Victim not allowed to view CCTV?
This is an interesting story as it shows how the CCTV controller has the right to refuse requests for CCTV footage. The basis of the refusal is that the evidence requested shows individuals other than the person requesting the information.
This can be frustrating, but the Police can view the CCTV evidence and to be fair, with a brief description, would soon identify the the person involved.
To hand this information over to a member of the public, even an injured party, could result in the identified person suing the CCTV controller for damages for any consequences of the evidence being released.
A tough one, but heres the story:
Devons Midweek Herald reported:
Honiton businesswoman says innocent people are victims of ‘crazy’ Data Protection Act.
‘Ridiculous’ laws are hampering efforts to identify crooks in Honiton says Mandy Newman a local businesswoman, she wants MP Neil Parish to take action.
She was shocked to learn that CCTV footage from Honiton’s town centre camera system cannot be viewed by victims of crime, not even to point out suspected offenders.
Cash was stolen from the High Street shop for a second time recently and a member of staff told police she would be able to identify the suspect – if she was allowed to view CCTV footage.
However, the offer was declined – because of the Data Protection Act.
Mrs Newman said CCTV footage should be treated in the same way as an identity parade and points out: “It’s quicker.
“What is the point of having CCTV?”
Government guidance on CCTV states: “Judgements about disclosure should be made by the organisation operating the CCTV system. They have discretion to refuse any request for information, unless there is an overriding legal obligation such as a court order or information access rights.”
The CCTV system is operated by Honiton Town Council, which follows proper guidelines.
According to Government guidance, members of the public can submit requests to view CCTV footage but are not generally permitted to view
images of third parties – just themselves.