Police drop pub CCTV request

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Drapers arms, Surveillance, Crime, License

Police drop pub CCTV request
The move at the Drapers Arms in Islington follows intervention by the UK's privacy watchdog.

Police have dropped calls for a London pub to install CCTV after the UK's privacy watchdog raised concerns.

Police in Islington had asked the Drapers Arms to film every customer entering and leaving the pub, but licensee Nick Gibson objected.

Islington Police have had a policy of asking all pubs have CCTV, and make images available to officers on request, before a licence is given. The MA revealed last week that the force is seeking legal advice about its policy in light of fears raised by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Police have now withdrawn their request at the Drapers Arms after the ICO spoke to the force.

A spokeswoman for the ICO said: "Following our intervention, the Drapers Arms in Islington is no longer required to install CCTV. We will now be speaking with the Metropolitan Police about the blanket requirement for licensed premises in certain boroughs to install CCTV surveillance.

"The use of CCTV must be reasonable and proportionate if we are to maintain public trust and confidence in its deployment. Installing surveillance in a particular pub to combat specific problems of rowdiness and bad behaviour may be lawful, but hardwiring in blanket measures across entire areas and including pubs where there has been no history of criminal activity is likely to breach data protection requirements."

The upcoming mandatory alcohol retailing code, set to be in force from this summer, would give councils new powers to insist pubs in hotspots install CCTV. The ICO plans to raise concerns about this with the Government.

The spokeswoman added: "We are concerned that this new power may be used to mandate the installation of CCTV in licensed premises where there has been no history of trouble and where the installation of CCTV is not justified.

"To date we have not been approached by Government to discuss the provisions of this [Policing and Crime] Bill. We will therefore be raising the framing of this section with the Government."

Related topics: Legislation

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