CCTV Policy

Introduction

Closed circuit television (CCTV) is installed at the practice premises for the purposes of staff, patient and premises security. Cameras are located at various places on the premises, and images from the cameras are recorded.

The use of CCTV falls within the scope of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the 1998 Act”). This code of practice follows the recommendations issued by the Data Protection Commissioner in accordance with powers under Section 51 (3)(b) of the 1998 Act.

In order to comply with the requirements of the 1998 Act, data must be:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes and not in any manner incompatible with those purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in accordance with individuals’ rights
  • Secure

Data Protection statement

  1. CCTV is installed for the purpose of staff, patient and premises security. Including the following:
  • Protect the practice building and its assets to ensure they are kept free from intrusion, vandalism, damage or disruption
  • To increase the personal safety of staff and patients and reduce the fear of physical abuse, intimidation and crime.
  • To support the Police in a bid to deter and detect crime.
  • Assist in prevention and detection of crime.
  • Assist with the identification, apprehension and prosecution of offenders.
  • Assist with the identification of actions/activities that might result in disciplinary proceedings against staff and patients.
  • Assist in the usage and management of the practice buildings on a day to day basis.
  • Provide management information relating to Contract Compliance of 3rd party service providers.
  • Monitor security of practice buildings
  1. Access to stored images will be controlled on a restricted basis within the practice.
  2. Due to the nature of CCTV being installed, footage will not be accessed by staff unless authorised by the Data Controllers (Area Manager, Head of Area Managers and Managing Director). A written request must be submitted with a valid reason which will be considered and access will be granted within 24 hours.
  3. Use of images, including the provision of images to a third party, will be in accordance with the practice’s Data Protection registration.
  4. CCTV may be used to monitor the movements and activities of staff and visitors whilst on the premises.
  5. CCTV images may be used where appropriate as part of staff counselling or disciplinary procedures.
  6. External and internal signage are displayed on the premises and in the practice stating the presence of CCTV, and indicating the names of the Data Controllers and a contact number during office hours for enquiries.

RETENTION OF IMAGES

Images from cameras are recorded on videotape/disc/computer system (“the recordings”). Where recordings are retained for the purposes of security of staff, patient and premises, these will be held in secure storage, and access controlled. Recordings which are not required for the purposes of security of staff, patient and premises, will not be retained for longer than is necessary (10 Days).

The system does not have an automatic power backup facility which may operate in the event of a main supply power failure.

ACCESS TO IMAGES

It is important that access to, and disclosure of, images recorded by CCTV and similar surveillance equipment is restricted and carefully controlled, not only to ensure that the rights of individuals are preserved, but also to ensure that the chain of evidence remains intact should the images be required for evidential purposes.

ACCESS TO IMAGES BY PRACTICE STAFF

Access to recorded images is restricted to the Data Controllers, who will decide whether to allow requests for access by data subjects and/or third parties (see below).

Viewing of images must be documented as follows:

  • The name of the person removing from secure storage, or otherwise accessing, the recordings
  • The date and time of removal of the recordings
  • The name(s) of the person(s) viewing the images (including the names and organisations of any third parties)
  • The reason for the viewing
  • The outcome, if any, of the viewing
  • The date and time of replacement of the recordings

REMOVAL OF IMAGES FOR USE IN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

In cases where recordings are removed from secure storage for use in legal proceedings, the following must be documented:

  • The name of the person removing from secure storage, or otherwise accessing, the recordings
  • The date and time of removal of the recordings
  • The reason for removal
  • Specific authorisation of removal and provision to a third party
  • Any crime incident number to which the images may be relevant
  • The place to which the recordings will be taken
  • The signature of the collecting police officer, where appropriate
  • The date and time of replacement into secure storage of the recordings

ACCESS TO IMAGES BY THIRD PARTIES

Requests for access to images will be made using the ‘Application to access to CCTV images’ form (which is at Appendix 1), accompanied by a £10 fee (which is non-refundable if the request is declined).

The data controller will assess applications and decide whether the requested access will be permitted. Release will be specifically authorised. Disclosure of recorded images to third parties will only be made in limited and prescribed circumstances. For example, in cases of the prevention and detection of crime, disclosure to third parties will be limited to the following:

  • Law enforcement agencies where the images recorded would assist in a specific criminal enquiry
  • Prosecution agencies
  • Relevant legal representatives
  • The press/media, where it is decided that the public’s assistance is needed in order to assist in the identification of victim, witness or perpetrator in relation to a criminal incident. As part of that decision, the wishes of the victim of an incident should be taken into account
  • People whose images have been recorded and retained (unless disclosure to the individual would prejudice criminal enquiries or criminal proceedings)

All requests for access or for disclosure should be recorded. If access or disclosure is denied, the reason should be documented as above.

DISCLOSURE OF IMAGES TO THE MEDIA

If it is decided that images will be disclosed to the media (other than in the circumstances outlined above), the images of other individuals must be disguised or blurred so that they are not readily identifiable.

If the CCTV system does not have the facilities to carry out that type of editing, an editing company may need to be used to carry it out.

If an editing company is used, then the data controller must ensure that there is a contractual relationship between them and the editing company, and:

  • That the editing company has given appropriate guarantees regarding the security measures they take in relation to the images
  • The written contract makes it explicit that the editing company can only use the images in accordance with the instructions of the data controllers
  • The written contract makes the security guarantees provided by the editing company explicit

ACCESS BY DATA SUBJECTS

This is a right of access, which is provided by section 7 of the 1998 Act. Requests for access to images will be made using the ‘Application to access to CCTV images’ form (which is at Appendix 1), accompanied by a £10 fee (non-refundable if the request is declined).

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH AN ACCESS REQUEST

All requests for access by Data Subjects will be dealt with by the Data Protection Officer (DPO).

The DPO will locate the images requested. The data controller will determine whether disclosure to the data subject would entail disclosing images of third parties.

The data controller will need to determine whether the images of third parties are held under a duty of confidence. In all circumstances the practice’s indemnity insurers will be asked to advise on the desirability of releasing any information.

If third party images are not to be disclosed, the data controllers will arrange for the third party images to be disguised or blurred. If the CCTV system does not have the facilities to carry out that type of editing, an editing company may need to be used to carry it out. If an editing company is used, then the data controller must ensure that there is a contractual relationship between them and the editing company, and:

  • That the editing company has given appropriate guarantees regarding the security measures they take in relation to the images
  • The written contract makes it explicit that the editing company can only use the images in accordance with the instructions of the data controllers
  • The written contract makes the security guarantees provided by the editing company explicit

The practice manager will provide a written response to the data subject within 21 days of receiving the request setting out the data controllers’ decision on the request.

A copy of the request and response should be retained.

COMPLAINTS

Complaints must be in writing, and addressed to the practice manager. Where the complainant is a third party, and the complaint or enquiry relates to someone else, the written consent of the patient or data subject is required. All complaints will be acknowledged within 7 days, and a written response issued within 21 days.