Sunstone to chair the Code of Practice Conference in Westminster

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Sunstone to chair the Code of Practice Conference in Westminster

Surveillance by Consent: A New Code of Practice for CCTV and ANPR

Date: Thursday 12th September 2013
Time: 10:15am — 4:30pm
Venue: Broadway House, Westminster
Chair: Matthew Scott (Director, Sunstone IP Systems)

Over the past 25 years CCTV has advanced into public spaces across the UK. From controlling football crowds and monitoring our town centres at night to aiding local police and Scotland Yard in identifying criminals from the recent riots and terrorism suspects. CCTV is now widely regarded as an indispensible crime prevention and public protection tool. In 2007, as a response to the rapid growth of the nation’s CCTV infrastructure, the previous Government unveiled a National CCTV Strategy – the first of its kind. The strategy highlighted “the need for standards, better training, improved partnership working and more coordinated use of new technology to ensure that we get the best out of new and existing CCTV systems”.

In March 2011, seeking to further strengthen the regulatory framework governing the use of video surveillance in public places, the Government’s Protection of Freedoms Bill outlined a commitment to develop a Code of Practice relating to CCTV, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and other surveillance camera systems, and the appointment of a Surveillance Camera Commissioner to monitor its operation.

Following the completion of an extensive consultation process, the new surveillance camera code of conduct came into force on 4 June 2013. The code sets out new guidelines for CCTV and ANPR, with the principle of ‘surveillance by consent’ the centrepiece of the new legislation.

This timely symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to understand and discuss the implications of the Government’s new Code of Practice for local authorities, police forces, SOCA, Police and Crime Commissioners, community safety teams, CCTV system operators and other stakeholders. The symposium will assess the Government’s new guidance and its ability to not impinge on civil liberties and individual freedoms, whilst fulfilling CCTV and ANPR’s true potential as an effective component of future local crime reduction and community safety strategies in a sensible and proportionate manner.

Delegates will:
• Discuss the new CCTV Code of Practice and its guiding principles
• Assess whether the code of practice ensures that the deployment of CCTV and ANPR systems is proportionate, transparent and effective
• Explore the future direction of policy and consider technological and other challenges ahead on the use of CCTV and ANPR systems

Panel Session One:
• The CCTV Code of Practice Guidance – Striking the Balance
• Understanding the new Code of Practice – overview and the 12 guiding principles
• Expanding on guiding principles (1-4) – The development or use of surveillance camera systems
• Exploring guiding principles (5-12) – the use or processing of images and information
• Does the code of practice ensure that the deployment of CCTV and ANPR systems is proportionate, transparent and effective?

Panel Session Two:
• Meeting the Needs of Local Communities – Reducing Crime through Better Use of CCTV and ANPR
• Reducing crime and meeting the needs of communities – discuss the effect on local authorities, police forces, SOCA, PCCs and other system operators
• The Economic Impact – Assess the costs for local authorities, police forces and SOCA in complying with the guiding principles of the code
• Consider the role of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner
• Share best practice on future policy, technological and other challenges ahead