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Posts Tagged ‘Home Office CCTV Guidelines’

CCTV in Schools

Friday, November 6th, 2009

CCTV in schools is often a cause of controversy and debate.

Apparently a UK school CCTV system inadvertently recorded footage of school children getting changed, which prompted this new statement from the Information Commissioner’s Office today:

6 November 2009

CCTV in schools

Jonathan Bamford, Assistant Information Commissioner, said:

“CCTV should only be used for a pressing need. It is perfectly reasonable for a school to use CCTV to help secure its premises, but it shouldn’t be left switched on capturing images of school children changing during the day. When a school is staffed and children are on the premises, cameras will not generally be required for security purposes. Organisations that do capture images using CCTV are required by law to adhere to the Principles of the Data Protection Act. Guidance for organisations using CCTV is available from http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/topic_specific_guides/cctv.aspx”

Now I am sure that all statements from the ICO are carefully considered and worded so that there can be no ambiguity of meaning, but I’m not entirely sure that they meant what they seem to be saying in that middle sentence:

When a school is staffed and children are on the premises, cameras will not generally be required for security purposes.

Switch the CCTV off during the normal school day???

Comments below please …

PS – check the website of the newspaper local to the school – the Manchester Evening News – lots of comments from concerned parents …

Shop CCTV poor

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

From the BBC website.

Vital evidence is being lost and criminals are getting away because CCTV systems in shops are not being looked after properly, according to police.

The Police say:

I would urge all owners or managers of businesses with CCTV cameras installed to take the time to make sure that their system is fit for purpose.

Helicopter Gunship Attacks Corner Shop!!!

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Right, now I’ve got your attention:

I see a lot of CCTV systems, can anybody tell me why so many cameras show so much of the sky??

Are they really expecting the above headline?

Did the system owner really ask the installer to monitor the sky?

The challenge for CCTV cameras is to capture useful evidence; as the size of the scene increases, the size of people within that scene decreases, and the usefulness of their images decreases too (bear in mind that Home Office guidelines for CCTV images to be admissible for ‘recognition of a known individual’ require us to capture their image at 50% of screen height).

So why waste valuable field of view on the sky?

To make matters even worse, the sky is often bright – to cope with the brightness of the sky the camera & lens combination will close the lens iris – this then results in what is on the ground being put completely into dim shade, and becoming a virtually useless image.

Tilt the camera down a bit.

Use a vari-focal lens and zoom-in a little; take the sky out of the scene, and fill the field of view with a useful scene.

For goodness sake – think about the image; less is more; just cover an agreed scene and deliver useful images!