Conducting regular reviews of surveillance camera systems is essential in ensuring they still remain necessary, proportionate and effective in meeting their stated purpose.
Sedgemoor District Council have been carrying out annual reviews for a number of years.
Our first review was carried out in 2010. The initial reason was financial, to understand which cameras were performing well and which weren’t so I could look at removing cameras that were no longer being used proactively.
Said Barry Donbavand, Sedgemoor District Council CCTV Manager.
All in working order
By regularly checking their system an organisation can make sure that all it’s cameras are working correctly, positioned in the right place and still needed. It’s best practice to carry out reviews at least annually and this can be done for every camera or the entire system. Barry said:
We did it on an individual camera basis. I tasked one of my team to look through all of our incident logs and document which cameras were being used. The results were obvious, which made it easy to make a decision on how to proceed.
Regular reviews have also helped Sedgemoor District Council make better use of their system too.
We have turned off 13 of our cameras over the last couple of years, and re-introduced one in another location. Carrying out regular reviews ensures that we continue to use the system for its original purpose, to prove it works and show we’re getting value for money. I’d strongly recommend conducting reviews as it shows you take privacy seriously and legacy systems need to be audited for use to make sure they meet the current demands of the service
Necessary and justified
Reviews help organisations ensure that cameras and systems remain necessary and justified. They help make sure systems are being used for their intended purpose as well as help to identify cameras that can be decommissioned or if there is a need to increase coverage. As good practice the outcome of the review could be published.
For more information about reviewing surveillance camera systems contact the Surveillance Camera Commissioner