Body Worn Video Steering Group

New CCTV code of practice comes into force

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A code of practice on the use of surveillance cameras by bodies including Police forces and local authorities has come into effect in England and Wales.

The Home Office introduced the code after concerns over the potential for the abuse or misuse of surveillance by the state in public places.

CCTV Camera

“The purpose of the code will be to ensure that individuals and wider communities have confidence that surveillance cameras are deployed to protect and support them, rather than spy on them.”

The code says the cameras must be used “in pursuit of a legitimate aim” and when it “meets a pressing need”.

The code’s impact has already been questioned by Campaign group Big Brother Watch, who claim the code does not go far enough to ensure standards are met.

“Ultimately the regulator needs real powers to enforce the rules and the code should apply to every CCTV camera, irrespective of who is operating it.”, they said.

The impact of the code on the operation of Body Worn Video cameras is expected to be minimal, as the Home Office Guidance for the Police use of Body-Worn Video Devices already gives specific guidance on when Body Worn Cameras should or should not be switched on.

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