Surveillance Camera Commissioner reminds local councils of regulations

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter has written to local (parish and town) councils in England and Wales reminding them of the rules around the use of surveillance camera systems in public places.

In the letter, he says: “It has come to my attention that there are some instances where [local councils] are installing ANPR cameras to monitor low-speed zones. These systems typically capture data (number plates) and feed it via the internet to a server in partnership with a third-party supplier. I fully understand that speeding offences can be of great concern to you and the communities you serve, and I would not wish to preclude you from tackling these issues head-on.

“That said, ANPR can be an extremely intrusive system, and you must ensure that you are using it within the boundaries of the law, including the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the General Data Protection Regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018.”

He goes on to say that local councils also need to be wary of working in partnership with third-parties, keeping in mind the Surveillance Camera Code. The code states that you should ensure partnership arrangements are not being established without proper management controls being applied.

Finally, he encourages local councils to visit his website to complete his surveillance camera systems self-assessment tool and his data protection impact assessment.

Read the full letter here: Councils ANPR letter – December 2019 (1)

Posted Monday, 4th July 2022