CCTV footage needs to be available to the Police and Courts if required

If you have a CCTV system CCTV Logbook can help you to maintain your system properly and, if you sign up to our compliance package, it will support you in complying with all of the Guiding Principles within the Surveillance Camera (SC) Code of Practice. This includes including that you are able, if required, to provide your video footage to the police and if necessary, make it available to a court of law if it provides evidence they need for a legal case.

This is covered by Guiding Principle 11  which states that: “When the use of a surveillance camera system is in pursuit of a legitimate aim, and there is a pressing need for its use, it should then be used in the most effective way to support public safety and law enforcement with the aim of processing images and information of evidential value.”

However, the challenges represented by the fragmented surveillance camera systems market, which has resulted in a range of systems for exporting video data, particularly since the development of more technologically advanced digital surveillance camera systems, has meant that evidence collection has grown increasingly complex.

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter, recognised this problem and tasked a working group from the Standards Strand of his National Surveillance Camera Strategy to look at the issue of video data produced by surveillance camera systems and ability of this video data to be easily played by the police and the courts.

Alex Carmichael, Chief Executive of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) and Chair of the Standards Strand of his National Surveillance Camera Strategy, explained in a recent blog, what the working group was doing to address the problem of obtaining video footage for the police and the courts.

The Commissioner’s video surveillance systems standard output working group includes representatives from the National Police Chiefs’ Council and individual police forces, the Courts and Tribunal Service, police forensic experts, the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure and the National Association of Surveillance Camera Managers.

The group is currently putting together a document which aims to summarise the issues the police and courts have with video data from surveillance camera systems. This will detail the current situation and problems and then provide possible solutions and recommendations.

The working group then intends to sit down with surveillance camera manufacturers and discuss with them what the issues are and, hopefully, work with them to resolve the issues by getting a level of agreement by different manufacturers on common agreed video outputs.

To manage your CCTV system better, and to ensure you are following the 12 Guiding Principles in the SC Code and therefore meeting best practice, sign up now for a free trial at