Police Charter on responsible use of CCTV

SUSSEX Police Authority has signed up to a new Charter that promises to use CCTV in a transparent, legal and accountable manner that respects the rights of individuals.

The Charter, drawn up by the European Forum for Urban Security, has been compiled using the experiences of a number of different European cities and counties.

Sussex has been heavily involved in the development of the Charter, with representatives from Sussex Police and Sussex Police Authority presenting to the Forum.

The Sussex Independent CCTV monitoring scheme, developed by the Police Authority last year, has inspired particular elements of the Charter, in particular the independent oversight of checks and balances on CCTV usage.

By signing the Charter Sussex Police Authority is signing up to the principles of responsible use of CCTV.

In particular, ensuring legality, necessity, proportionality, transparency, accountability, independent oversight and citizen participation.

These principles have long been adhered to in Sussex, but by signing this Charter, Sussex hopes to cement these values and help reassure the public that Sussex Police is using CCTV, an often controversial tool of modern policing, responsibly and with respect for citizen’s rights and data protection.

The Charter was signed at the Authority’s Neighbourhood Policing Scrutiny Committee on March 10 by Carole Shaves, the Chairman of the committee.

Chief Superintendent Chris Ambler said, “I am very proud of Sussex Police’s involvement in this Charter and to witness the first UK Authority signing up to its principles.

“I am now looking forward to seeing how our partners respond to this project and how we can incorporate the Charter’s principles into those partnership arrangements.”

Dr Laurie Bush, chairman of Sussex Police Authority, said, “The formal endorsement of this Charter is a very exciting moment .

“I am delighted with the work that Sussex has done to contribute in such a positive way and that our CCTV Monitoring Scheme initiative has influenced the Charter so significantly.

“It is now up to us to follow this Charter through and prove its importance to partners and the public alike.”