The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice has been developed to ensure cameras in public places are regulated and are only used in pursuit of a specified purpose. The Code of Practice aims to balance the need for cameras in public places with individuals' rights to privacy.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 introduced the regulation of public space surveillance cameras in England and Wales and the Code of Practice draws upon this Act, applying to the use of public space surveillance camera systems, regardless of whether or not there is any live viewing, or recording of images, information or associated data.
Organisations that oversee the management of public space surveillance have the opportunity to adopt the Code of Practice to demonstrate and provide evidence of their compliance and this can now be independently verified through the Certification Scheme developed by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner.
The scheme, launched in November 2015, enables organisations complying with the Code of Practice to be independently audited, thus providing credibility and transparency to claims of compliance. NSI, as an independent certification body for security and fire sectors, has been selected to provide the audit services to support the Code of Practice.
Who is Certification For?
The Surveillance Camera certification process is available for all organisations that operate surveillance in a public space. This could be small or large organisations that want to demonstrate compliance with the Surveillance Code of Practice and evidence good practice.
Reassurance for Local Communities
The scheme will provide reassurance to local communities that public space CCTV systems are managed appropriately, the information gathered from them is used in an appropriate manner and in accordance with strict guidelines.
NSI will provide the Certification service to local authorities and those operating public space surveillance, by carrying out independent verification checks against the Code of Practice. On completion of the initial certification process, we will liaise with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and provide him with our recommendation regarding the organisation’s certification.
Benefits of Certification
In addition to providing reassurance to the local community, an organisation that successfully achieves certification will be awarded a Certificate of Compliance from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and will be able to display the Commissioner’s Certification mark on their website and other media All organisations achieving certification will be listed on the Commissioner’s website.