‘We’re watching you!’ Council’s CCTV operation praised

Coun Lisa Preston with Rod Jones, the council's Safer Communities Manager and the certificate of compliance
Coun Lisa Preston with Rod Jones, the council's Safer Communities Manager and the certificate of compliance

St Helens Council has been awarded for its effective CCTV service by the Government’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

Receiving a five-year Certificate of Compliance from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner provides tangible evidence that a CCTV monitoring operation complies with the national code of practice.

Certification also provides reassurance to the community that the council's public open space CCTV scheme is managed effectively and the information gathered from the cameras is used in an appropriate manner.

The council currently operates over 100 public open space cameras that help to tackle crime and disorder in the borough.

Councillor Lisa Preston, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “I am delighted we have received this certificate of compliance.

“This sets the standard for public space surveillance and demonstrates to the public of St Helens that the system is run efficiently and transparently.

“It also proves how hard the team of operators works to provide an effective CCTV operation for the borough.”

The certification scheme was launched in November 2015 by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner enabling organisations complying with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice to be independently audited and providing credibility and transparency to claims of compliance.

The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice aims to balance the requirement for cameras with individuals’ rights to privacy drawing upon the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

To ensure that best practice of the Camera Code is followed, St Helens Council appointed SSAIB, as a designated independent third party certification body, working on behalf of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, to verify the compliance of its CCTV systems with the Code of Practice.