CCTV FAQs

Below is our CCTV Frequently Asked Questions. You can either scroll down to view them all or just click on the question below to jump to the answer.

 

What is CCTV?

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a television system which operates on a "closed loop" overt (open) basis.

Unlike broadcast television which is available to anyone with a suitable receiver, CCTV pictures are only available to those directly connected to the loop which, in Tamworth Borough Council’s case, is the West Midlands Combined Authority’s central monitoring control room located in Birmingham .

The loop is a physical link consisting of a fibre optic cable which carries the picture from the camera to a monitor.

What is the purpose of CCTV?

CCTV plays a major role in making Tamworth safer, helping to provide evidence where a crime has been committed and ultimately, reducing crime where cameras are operational.

CCTV monitoring aims to:

  • Assist in the detection, reduction and prevention of incidences of crime
  • Provide evidential material to assist police investigations
  • Deter those having criminal intent
  • Reduce the fear of crime and give confidence to the public that they are in a secure environment
  • Provide safer communities
  • Reduce acts of vandalism
  • Assist in the prevention and detection of antisocial behaviour
  • Assist with traffic management

How does CCTV work?

Dedicated CCTV monitoring operatives continually monitor the CCTV pictures 24 hours-a-day, 7 days a week, 365 days-a-year from the West Midlands Combined Authority Control Monitoring Room which is located in Birmingham.

All data is also recorded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, onto a computer digital systems hard drive. This is over-written every 31 days. If requested by the law enforcement or licensing authorities within that 31 days, specific footage may be saved for longer-term storage into a secure system. If no longer required by the requesting authority, or after 60 days, it is irretrievably deleted.

Any actions performed on the CCTV system (for example, viewing, copying to storage) are all recorded.

When evidence of an incident is saved and then electronically download for the police, a report of all relevant data that accompanies it, is stored by the CCTV system. This evidence can then be used by the police as an evidence trail in court. To ensure that an unbroken evidence trail is preserved, a unique code is linked to the CCTV system recording to the electronic download. This precludes any form of tampering.

In all CCTV system processes, both Tamworth Borough Council and West Midlands Combined Authority are committed to being fully compliant with all relevant statutory and legislative requirements including the surveillance code of practice.

All new CCTV installations will be subject to submission of a formal business case. This will aim to provide the reasons why CCTV monitoring is required. Each business case will be assessed to ensure compliance with statutory and legislative requirements including the surveillance code of practice.

When is CCTV in operation?

We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from West Midlands Combined Authority monitoring control room, located in Birmingham.

Who can gain access to the CCTV monitoring control room?

Only those persons with a legitimate purpose will be permitted access to the control and monitoring room.

Access to the monitoring area will be strictly controlled. Security of the CCTV monitoring control room shall be maintained at all times.

Will the area protected by CCTV be indicated by the presence of signs?

cctv

 

Yes, the area protected by CCTV will be indicated by the presence of signs like this one.

The signs will be placed so that the public are aware that they are entering a zone which is covered by surveillance equipment. The signs will state the organisation responsible for the scheme i.e. Tamworth Borough Council, the purposes of the scheme and a contact telephone number.

Who sees the CCTV footage?

Only the employed trained CCTV monitoring operators and their management team, who will continually monitor the pictures 24 hours-a-day, 7 days a weeks, 365 days-a-year. Any pictures viewed by the operators can also be made available to the police and statutory authorities with powers to prosecute provided the reasons and statement of purpose complies with current legislation and on condition that the information is not used for any other purpose than that specified.

The CCTV monitoring operators will be responsible for complying with the relevant code of practice and operating procedural manual. They have a responsibility to respect the privacy of the individual, understand and comply with the objectives of the CCTV monitoring scheme. They are required to be proficient in the control and the use of the CCTV camera equipment, recording and playback facilities, image erasure, and maintenance of all logs. The information recorded must be accurate, adequate and relevant to the purpose of the CCTV monitoring scheme. They should bring to the attention of the supervisor immediately any equipment defect that may occur.

