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The National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales, launched by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter, has been launched, and welcomed.
To view the 27-page document, visit the Commissioner’s website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-surveillance-camera-strategy-for-england-and-wales.
Briefly, the strategy has been divided into the ‘work strands’, each led by a ‘sector expert’, who has developed plans for each strand to deliver the strategic vision:
– Standards and certification
– Horizon scanning
– Civil engagement
– Local authorities
– Voluntary adopters (such as universities, and businesses)
– Critical National Infrastructure (CNI)
– Installers, designers and manufacturers
– Training; and
And the Commissioner’s strategic vision is:
‘The public are assured that any use of surveillance camera systems in a public place helps to protect and keep them safe, whilst respecting the individual’s right to privacy. That assurance is based upon deployment which is proportionate to a legitimate purpose, and transparency which demonstrates compliance with best and good practice and relevant legal obligations.’
Tony Porter said: “After a year of hard work I’m delighted to be able to launch this strategy. It’s a strategy that is far reaching, touching on many areas of surveillance camera use – police and local authority, installers and manufacturers, training providers and regulators – and of course how the use of surveillance cameras impacts members of the public. The responses to the consultation on the draft show that this strategy is extremely well supported as do the number of organisations that have written to me to show their support. I look forward to delivering on this for the next 3 years ensuring that where surveillance cameras are used they keep people safe whilst protecting their right to privacy.”
James Kelly, Chief Executive of the private security trade association the BSIA, says: “The strategy is a very worthy and successful attempt to draw together the multiple stakeholders across a diverse and critically important sector. The BSIA is proud to have been a contributor to the Commissioner’s efforts at providing direction and leadership on the appropriate use of such systems to secure the protection of our communities whilst protecting individuals’ rights to privacy.
“I am delighted to endorse the strategy and will continue to support the Commissioner’s work on standards and best practice I this vital part of the UK economy.”
Chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV section and Lead of the Industry Strand of the national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales, Simon Adcock, says: “The work of the industry strand of the national strategy is focussed on educating buyers on what to expect from a knowledgeable, professional service provider as well as providing practical guidance to help them comply with the Code of Practice. Ultimately, we are aiming to establish and promote a set of guidelines to ensure that buyers can rely on their service providers for at least good practice. Over the coming months, the Industry Strand will be defining what we mean by good practice, but it will be centred around ensuring that there is an operational requirement and that the resulting system meets agreed objectives. Our end-game is to ensure that anyone providing professional video surveillance services will, as a minimum standard, meet these good practice guidelines.
“The strategy represents an opportunity for the industry – through working with the Commissioner – to assure the public that video surveillance systems are being used in public spaces legitimately, responsibly and transparently, in order to keep them safe. The strategy is fully supported by members of the BSIA’s CCTV section and we look forward to seeing the strategy delivered through to 2020.”