Legislation for CCTV Systems
The Data Protection Act 1998
All installed CCTV systems that have the ability to record video information, with the exception of those on domestic property, are subject to the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998. Your CCTV activity needs to be legal and you must notify your CCTV scheme to the Office of the Information Commissioner and comply with the requirements of the act.
To legally obtain CCTV images for production as evidence, you must comply with the following:
- Comply with the Data Protection Act
- Install, operate and account for your CCTV images properly
- Ensure your CCTV scheme is ‘fit for purpose’
- Ensure picture quality is clear and offers usable images of people and vehicles
- Check your time/date displays are accurate
- Check your cameras are covering the right area to the right image standard
- Train your staff on CCTV law and operations
- Image data must not be kept for longer than necessary. Typically town-centre schemes are 31 days and other businesses can be 7 days through to 90 days, dependant on purposes. Documenting everything you do with the recording process and the images produced is essential for evidential purposes.