Public surveillance must be by consent says SSAIB

Public surveillance must be by consent says SSAIB

Public surveillance must be by consent says SSAIB

Public surveillance must be by consent – that was just one of the talking points at the third annual SSAIB/BT Redcare Installer Forum. SSAIB’s Chief Executive, Alex Carmichael, describes what happened in the first of a two-part report.

The 2016 SSAIB/BT Redcare Installer Forum, which took place again this year at London’s BT Tower, had a forward-thinking programme, touching on topics including home automation, the dearth of engineering skills and the regulatory framework for drone-based surveillance.

Kishor Mistry, Head of Policy and Support at the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s (SCC) office, said surveillance drones unequivocally fall under the SCC’s auspices (and, indeed, the Civil Aviation Authority), which means the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice does apply to monitoring conducted using these devices.

He described to the audience the Code’s key 12 principles and philosophical underpinnings – in essence, ‘surveillance by consent’. Public consent effectively relies on the public having confidence that surveillance makes them safer without compromising their privacy any more than required. CCTV deployment must be therefore be “proportionate, transparent and effective.”

However, Mistry said many residential landlords had told him about inheriting fixed cameras that were close to useless, while they still had to pay for their on-going maintenance:

“Is that an effective use of money?” he asked, rhetorically.


From RISCAuthority (the Risk Insight, Strategy and Control Authority, which conducts research and performs representation on behalf of a group of UK insurers into security and fire risk mitigation measures), Security Working Group Convenor Mike Jay provided an overview on its aims and activities. These include RISCAuthority’s useful free publications S12 (police response for intruder alarms), S13 (audible-only intruder alarms), S14 (police response for intruder alarms) and S17 (intrusion and hold-up alarms).

Jay also discussed S29, covering access control, which he dubbed a “Cinderella” sector – i.e. often neglected. The organisation’s current focus is on the defining threats of our age – cyber crime and terror – as well as safety deposit boxes in the wake of the 2015 Hatton Garden Raid (there are a surprising lack of standards in this area, he said).

Lacking the technical expertise to engage with a subject as complex and fast changing as cyber crime/security, he said RISCAuthority’s work on this area was more about signposting installers, specifiers, consultants, end user customers and others to authoritative sources.

Health and safety

The event also included an informative session on the topic of health and safety, presented by Shaunna Thornton, an H&S Consultant with professional solutions provider Citation. This presentation covered manual handling, COSHH and PPE regulations, as well as the relevant enforcement, inspection and audit agencies.

Thornton asked the audience a challenging question: why have health and safety protection measures at all? Besides the moral obligations on people to behave in a reasonable manner and care for others, she noted, there are legal reasons (including the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act and the Managing Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999), as well as financial imperatives: 27 million days are lost annually (approximately one day per worker).

In part two of our report on the SSAIB/BT Redcare Installer Forum (included within SecurityNewsDesk Issue 21), we’ll be covering other important topics raised at the event including domestic CCTV, along with valuable security insights provided by a leading banking sector end-user.

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