Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
November 30, 2015

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Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice Should Apply to Private-Sector CCTV Says BSIA as Tony Porter Publishes Annual Report

cctv camera sky dome bulletThe Surveillance Camera Commissioner has promised new guidance for body-worn video and a review of the Protection of Freedoms Act Code in his latest annual report.

Presented to parliament on 19 November Tony Porter QPM LLB’s report also highlights the work he’s undertaken in his first full year in office and the challenges met in engaging the public, installers and end users.

David Wilkinson, director of technical services at the BSIA, which is actively involved in the commissioner’s Advisory Council and Standards Board, said the commissioner should prioritise bringing private-sector under the auspices of his office’s code of practice.

“Whilst the Surveillance Camera Commissioner has been a welcome introduction to the industry and has had a successful first year in office, there are still a number of challenges to overcome and further work to be completed,” he said.

“In particular, the BSIA would like to see private-sector CCTV systems incorporated into the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice.”

The report did explore opportunities for collaboration with local authorities in addressing the large proportion of public-space CCTV that isn’t overseen by dedicated CCTV managers. Porter has argued that governance must improve to ensure appropriate public scrutiny and, in some cases, better regulatory compliance.

The commissioner has spent much of the year establishing what standards for CCTV are adhered to by the industry, whether they protect the public interest adequately and how they might be improved to better achieve this purpose.

One of Porter’s biggest challenges is mapping a way forward to ensure the regulatory framework keeps pace with innovation, which has seen ultra-HD footage and video analytics become increasingly widespread.

To this end the commissioner has engaged with the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology to establish a Horizon Scanning Team, with a remit to better understand current and potential deployment of CCTV and its impact.

The report outlined the following priorities for Tony Porter’s second year in the job:

  • Developing a suite of standards addressing users’ technical requirements for body-worn video for the police
  • Guidance for users of body worn video (non law-enforcement agencies)
  • Understanding how technological developments impact on the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA)
  • And producing a comprehensive review of the PoFA Code as required within the Protection of Freedoms Act

Continued Wilkinson: “The BSIA will continue to engage fully with the SCC through its involvement as members of the SCC Advisory Council and Standards Board.

“We are also in liaison with the British Standards Institute (BSI) on the development of a body-worn video standard, which I am leading through my position as chair of the BSI’s National CCTV Standards Group.”

 

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