing leadership in the sector, I have said publicly that I intend to explore ways of working with manufacturers, retailers, installers, consumers and the Information Commissioner’s Office to impart the principles of the PoFA Code.

“That said, there remains much to do to achieve that goal. I have worked with some relevant authorities, particularly public space CCTV managers in local authorities that show enormous enterprise in adopting the principles within the PoFA Code. However, it has been brought to our attention that the application of the PoFA Code is not consistent throughout all relevant authorities. We have been made aware of instances where some traffic enforcement officers, often using the same cameras as those used to deliver crime and disorder reduction strategies, do not deliver the same level of compliance to the PoFA Code. Accordingly, where dual use CCTV Operations Rooms are in use I intend to raise the obligations within the PoFA Code to encourage compliance.

“There remain a large number of surveillance camera system users who are not under a duty to have regard to the PoFA Code. By focusing on the larger scale operators via seminars, webinars and personal engagement, I intend to raise the profile of the PoFA Code. My aim is to secure voluntary adoption and achieve surveillance by consent across the broadest range of organisations.

“Application of the PoFA Code not only delivers benefits to society in terms of privacy, security of public safety, transparency and reassurance but also benefits business through better performance and cost reduction. This will be my mantra going forward.”

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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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UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner to run Standards Workshops in Manchester, Bristol and London

Tony Porter – the UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner – is determined to ensure that camera systems are used to protect communities rather than spy on them and has teamed up with the BSI to offer a series of workshops on the subject.

It has been an eventful couple of years for those using surveillance camera systems. In June 2013, the Government published the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice containing 12 Guiding Principles for those considering using surveillance camera systems to monitor public spaces.

There has been a greater take-up of CCTV systems, not just in public and town centre spaces but also in private premises to which members of the public have access (such as shopping malls and leisure centres). Meanwhile, media reports suggest that CCTV evidence is being used more widely in court.

In partnership with the British Standards Institution (BSI), UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter wants to encourage Best Practice, raise standards and encourage compliance with the principles laid down in the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

There’s an overriding desire to identify the best ways in which to help organisations – in both the public and private sectors – that must choose, specify, install and use CCTV in accordance with the Code and also find the most effective means of providing appropriate guidance and information to those who need it.

Tony Porter: UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Tony Porter: UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Tony Porter commented: “I want to raise standards across the industry from installers through to end users. It’s really important that people have easy access to a coherent and simple set of standards. These forthcoming workshops are designed to be interactive and will give people the opportunity to shape standards that directly affect what they do.”

Workshops in Manchester, Bristol and London

The workshops will be taking place in Manchester, Bristol and London. Each event will look at information (standards, training and guidance) currently available to CCTV/surveillance camera users, and explore the most effective way to structure and deliver this information.

These free workshops will aim to tease out exactly what information and guidance is required by users and how it should be presented and shared (with regard to private users, too) and also whether there are any gaps in existing standards and guidance.

Delegates will find out about the background to providing a national framework of relevant information on standards, training and guidance for specifiers and users and hear from Tony Porter and the CCTV Standards Group about Best Practice in surveillance.

The dates of the workshops are as follows…

4 November: London (*Fully booked)
10 November: Bristol (The Bristol Hotel, Bristol)
19 November: Manchester (Palace Hotel, Oxford Street, Manchester)

Timings: 10.00 am-3.00 pm

*To book your place visit: http://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/forms/events/2014/CCTV-Workshops/

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