Agenda item

Adoption of a Combined Surveillance/CCTV/Image recording technologies Policy


Eden Geddes, Enforcement & Multi-Agency Task Force Manager introduced the report and made the following comments:


·  CCTV and the use of image recording is now commonplace;

·  From town centre CCTV to building security cameras to dash cams, ring doorbells and mobile phones;

·  The council's use of CCTV is governed by a profusion of legislation, codes of practice and central government guidance;

·  New and emerging technologies and capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence, biometrics, or advances in IT system integration must consider the increased risk to individual rights and privacy and ensure that the council continues to be compliant;

·  In response the council has developed this policy which is intended to regulate the council’s operation and use of image recording systems across all areas of the council;

·  This policy also introduces minimum standards as a guide to all departments planning to procure or utilise these types of technologies.


Members asked questions and made comments as follows:


·  Once information was collected by the Council through the CCTV system where was it stored?

·  Would individuals be able to check if their personal information had been destroyed and not kept for longer than was required by law?

·  Who gave authorisation form the use of the CCTV?

·  Was the Council still operating temporary mobile CCTV systems or where these now permanently positioned?

·  Were the Council’s CCTV manned 24 hours a day?

·  Was Kent Police able to access the Council’s CCTV?

·  Could Cabinet look at the authorisation to use cameras for the new CCTV system?

·  Who ensured that the cameras were used for the identified purposes?

·  Who made the decision for the setting up the system?

·  There was a camera that broke down in one street. However, the crime stats in that area could not be used to justify the re-installation of the camera in that street. The camera was not replaced;

·  Being policy compliant was important for the installation and use of CCTV.


Eden Geddes and Penny Button, Head of Neighbourhoods responded to Member questions and comments as follows:


·  Recorded information was retained in the Operations Room for a maximum of 90 days, after which it would be destroyed;

·  Individuals would be able to check if such information had indeed been destroyed;

·  Depending on the size of the CCTV systems, in some cases managers would authorise spending on the use of a small system;

·  If large systems which cost about £250k were to be purchased, that would be considered a key decision and would therefore require a Cabinet decision;

·  The mobile system was coming to the end of its life span. New ones were being trialed;


·  The Council’s CCTV system were monitored 20 hours a day, but would continue to run even when not monitored;

·  The system was accessible to Kent Police, once given access by the Council;

·  The policy clearly stated that where cameras were set up only authorised persons could access these cameras;

·  Proportionality assessment would be carried out to determine whether the cameras should be set up or not;

·  Crime stats were used to justify setting up CCTV systems. The policy ensured that the ad hoc establishment of cameras was prohibited;

·  The Head of Service and Director were responsible for making the decision to install the CCTV system.


Penny Button offered the Panel and Members agreed to conduct a tour of the CCTV Operations Room.


There being no further comments, Members noted the report.

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