Closed Circuit Television

Home Department written question – answered on 7th October 2008.

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Photo of Jacqui Lait Jacqui Lait Shadow Minister, Communities and Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on the use of CCTV to monitor members of the public.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Crime & Security)

No guidance has been issued to local authorities on the use of closed circuit television (CCTV).

Use of CCTV by local authorities in public spaces must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, which provides individuals with rights in respect of their information and sets rules about its collection and use.

The Information Commissioner's Office is the independent authority which administers the Act, and has recently produced a revised edition of its CCTV code of practice. This provides guidance on how to deploy CCTV while respecting the rights of individuals. Because of the wider privacy concerns raised by CCTV, the code advises organisations to consider the impact on individual privacy beforehand, what benefits can be gained, and whether better solutions exist.

The Home Office published the National CCTV Strategy last year, and a National CCTV Strategy Programme Board has been established. The programme board is reviewing the recommendations of the strategy and Ministers will have the opportunity to approve the work of the board later this year.

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