The introduction of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) has been one of the best weapons against crime. It has been proved effective in both cutting and detecting crime and because of this people now feel safer when they're out and about.

The Home Office states CCTV surveillance is particularly valuable when used as part of a wider crime reduction strategy, thus strengthening partnership with the local police.

Pictures from the cameras are continuously monitored at our 24 hour Control Room. The Police are informed of suspicious incidents as they arise and can be directed to the exact location by CCTV operators.

Types of offences that can lead to arrests include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Pick-pocketing
  • Possession of drugs
  • Assault
  • Unauthorised taking of motor vehicles
  • Public order offences

CCTV procedure for the release of evidence

Arguably, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is one of the most powerful tools to be developed during recent years to assist with efforts to combat crime and disorder whilst enhancing community safety.

Equally, it may be regarded by some as the most potent infringement of people's liberty. If users, owners and managers of such systems are to command the respect and support of the general public, the systems must not only be used with the utmost probity at all times, they must be used in a manner which stands up to scrutiny and is accountable to the very people they are aiming to protect.

Trafford Council is committed to the belief that everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life. Although the use of CCTV cameras has become widely accepted in the UK as an effective security tool, those people who do express concern tend to do so over the handling of the information (data) which the system gathers.

After considerable research and consultation, a nationally recommended standard has been adopted by the system owners.

General policy

All requests for the release of data shall be channelled through the data controller. In the case of Trafford Council this is the Corporate Information Officer.

Request to view data

Requests to view data generated by a CCTV system are likely to be made by third parties for any one or more of the following purposes:

  • Providing evidence in criminal proceedings
  • Providing evidence in civil proceedings or tribunals
  • The prevention of crime
  • The investigation and detection of crime (may include identification of offenders)
  • Identification of witnesses

Third parties, which are required to show adequate grounds for disclosure of data within the above criteria, may include, but are not limited to:

  • Police
  • Statutory authorities with powers to prosecute, (e.g.. Customs and Excise; Trading Standards, etc)
  • Solicitors
  • Claimants in civil proceedings
  • Accused persons or defendants in criminal proceedings
  • Other agencies, (as agreed by the Data Controller and notified to the Information Commissioner) according to purpose and legal status

Upon receipt from a third party of a bona fide request for the release of data, our Data Controller shall:

  • Not unduly obstruct a third party investigation to verify the existence of relevant data 
  • Ensure the retention of data which may be relevant to a request, but which may be pending application for, or the issue of, a court order or subpoena. A time limit shall be imposed on such retention, which will be notified at the time of the request

Where requests fall outside the terms of disclosure and Subject Access legislation, Trafford Council's Data Controller shall:

  • Be satisfied that there is no connection with any existing data held by the police in connection with the same investigation
  • Treat all such enquiries with strict confidentiality.

Individual subject access under Data Protection Legislation

Under the terms of Data Protection legislation, individual access to personal data, of which that individual is the data subject, must be permitted providing:

  • The request is made in writing
  • A specified fee is paid for each individual search
  • The Trafford Council Data Controller is supplied with sufficient information to satisfy him or her self as to the identity of the person making the request
  • The person making the request provides sufficient and accurate information about the time, date and place to enable the data controller to locate the information which that person seeks, (it is recognised that a person making a request is unlikely to know the precise time. Under those circumstances it is suggested that within one hour of accuracy would be a reasonable requirement)
  • The person making the request is only shown information relevant to that particular search and which contains personal data of her or him self only, unless all other individuals who may be identified from the same information have consented to the disclosure.

In the event of the data controller complying with a request to supply a copy of the data to the subject, only data pertaining to the individual should be copied, (all other personal data which may facilitate the identification of any other person should be concealed or erased). Under these circumstances an additional fee may be payable.

The Trafford Council Data Controller is entitled to refuse an individual request to view data under these provisions if insufficient or inaccurate information is provided, however every effort should be made to comply with subject access procedures and each request should be treated on its own merit.

In addition to the principles contained within the Data Protection legislation, the data controller should be satisfied that the data is:

  • Not currently and, as far as can be reasonably ascertained, not likely to become, part of a 'live' criminal investigation
  • Not currently and, as far as can be reasonably ascertained, not likely to become, relevant to civil proceedings
  • Not the subject of a complaint or dispute which has not been actioned
  • The original data and that the audit trail has been maintained
  • Not removed or copied without proper authority
  • For individual disclosure only (i.e. to be disclosed to a named subject).

For access to individual subject access, contact the Corporate Information Officer.

Media disclosure

If material is to be released to the media, the following will apply:

  • The release of the material must be accompanied by a signed release document that clearly states what the data will be used for and sets out the limits on its use, and indemnifies the partnership against any breaches of the legislation
  • The release form shall state that the receiver must process the data in a manner prescribed by the data controller, e.g. specific identities/data that must not be revealed
  • It shall require that proof of any editing must be passed back to the data controller, either for approval or final consent, prior to its intended use by the media (protecting the position of the data controller who would be responsible for any infringement of Data Protection legislation and the System's Code of Practice)
  • The release form shall be considered a contract and signed by both parties.

A to Z of Council Services