Michael Kheng of Kai’s Bar in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, maintained that he was obeying data protection laws after police requested CCTV footage from his bar without explaining who they were looking for.
Lincolnshire police then had to obtain a court order to seize the CCTV tapes. They had intelligence that offenders involved in a burglary at a residence unconnected to the premises had been in the bar. The burglary took place in Alford, Lincolnshire, six-and-a-half miles away.
At the review hearing yesterday (Monday 23 January), Kheng said that he was acting in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). He said: “The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) guidance confirms what the DPA states in that if the company has concerns regarding releasing CCTV footage then the company are well within their rights to ask the police to obtain a court order.”
A condition on the premises licence that said ‘provision of CCTV and recordings made available to police upon request’ was amended to ‘a tamper resistant CCTV system shall be installed, maintained in working order and operated at the premises. Subject to a suitable request and agreement of the Data Controller images shall be released to Lincolnshire police so long as the Data Controller is happy to do so in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998’.
The committee also put a condition on the licence which says that Kheng must retain CCTV images for more than 14 days.
Kheng, director of Kurnia, which owns Kai’s Bar, added: “The cost on the public purse for Lincolnshire Police and East Lindsey District Council plus the time and costs for Kurnia in matter have been wasted. It is a shame that Lincolnshire Police went straight for a review and failed to work in partnership with Kurnia. Kurnia offer to meet with the police for them to view our CCTV system last week but unfortunately they declined to attend.”
Seargent Jock Watt from the Lincolnshire police licensing department said: “Lincolnshire Police believe it was necessary to have brought the review in order to promote the licensing objectives and are disappointed with the determination of the Licensing Committee on this occasion. We will now, however, take a critical view of our submission and look to address any issues that have arisen from the process.”