CCTV Code of Practice - CCTV Data Protection Act - documents relating to the operation and implementation of CCTV video surveillance systems

This page contains details of the UK codes of practice and UK Data Protection Act, together with several documents that assist in the initial study, design, operation and management of an effective CCTV security installation.

Whilst these documents have been specifically prepared for use within the UK, provided that they are generally interpreted whilst allowing for local variations according to the requirements of any countries outside of the UK, they do provide very good advice.

Click on the headings below, or the links to the right, to download the full publications.

CCTV Code of Practice CCTV Code of Practice

Closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance is an increasing feature of our daily lives. There is an ongoing debate over how effective CCTV is in reducing and preventing crime, but one thing is certain, its deployment is commonplace in a variety of areas to which members of the public have free access.

We might be caught on camera while walking down the high street, visiting a shop or bank or travelling through a railway station or airport. The House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology expressed their view that if public confidence in CCTV systems was to be maintained there needed to be some tighter control over their deployment and use

This Code of Practice is the first Commissionerís Code to be issued under the Data Protection Act 1998.

This Code of Practice has the dual purpose of assisting operators of CCTV systems to understand their legal obligations while also reassuring the public about the safeguards that should be in place. It sets out the measures which must be adopted to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and goes on to set out guidance for the following of good data protection practice.

The Code makes clear the standards which must be followed to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and then indicates those which are not a strict legal requirement but do represent the following of good practice.

CCTV Small User Checklist

This checklist is designed to help operators of small CCTV systems comply with the legal requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and it details the main issues that need to be addressed when operating a CCTV system. When used as part of a regular review process it should help to ensure that the CCTV system remains compliant with the requirements of the Act.

It is important that the Data Protection Act is complied with because failure to do so may result in action being taken under this Act. Failure to comply with Data Protection requirements will also affect the policeís ability to use the CCTV images to investigate a crime and may hamper the prosecution of offenders.

If you use a CCTV system in connection with your business you should work through the checklist and address all the points listed. This will help to ensure that your CCTV system remains within the law and that images can be used by the police to investigate crime.

When does the Data Protection Act apply

There has been a recent court case which affects whether particular CCTV activities are covered by the DPA. This Guidance Note makes clearer which CCTV activities are covered by the DPA. It is particularly aimed at helping users of basic CCTV systems such as small businesses.

UK Police Requirements for Digital CCTV Systems

This document offers guidance to potential users of digital CCTV systems, where the pictures are intended to be used by the police or are likely to be used in an investigation.

For CCTV recordings to be effective in detecting and investigating crime they must be fit for purpose and easily accessible by police investigators.

CCTV Operational Requirements Manual

The use of CCTV has become increasingly widespread throughout the UK over recent years. Originally deployed for protecting large establishments and monitoring city centres, CCTV systems are now installed routinely within shops, schools, and even individual vehicles on the public transport network.

Additionally, the market has undergone a rapid transition from analogue to digital recording technology, which has had a significant impact on the design and functionality of CCTV systems.

These developments mean that an update is now required to the original CCTV Operational Requirements Manual, published by HOSDB (then PSDB) in 1994.

The focus of the document remains the same: to provide clear guidance to non-technical users wishing to buy a CCTV system that is fit for purpose.

However, the new manual considers the additional issues of recorded image quality and data archiving that are essential parts of any digital CCTV system, but are often neglected when writing the specification.

Design checklists and assessment forms are also included within this document.

Recruitment and Selection of CCTV Operators

This document provides guidance for the Police Service and local authorities on the selection and recruitment of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) operators.

Such individuals will in general be engaged in monitoring CCTV images in town centre CCTV schemes.

The material in this document may also be of value to those who are recruiting in other areaswhere the post holder monitors CCTV pictures e.g., in the Prison Service.

CCTV Control Room Ergonomics

This document provides guidance for the Police Service and local authorities on the design of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) control rooms.

The Checklist in Appendix A provides a CCTV system owner with a practical tool that he or she can use to assess an existing CCTV control room, or a design specification for a new control room.

Retrieval of Video Evidence and Production of Working Copies from Digital CCTV Systems

CCTV is increasingly commonplace in our society and has proved to be an invaluable tool in the investigation of crime ranging from petty theft to terrorism.

However, the proliferation of different CCTV systems, together with the transition from analogue to digital recording technology has required a change in practices for the recovery and processing of video evidence.

This is particularly evident in the increased level of technical knowledge required for retrieval of video evidence from the diverse range of digital CCTV systems in use.

It is therefore vital that the police have clear procedures and guidance to follow when retrieving video and processing images from digital CCTV systems, and maintain the integrity of the evidence.



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CCTV Code of Practice
CCTV Small user Checklist
When does the Data Protection Act apply
UK Police Operational Requirements for CCTV
CCTV Operational Requirements Manual
Recruitment & Selection of CCTV Operators
Control Room Ergonomics
Retrieval of Video Evidence from Digital CCTV Systems

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