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A strategy for Local Authority surveillance cameras

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: National surveillance camera stratgey

Hi I’m Alan Gardner – the Public Safety Centre Manager for Enfield Council and run their public CCTV system and Alarm Receiving Centre – I’ve been a CCTV Manager for over 20 years in London, and also in Hertfordshire. I’m guest blogging on Tony’s blog as I’m leading the work stream on Local Authorities as part of his National Surveillance Camera Strategy.

I’m also the currently elected Chair of the Public CCTV Managers Association (PCMA) group and the London Regional CCTV Managers Group (LRCMG) and Vice Chair of the CCTV National Standards Forum and have taken an active interest in public CCTV for most of my time in this sector.

The Local Authority CCTV groups that I currently represent consists of voluntary members who are CCTV Management practitioners and we all work closely with government, the police and other organisations in promoting best practice and we’re now work closely alongside the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and his team on the creation of a refreshed National Surveillance Camera Strategy. Many of our members sit on regional, national or specialist sector groups on CCTV matters to represent Local Authority Public Space

Our strand of Local Authority sector CCTV is somewhat unique in that Authority CCTV is intrinsically linked operationally with local police forces across the UK in detecting and reacting to crime and disorder and other types of incidents. This includes intelligence sharing and usage of police radio links amongst other measures to improve our partnership working effectiveness in public safety.

Our strand has initially identified six high level objectives which are still in draft form:

  1. Performance & Transparency - To enhance public confidence in Local Authority CCTV through the creation of minimum suite of performance management criteria. It will focus on the positive and transparent use of surveillance cameras and to be published to conform with the requirements of Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Section 30 and the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.
  2. Code of Compliance - To develop a common revised Local Authority Code of Compliance for public systems that evidence how Local Authority CCTV systems show compliance to the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. This will give the public clear visibility of how we are complying to offer reassurance.
  3. Service Level Agreement with police on ANPR and CCTV - To develop minimum standard Service Level Agreement of Local Authority operational working practices with our key stakeholder, the police and other statutory prosecuting agencies. This will require close working arrangements with the National Police Chiefs’ Council working group to deliver this outcome.
  4. Briefing note on key technology for tendering - To develop a guidance briefing of key points based upon British Standards on CCTV technology, digital recording, transmission, interoperability,  IP and network security and secure means of data exchange processes that can be used and included in future, new or refreshed control room tender documents to aid future integration of Local Authority systems and to the police, criminal justice system and other key stakeholders.
  5. Training - Development and promotion of training standards of CCTV operators, supervisors and managers to create a career pathway and professionalise the CCTV sector in partnership by working with training bodies and other key stakeholders.
  6. Secure mobile and remote data processes - Develop secure standardised processes for mobile data provision of live streaming video and or remote access to digital data stored by Local Authority CCTV systems for our key stakeholders that complies with legislation.

Do you think these are the right objectives or is there anything we’ve missed?

At our next official group meeting July we hope to firm up the scope of the work stream and identify the leads on the individual objectives. These voluntary Local Authority leads will then identify who the main stakeholders are to successfully deliver their own work stream, drill down their particular objective to meaningful areas of work and examine if there are any synergies with other  work streams in the National Strategy, in particular the police work stream to align with.

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  1. Comment by Andy Brooks posted on

    Hi Alan, Should reference to compliance/conformity to DPA 1998 be included in 1. Performance & Transparency- as the ICO has teeth and can impose penalties for information data breaches.

  2. Comment by Alan Gardner posted on

    Andy hi

    Good point, and the SCC Code of Practice was written around the principles of transparency and good practice around issues such as data protection and privacy in particular as being of the utmost importance to the public. Both the SCC and the ICO have an MOU that defines and shows their close working arrangements in areas around CCTV and where the delineation of oversight and responsibility rests and more co-operative works are planned. The SCC , in working with the sector has produced and published on the SCC Home Office website a progressive pathway to compliance that ultimately entails formal annual inspections by UKAS accredited inspectorates and elements of inspection and best practice developed have clear links to the requirements of DPA, which systems owners should have been following for many years but is certainly picked up in inspection processes created that organisations are urged to follow, regardless if they have to have legal regard to the code now or are voluntary adopters.

  3. Comment by Bmtech Services posted on

    Thak you for this valuable information. Looking forward to read more of these blogs.


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