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The Use of Surveillance Cameras by Derbyshire Constabulary

Derbyshire Constabulary use closed circuit television (CCTV) and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to support the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan and the Chief Constable’s Delivery Plan 2012-2017.

From June 2015, the force will be introducing another form of camera technology in body worn video (BWV) to uniformed officers and PCSOs.

Specifically, the purposes for which surveillance cameras are in use are:

  • The prevention and detection of crime
  • The management of incidents and events 
  • The gathering of intelligence relating to criminal activity
  • The improvement of public safety and community confidence

It is understood that the use of surveillance cameras has to be carried out in a responsible manner which adheres to relevant legislation and guidance and this statement is intended to explain this.

The use of surveillance cameras by Derbyshire Constabulary can be divided into three main categories

  • CCTV (including shared local authority cameras, in vehicle cameras and      evidence-gathering footage)
  • ANPR
  • BWV

Each of these categories are assessed and considered separately with regards to the Information Management requirements specified within the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

Each of these categories has been assessed and a Privacy Impact Assessment carried out in order to identify any privacy related issues. A Surveillance Camera Code of Practice Self-Assessment has also been carried out to ensure compliance with the Code. For further details please see ‘Further Reading’.

Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

Derbyshire Constabulary is a ‘relevant authority’ for the purpose of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and has a duty to have regard to this.

The code was issued in August 2013 and provides guidance on the appropriate and effective use of surveillance camera systems in England and Wales.

The code is based on 12 guiding principles:

1. Use of a surveillance camera system must always be for a specified purpose which is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and necessary to meet an identified pressing need.

2. The use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy, with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified.

3. There must be as much transparency in the use of a surveillance camera system as possible, including a published contact point for access to information and complaints.

4. There must be clear responsibility and accountability for all surveillance camera system activities including images and information collected, held and used.

5. Clear rules, policies and procedures must be in place before a surveillance camera system is used, and these must be communicated to all who need to comply with them.

6. No more images and information should be stored than that which is strictly required for the stated purpose of a surveillance camera system, and such images and information should be deleted once their purposes have been discharged.

7. Access to retained images and information should be restricted and there must be clearly defined rules on who can gain access and for what purpose such access is granted; the disclosure of images and information should only take place when it is necessary for such a purpose or for law enforcement purposes.

8. Surveillance camera system operators should consider any approved operational, technical and competency standards relevant to a system and its purpose, and work to meet and maintain those standards.   9. Surveillance camera system images and information should be subject to appropriate security measures to safeguard against unauthorised access and use.

10. There should be effective review and audit mechanisms to ensure legal requirements, policies and standards are complied with in practice. Regular reports should be published.

11. When the use of a surveillance camera system is in pursuit of a legitimate aim, and there is a pressing need for its use, it should then be used in the most effective way to support public safety and law enforcement with the aim of processing images and information of evidential value.

12. Any information used to support a surveillance camera system which compares against a reference database for matching purposes should be accurate and kept up to date.

To ensure compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, Derbyshire Constabulary will undertake a review of each system in use on an annual basis.

Retention of surveillance data

It is important that data is not held any longer than is necessary and Derbyshire Constabulary follows the Guidance on the Management of Police Information (MoPI) and Authorised Professional Practice (APP) in relation to the retention and disposal of data. CCTV, ANPR and BWV all have different retention periods.

Continuity and security of data

When handling evidence, continuity must be maintained at all times. The transportation of any master CCTV, ANPR and BWV data is not permissible other than where continuity can be proved.

When an officer takes possession of a data recording, a statement of continuity is required from the system operator. For the purpose of continuity, a log of every movement of the data should be kept recording the time the data was moved and whom by. All entries are to be countersigned by a witness.

A record of the identity of those who have viewed the data and the viewing conditions should be kept. Data is held in secure locations and access is restricted to those with permission and who have a legitimate need with a robust audit process in place.

Information security

Derbyshire Constabulary takes the issue of information security very seriously. Information held by organisations that is about individuals is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the force has legal obligations to comply with the DPA.

The DPA not only creates obligations for organisations, it also gives individuals rights, such as the right to gain access to their details and to claim compensation when they suffer damage. Enquiries regarding information can be sent to:

Freedom of Information requests

Freedom of Information
Derbyshire Constabulary
Butterley Hall
Ripley
Derbyshire
DE5 3RS
Email: foi@derbyshire.pnn.police.uk

More information on Freedom of Information requests can be downloaded from the Information Requests webpage.

Subject Access requests

Force Data Protection Officer
Derbyshire Constabulary
Force Headquarters
Butterley Hall
RIPLEY
Derbyshire
DE5 3RS

The subject access application form can be downloaded from the Freedom of Information pages.

Any other CCTV enquiries should be directed to: Inspector Richard Booth, Derbyshire Constabulary, Force Headquarters, Butterley Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3RS Email: richard.booth.2384@derbyshire.pnn.police.uk

Further reading

Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

In the picture: a code of practice for surveillance cameras and personal information (Information Commissioner’s Office)

Management of Police Information – Authorised Professional Practice

Privacy Impact Assessments – available on request (see Information Requests webpage)

Surveillance Camera Code of Practice - Self Assessments – available on request (see Information Requests webpage)

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.