On 14 March the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter, launched a national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales, to help keep people safe in public places and respect their right to privacy.
The strategy aims to provide direction and leadership in the surveillance camera community, to enable system operators to understand good and best practice and their legal obligations – such as those contained in the Protection of Freedoms Act, Data Protection Act and Private Security Industry Act.
In a statement, the commissioner’s office said: “It is the commissioner’s strategic vision to ensure the public are assured that any use of surveillance camera systems in a public place helps to protect and keep them safe, while respecting the individual’s right to privacy. That assurance is based upon deployment which is proportionate to a legitimate purpose, and transparency which demonstrates compliance with best and good practice and relevant legal obligations.
“The strategy aligns closely to the Home Office responsibilities to keep the UK safe from the threat of terrorism and to reduce and prevent crime and ensure people feel safe in their homes and communities.”
Tony Porter commented: “After a year of hard work I’m delighted to be able to launch this strategy. It’s a strategy that is far reaching, touching on many areas of surveillance camera use – police and local authorities, installers and manufacturers, training providers and regulators – and of course how the use of surveillance cameras impacts members of the public.
“The responses to the consultation on the draft show that this strategy is extremely well supported, as does the number of organisations that have written to me to show their support. I look forward to delivering on this for the next three years, ensuring that where surveillance cameras are used they keep people safe while protecting their right to privacy.”