The Home Office code came into force earlier in August and was introduced as part of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. It outlined 12 principles for the use of CCTV surveillance cameras in England and Wales and was devised on a notion of ‘surveillance by consent’.
A new report from IHS entitled ‘The World Market for CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment’ predicts the code will have a “limited impact” on the growth of the UK market – which is the fourth-largest regional market in the world behind China, the United States and Japan.
IHS estimates the UK had 4 million surveillance cameras installed in 2012. However, that figure is an area of some debate and a previous estimate from DCC Graeme Gerrard, lead on CCTV issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers, put the figure at 1.85 million.
Furthermore, recent research by the British Security Industry Association said there was between 4 million and 5.9 million CCTV surveillance cameras in the UK. They counted all surveillance cameras, regardless of whether they are public-facing or not.
Josh Woodhouse, surveillance market analyst for IHS, admitted there are much greater numbers of cameras installed on private property than there are public-facing surveillance cameras in the UK.
The new code covers best-practice in public area surveillance systems and the analyst predicts suppliers and installers of public-facing cameras should not be negatively affected by the code.
He said: “Surveillance systems in public areas are estimated to account for only a small percentage of the UK’s cameras, with the vast majority installed on private property.
“Furthermore, the code of practice should entail little worry even for those equipment suppliers and installers working in public places. This is because they are already used to complying with far more stringent surveillance legislation in other countries.”
The study predicts that the UK market for video surveillance will grow between 2013 and 2017, with a proportion of this growth attributed to new systems replacing current ageing installation.
Woodhouse added: “In spite of the large number of systems already installed in the UK, vendors should not ignore the opportunity this regional market continues to present.”