CCTV not needed for all pubs, watchdog argues

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Related tags: License, Surveillance, Crime

Pubs with no history of disorder should not be forced to install CCTV cameras, the Information Commissioner has warned the government.The news comes...

Pubs with no history of disorder should not be forced to install CCTV cameras, the Information Commissioner has warned the government.

The news comes after licensee Nick Gibson won his battle not to have CCTV installed at his pub after he was backed by the watchdog.

Gibson, who is set to take over the Drapers Arms in Islington, London, said the cameras would interfere with his customer's civil liberties.

The Information Commissioner's Office wrote to the Metropolitan police on Nick's behalf to warn the introduction of CCTV in pubs "raised serious privacy concerns".

Islington Police then dropped this condition and granted Nick a licence for his pub.

Gibson said he had put the issue behind him and was now concentrating on the future of the Drapers Arms.

But a spokeswoman confirmed the force would continue to call for CCTV to be installed as part of all future licenses.

The Information Commissioner has now expressed concern that CCTV could become part of mandatory conditions for licensing under the new Policing and Crime Bill.

A spokesman said: "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."

Related topics: Legislation

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