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Closed circuit television, commonly known as CCTV, is a useful tool to deter criminal activities. 

While CCTV is a crime and anti-social behaviour deterrent, it should not be relied upon as the only layer of security. If you feel it is necessary, you may consider installing an alarm, security personnel (businesses) or motion detectors.

Getting a copy of CCTV footage or footage of a crime

If officers have, or are given, CCTV footage that relates to a crime, we will tell you if you can see it. Find out how to request CCTV footage of yourself by visiting GOV.UK.

CCTV legal requirements

When using CCTV you will need to ensure that recorded material complies with the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act.

If your home CCTV captures any area outside the boundaries of your property, such as neighbouring gardens, driveways or the street, the footage will be subject to the Data Protection Act to protect the data caught by the CCTV.

CCTV that captures a view of public space, no matter how limited, must be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and will need to abide by a number of requirements. Visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website for  information and advice about what you need to do to legally operate your CCTV device or system. 

Advice on CCTV selection

There are many types of CCTV options to buy and while we don’t recommend any specific brand or style, you may find the below advice useful if you are considering installing CCTV at work or home;

  • research the types of CCTV available and decide which type you feel is best for your home or business
  • decide whether you need your CCTV to be static or mobile and what type of recording method suits your needs
  • regularly maintain your CCTV device and ensure it is correctly placed for optimal recording
  • some CCTV devices may need good lighting for clear and quality recording, others may come with night-vision style recording
  • decide whether you would like a colour or black and white recording CCTV device
  • you may need to place a CCTV notification sign.

CCTV advice for businesses

Businesses often use CCTV to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. It also assists in police investigations where CCTV has captured criminal activity.

CCTV is an important part of policing and can be seen in shops, banks, railway and bus stations, car parks, city centres and high streets around cities and towns.

Businesses can also use CCTV to monitor and protect their building perimeters and office car parks.

CCTV must be used responsibly with proper safeguards in place. Further guidance for using CCTV for your business is available on GOV.UK 

Guidance is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office to help organisations who use CCTV comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and reassure the public that they are using CCTV responsibly.

CCTV advice for personal use

CCTV used on private property is not required to consent with the Data Protection Actunless it captures footage of individuals outside of your property or land.

The Information Commissioners Office recommends CCTV is always used responsibly to protect the privacy of others.

Before setting up CCTV on your private property, we advise you first check it’s necessary. For example, ask yourself;

  • do you need a camera to address your security concerns or would improvements to locks or security lighting be more effective and less expensive?
  • can you avoid intruding into your neighbour’s property?

Local officers are available to talk to you about your safety concerns and advise you of ways to make your home more secure. 

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