Private Security Cameras and Using Them Within The Law
Years ago, CCTV cameras were typically only used to safeguard business premises’, local authorities and government departments. However, it is now not uncommon for security cameras to be used by homeowners to protect themselves and their property.
In the latest blog post by Assegai Security, we discuss the effects of using CCTV cameras and how to use them within the law.
Any obstacle, even something as seemingly flimsy as a small picket fence can act as a deterrent to burglars, simply because it is another unnecessary hurdle for them to get past when trying to make a swift getaway. With this in mind, it is safe to say that appropriately placed security cameras serve a dual purpose and deter wrongdoers from carrying out crime for fear their actions are being recorded.
Of course, as well as providing such a deterrent, security cameras also perform the more obvious task of recording the area they are placed in, with such footage being allowed in court to prosecute anyone caught carrying out unlawful acts.
Security Cameras & The Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act 1998 is there to protect the privacy of others. However, section 36 states that personal data, which includes video footage of individuals that are captured for limited domestic purposes is not restricted by the DPA.
As a homeowner, you want to feel safe within your own home, and to find out which crime is most prevalent in your area, you can take a look at UK Crime Stats. Providing you with an understanding of the most frequently occurring crimes, UK Crime Stats can help you make a decision on what extra measures you should consider taking.
Restrictions Imposed By The DPA
When using CCTV cameras, it is important to understand the requirements set out by the DPA that you must satisfy in order to legally use a camera on your premises. These include:
- Putting up clear signs to say that CCTV is in operation
- only using the footage for its intended purpose
- Only storing footage for as long as it is required
- Not releasing footage to third parties
- Keeping any recorded footage safe
The Human Rights Act
Under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1988, an individual has the right to respect for his private and family life, and of his home. When using a security camera, you must ensure that it only monitors your property and not someone else’s. If it proves difficult to avoid getting the view of a neighbours front door or garden in the recording, you should inform them of this and tell them how and when the footage will be used.
Cameras & Evidence
Although CCTV footage can be used as evidence is a trial, you must take great care that all legal restrictions have been complied with. No matter the footage, if evidence suggests that the recordings captured by the CCTV have been obtained without regard for the law, they may be disallowed by the judge overseeing the case.
Get in Touch
Assegai Security has been installing security systems for domestic and commercial properties for many years. If you require more information on the wide range of services we provide, we welcome you to contact us. Please call today on 01908 596 519 or use our online enquiry form.