Make sure your CCTV is legally registered

By Michael Kheng

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cctv Data protection act 1998 Lincolnshire

'It's all about standing your ground', says Michael Kheng
'It's all about standing your ground', says Michael Kheng
I am pleased to say the ridiculous review Lincolnshire Police applied for against one of my bars was recently thrown out by East Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire. The review centred around CCTV.

In October 2011 the police asked for one-and-a-half hours of CCTV footage. They could not identify who they were looking for but said they believed someone involved in an incident in another town six-and-a-half miles away had been drinking in my bar.

The Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 is very clear that the owner of a CCTV may refuse such a request if they have concerns. As we had concerns, we refused.

It should be noted that the police did not state what the incident was, nor did they ask for CCTV from any other bars in the town.

In the three-hour hearing, we stated that the application was an abuse of police powers and informed the committee that the application had been made without discussing any concerns.

Kurnia has been running pubs for more than 40 years and this was the first time the firm had been accused of wrong-doing. The police wanted 11 conditions to be added to the premises licence, all of which were specific to CCTV.

In the hearing I stated that the presence and installation of CCTV promoted the licensing objectives, and not the specification or conditions relating to CCTV.

I also pointed out that the units we use to record CCTV were the same as those Lincolnshire Police use in their police stations — and that the police wanted our system to be eight times better than theirs!

It became clear during the hearing that the police were asking for a standard set of CCTV conditions to be added without actually knowing what they really meant. The police said they had never been refused CCTV, to which I replied that maybe nobody from whom they have requested CCTV fully understood the DPA.

I fully support partnership working and believe that the industry should work in partnership with all, but this has to be two-way.

This partnership should not be one where you have to give in to an over-zealous request or even reach a compromise where one is not necessary. If you have CCTV make sure you register with the Information Commissioner’s Office; if not, your system may be illegal.

Stand up if you believe and know you are right. Standing your ground and winning not only helps you, but also others in the industry.

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