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Surveillance Code Changes Hit Pub Licenses

June 25, 2013

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p>The revised Surveillance Camera Code of Practice issued by the Home Office means Local Authorities will no longer be able to make the provision of CCTV a legal condition of every pub license. With surveillance by consent being the ethos regard must now be given to the first principle of the code that states: “ Use of a surveillance camera system must always be for a specified purpose which is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and necessary to meet an identified pressing need.”

The change has come about after concern had been expressed by both publicans and the Information Commissioners Office. Minister for Criminal Information Lord Taylor of Holbeach is fully behind the revisions to the code saying, “Through this code – and with an independent commissioner – there will be a framework in place for the first time that helps police and Local Authorities in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour, while reassuring the public that cameras in public places are used proportionately and effectively.” Breaches of the code will be admissible in evidence and courts can take into account failures to have proper regard to it.

The main areas covered by the new code are:

  • Overview and guiding principles
  • The development and use of surveillance camera systems
  • The use or processing of images or other information obtained by virtue of such
  • The Surveillance Camera Commissioner

The code has been laid before Parliament for approval under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.