Tony Porter, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, has written a letter to all chief executives of local authorities to remind them of their duty under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 to pay due regard to the surveillance camera code of practice.
Under the act all local authorities in England and Wales are relevant authorities and must pay due regard to the code when using surveillance camera systems in public places like town centres. I’ve visited numerous local authorities over the past year and have seen lots of compliance with the code at a working level. I also want to make sure senior figures in these organisations know about their duty to pay due regard.
The commissioner, who launched an easy to complete self-assessment tool in November last year, added:
Our self-assessment tool will enable any organisation to identify quickly where they are meeting the 12 guiding principles in the code and where more work is required. I’m asking chief executives to get it completed in relation to their public space, town centre CCTV schemes and inform me when this has been done.
The commissioner has asked local authorities to respond to his letter by 30 June 2015.