Consultation outcome

Surveillance camera code of practice consultation

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Surveillance camera code of practice (amended)

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Surveillance camera code of practice - impact assessment (updated and finalised)

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Detail of outcome

The government response to consultation summarises comments from respondents, and sets out the government response and next steps.

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to

Summary

This consultation sought views on the scope and clarity of a surveillance draft code of practice and its likely impact.

Documents

Surveillance camera code of practice pursuant to Section 29 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

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Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 - statutory consultation over the surveillance camera code of practice (Welsh language version)

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Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 - statutory consultation over the surveillance camera code of practice

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Surveillance camera code of practice - impact assessment

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Consultation description

The government response to consultation summarises comments from respondents, and sets out the government response and next steps. On 11 June 2013, the government’s response document was replaced with a version that shows the full list of all those who should be declared as respondents.

The code of practice has been amended to reflect comments made in response to the consultation. It has been laid before Parliament along with the draft order necessary to bring it into force. That draft order also extends the list of relevant authorities who must have regard to the code to include the three non-territorial police forces and SOCA. Subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, the government is committed to bringing the code into force in summer 2013.

The impact assessment has been updated and finalised to take account of consultation and subsequent amendment to the code of practice.

This consultation sought views on the scope and clarity of a surveillance draft code of practice and its likely impact. It ran from 7 February until 21 March 2013.

Since the first town centre Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system was installed in King’s Lynn in 1987, there has been a proliferation in the use of CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems operated in public places in England and Wales by both public and private bodies.

These systems are deployed for a range of purposes, and are generally welcomed as a reassuring presence and for keeping the public safe. Technological developments have increased the capability of surveillance camera systems. This has in turn increased the capability of system operators, the police and the criminal justice system to protect people and property, investigate incidents and bring crimes to justice. It has also increased the risk of interference with a citizen’s right to privacy.

The public must have confidence that surveillance is appropriate and proportionate, and that those who operate the camera systems, or use the images and information they capture, demonstrate integrity in doing and can be held to account.

This is why the coalition agreement for government includes a commitment to the further regulation of CCTV, which has now been enacted in legislation through the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

This legislation provides a regulatory framework which is intended to complement and be coherent with existing legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Technological and professional innovation does not stand still, so we must ensure that any new regulation is appropriate both now and in the future.

Following engagement and consultation with a wide range of interested parties and the public, a draft code of practice has now prepared for publication alongside this consultation document. The draft code is built upon 12 guiding principles, and for the first time introduces a philosophy of surveillance by consent.

The government sees an important parallel with the well-established concept of policing by consent, which is based upon a presumption of transparency and accountability. This assures the integrity of police officers and staff as they exercise their powers on behalf of the public.

This consultation sought your views on the scope and clarity of the draft code and its likely impact, and also sought to ensure that proper consideration is given to the position of the three non territorial police forces and SOCA.