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Surveillance Camera Commissioner releases second annual report

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner looks back on his first full year in office and identifies future challenges in his second annual report for 2014 to 2015.

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Today the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s second annual report was laid before Parliament and was published. In his report, the commissioner calls for:

  • organisations to raise standards across the sector - particularly those who must pay due regard to the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice as set out in the Protection of Freedoms Act
  • government to consider widening the scope of organisations who must pay due regard to the code
  • police forces to build on work around the transparent use of automatic number plate recognition cameras, body worn video and automatic facial recognition technology
  • local authorities to get a grip on surveillance camera schemes that sit outside public space town centre systems to ensure they meet statutory requirements
  • consideration to be give to how to effectively regulate emerging technology such as automatic facial recognition and other systems that use algorithms
  • strategic leadership amongst authorities and business to develop partnership approach to CCTV to reduce costs, raise standards and provide a framework for future development

Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter said:

It’s been a busy and challenging year. I’ve seen lots of great examples of good practice from relevant authorities and those who fall outside the scope of this definition. Equally there is room for improvement and I’m determined to continue my push to raise standards across the industry. I will continue to work with local authorities and police forces to ensure they meet their statutory duty to pay regard to the code in the backdrop of austerity and as technology moves forward at a rate of knots.

There are also some challenges for government around how the sector is regulated and these will be explored more fully in my review of the impact and operation of the code which I’ll present to ministers in the next few months.

Published 19 November 2015