Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s report published
23 January 2019
THE SURVEILLANCE Camera Commissioner’s fifth annual report was laid before Parliament.
The Surveillance Camera Commissioner annual reports outline the work the commissioner has completed and his future plans.
In his report the commissioner highlights:
- his extensive survey of all police forces in England and Wales to understand their surveillance camera ‘footprint’ and how they are complying with legal requirements under the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) and the surveillance camera code. All forces now have a Senior Responsible Officer responsible for force compliance with the PoFA;
- building momentum behind the National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales to deliver:
- the first Question Time style event to enable serious debate on how surveillance cameras and associated technology impact on citizens
- a series of national workshops aimed at local authorities to advise them how to comply with the 12 guiding principles in the surveillance camera code
- the first horizon-scanning report to enable us to peer into the future at how surveillance cameras may develop
- cybersecurity considerations across all strands of the strategy from standards to training
- developing a new ‘Buyers’ Toolkit’ – an easy-to-follow guide for non-experts (aimed at small to medium enterprises) that are thinking about buying a surveillance camera system, and want to ensure that they buy an effective system that does what they want it to do
- formulation and first meetings of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition Independent Advisory Group, chaired by the commissioner, to scrutinise the deployment and operation of automatic number plate recognition as a surveillance tool; and
- the emergence of automatic facial recognition as a viable technology used by both state and private organisations.
Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter said, "Yet again it’s been an incredibly busy and challenging year. I’ve continued to see lots of great examples of good practice from relevant authorities and those who fall outside the scope of this definition. Equally there is room for improvement and I am working with the strand leads on the National Surveillance Camera Strategy to raise standards."