CCTV procedure for the release of evidence
Arguably, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is one of the most powerful tools to be developed during recent years to assist with efforts to combat crime and disorder whilst enhancing community safety.
Equally, it may be regarded by some as the most potent infringement of people's liberty. If users, owners and managers of such systems are to command the respect and support of the general public, the systems must not only be used with the utmost probity at all times, they must be used in a manner which stands up to scrutiny and is accountable to the very people they are aiming to protect.
The council is committed to the belief that everyone has the right to have respect for his or her private and family life. Although the use of CCTV cameras has become widely accepted in the UK as an effective security tool, those people who do express concern tend to do so over the handling of the information (data) which the system gathers.
After considerable research and consultation, a nationally recommended standard has been adopted by the system owners.
All requests for the release of data shall be chanelled through the data controller or his nominated representative.
Primary requests to view data generated by a CCTV system are likely to be made by third parties for any one or more of the following purposes:
Third parties, which are required to show adequate grounds for disclosure of data within the above criteria, may include, but are not limited to:
Upon receipt from a third party of a bona fide request for the release of data, the data controller shall:
Where requests fall outside the terms of disclosure and Subject Access legislation, the data controller, or nominated representative, shall:
A 'secondary' request for access to data may be defined as any request being made which does not fall into the category of a primary request. Before complying with a secondary request, the data controller shall ensure that:
Under the terms of Data Protection legislation, individual access to personal data, of which that individual is the data subject, must be permitted providing:
In the event of the data controller complying with a request to supply a copy of the data to the subject, only data pertaining to the individual should be copied, (all other personal data which may facilitate the identification of any other person should be concealed or erased). Under these circumstances an additional fee may be payable.
The data controller is entitled to refuse an individual request to view data under these provisions if insufficient or inaccurate information is provided, however every effort should be made to comply with subject access procedures and each request should be treated on its own merit.
In addition to the principles contained within the Data Protection legislation, the data controller should be satisfied that the data is:
Verify the accuracy of the request.
Replay the data to the requester only, (or responsible person acting on behalf of the person making the request). The viewing should take place in a separate room and not in the control or monitoring area. Only data which is specific to the search request shall be shown.
It must not be possible to identify any other individual from the information being shown, (any such information will be blanked-out, either by means of electronic screening or manual editing on the monitor screen).
If a copy of the material is requested and there is no on-site means of editing out other personal data, then the material shall be sent to an editing house for processing prior to being sent to the requester.
In the event of a request from the media for access to recorded material, the procedures outlined under 'secondary request to view data' shall be followed. If material is to be released the following procedures shall be adopted:
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