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  • Writer's pictureKCS Projects

CCTV: The Legislation Businesses Need To Know About

Installing a CCTV system on your commercial premises is a simple and cost-effective way to not only catch criminals in the act, but deter them from targeting your business in the first place.

However, before you install a CCTV system, there are several pieces of legislation you should be aware of, as they inform the ways that CCTV can and cannot be used on your property.

Let’s now explore the rules and regulations you need to know about, and outline the steps you are legally obliged to take before installing CCTV throughout your business.

Before You Install CCTV

There are several steps that you must follow before installing a CCTV system. These include:

Identifying a ‘legitimate reason’ for installing CCTV on your premises - You can use the CCTV system for the defined legitimate reason, and nothing else.

Registering with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) - Failure to register as a CCTV operator could result in a fine of up to £500,000.

Upon registration, you will be required to pay a data protection fee - although some exemptions apply.

Complete a Privacy Impact Assessment - You will be required to carry out a Privacy Impact Assessment and publish it for your customers and staff to read.

The Privacy Impact Assessment must include the name and details of a person in your business who handles questions and complaints regarding your use of CCTV.

Ensuring Compliance With The Legislation

As an employer, you are legally obliged to ensure that all employees with CCTV responsibilities remain compliant with surveillance camera and data protection laws.

This will involve making sure that the following terms are met:

Roles And Responsibilities - You must ensure that all staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities regarding your CCTV system. This includes assigning a ‘Responsible Person’ who will decide what is recorded, how the images will be stored, and who is granted access to the images.

Procedures - You must ensure that your staff are fully informed of your CCTV procedures; these procedures must be clear, concise, and accessible for all members of staff.

Regular Checks - You must arrange regular checks to ensure that staff are following the correct CCTV protocols.

In addition, you must ensure that your staff are aware of:

• Your procedures for the recording, storing, and distribution of CCTV footage

• Who can and cannot have access to your CCTV footage

• The findings of procedure reviews, including any further steps that your business may take to ensure compliance with CCTV legislation

• When and where they may be recorded by your CCTV system

Data Protection And Privacy

Your customers and staff have a right to know when they are being recorded and why.

Employers must display clearly visible signs to inform the public of their CCTV system and the reason why the CCTV system has been installed. These signs must indicate the location of your CCTV system.

In addition, you must ensure that your CCTV system does not intrude on personal privacy.

You should do this by:

• Restricting staff access to CCTV footage and putting a disclosure policy in place

• Ensuring that private conversations between members of the public are not recorded

• Not positioning CCTV systems in private areas such as changing rooms or toilets

• Ensuring that footage is only kept for as long as necessary (31 days as standard)

You must also know who can be given access to your CCTV footage and in what circumstances.

For instance:

• Members of the public can request footage of themselves, known as a Subject Access Request (SAR). You must be able to provide the footage within 30 days (including weekends and bank holidays).

This footage must only show the individual - any footage involving third parties must not be disclosed

• You must not provide images of the public to unauthorised individuals, or to the media

• You must provide CCTV footage to the police as part of a criminal investigation or legal proceedings

• Insurance providers and solicitors may request CCTV footage as part of their investigations

More Information And Further Reading

The use of CCTV in commercial properties is legislated by three legal documents:

These should not be taken lightly, and you should ensure that you are fully aware of the law surrounding the use of CCTV systems before installing a surveillance camera on your commercial property.

Failure to adhere to any of this legislation could result in criminal charges, so be sure to thoroughly review these three documents – and consider seeking professional advice – before investing in a CCTV system for your premises.

Need Help? Contact Us!

Navigating CCTV legislation can be a legal minefield, especially if you’re not experienced in running a commercial premises. At KCS Projects, we’re always happy to help if you need assistance and support regarding the use of CCTV systems.

Contact us on 01234 230690 today to speak to our friendly team!

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