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CCTV & The Law

From the Experts - Dave Partridge

Neighbours From Hell in Britain has consulted experts within the CCTV field and this is the information they have for you.

Dave Partridge, of The Security Installer, informs and guides as follows:

  • The introduction of the Data Protection Act means that most CCTV installations designed to provide either crime prevention, crime detection or to enhance the safety of the public will now have to comply with the requirements of the Act.

  • The Act applies to commercial and public CCTV systems only, so if your system is for your own private residence you do not need to comply with it.

  • But If your CCTV system includes a video recorder it is now a legal requirement that you operate that CCTV system in accordance with The Data Protection Act.

Requirements of the Act

  • You display warning signs to show that CCTV cameras are recording

  • You log all your recordings as well as who changes (video) tapes and when

  • You label each tape

  • You keep all your recorded tapes and video cassette recorders secure

  • You register

  • You notify the Information Commissioner at www.dataprotection.gov.uk or telephone 01625 545700, and pay a fee of £35.

What happens if I do not take the steps to comply?

The Information Commissioner and her team will be conducting inspections and checking for compliance as from October 24th 2001. You are legally obliged to comply and the penalty for non-compliance is a £5,000 fine initially, and an additional unlimited fine for a repeat offence.

CCTV footage stored on a standard PC is inadmissible as evidence in a court of law, it cannot be used as evidence. But there's no law against anyone doing this.