Can CCTV be released to statutory prosecuting bodies including the police?

Yes, we will assist statutory prosecuting bodies such as the police, and statutory authorities with powers to prosecute and facilitate the legitimate use of the information derived from the CCTV monitoring of Tamworth.

Statutory bodies may have access to information permitted for disclosure on application, provided the reasons and statement of purpose complies with current legislation and on condition that the information is not used for any other purpose than that specified.

How long are the CCTV recordings kept for?

All footage is recorded digitally and is kept for a period of 31 days to enable the police to request a copy if an incident is reported to them. Footage will only be retained for longer than this if a copy has been requested in relation to an on-going investigation.

Can I have access to CCTV footage?

If a crime has occurred, it should be reported to the police to investigate. They are able to access CCTV footage to assist with their enquiries.

You can make a `Subject Access Request` for access to CCTV footage. Your request will be considered on a case by case basis and depends on the incident or type of footage held. Information will only be released if the footage captures your own personal individual activities and your access request reasons are deemed acceptable, the request and release of information complies with current legislation and on condition that the information is not used for any other purpose than that specified. You will need to provide sufficient information to enable the operators to identify you in any footage. All requests for access will be recorded.

If a request for CCTV footage is received via a Freedom of Information application (FOIA) and the person requesting is the subject, these will be exempt from the FOIA and will be dealt with under the Data Protection Principles. Any other requests not involving identification of individuals can be disclosed but only if it does not breach the data protection principles.

To make a `Subject Access Request` please fill in our online CCTV Subject Access Request form.

There is a camera near my property, can the people monitoring it see into my home?

No. Privacy screening technology is used to blur images where the cameras are near residential properties to prevent footage of the inside of people’s homes from being captured or seen by monitoring staff.

How many CCTV cameras are there?

Presently in Tamworth we have 154 cameras covering public open spaces.

Do we monitor all cameras throughout Tamworth?

No. There are many privately owned CCTV cameras in operation throughout Tamworth that are not monitored by Tamworth Borough Council and West Midlands Combined Authority Shared CCTV Service. For further information on these private cameras we recommend you refer to the relevant CCTV signage displayed at the location.

What type of surveillance is in operation?

This CCTV footage is overt (open) recording. This is due to the cameras being in plain sight for individuals to see and appropriate signage as per the relevant Code of Practices.   

Is there a camera upgrade programme?

Yes, more information will be shared when camera upgrades have been completed.

How do we determine whether CCTV is justified?

Prior to the installation of cameras an ‘Impact Assessment’ to determine whether CCTV is justified and how it will be operated will be undertaken in compliance with the Information Commissioner’s CCTV Code of Practice and the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice.

What is the purpose of the ‘Surveillance Camera Code of Practice’?

The Surveillance Code of Practice has a dual purpose, in that it will assist owners, management and operators to understand their legal and moral obligations whilst reassuring the public about the safeguards contained within it.

Tamworth Borough Council and West Midlands Combined Authority are both committed to working in accordance with the recommendations contained in the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice and the Information Commissioner’s CCTV Code of Practice which can be found on the following websites: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/surveillance-camera-commissioner and https://ico.org.uk

Do we monitor radio surveillance systems?

Yes, we will continue to monitor and communicate with partners on the radio systems listed below to proactively reduce and manage crime taking place in Tamworth.

  1. Tamworth users of Storenet & Nightnet Radio Surveillance Systems
  2. Police Radio
  3. Tamworth Borough Council’s Community Warden  Radio

 

Who is the data controller?

Tamworth Borough Council is the ‘Data Controller’;

Tamworth Borough Council
Marmion House
Lichfield Street
Tamworth B79 7BZ

01827 709709
www.tamworth.gov.uk

The role of data controller includes all statutory data protection responsibilities. The Council’s Data Protection Policy gives more information on how the council processes and looks after data.