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Damage to vehicle on private property caught on CCTV (Scotland)


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Hello,

 

I live in a block of flats that is on private land with a private carpark. It is overseen by a Management Company and has a factor - both of which appear to be ran by the same person.

 

2 months ago our BMW X6 was driven into/damaged and whoever caused the damage left without leaving any contact/insurance details.

 

Yesterday, our VW Golf that was only bought 2 weeks ago was also crashed onto and again no details have been provided.

 

Between both incidents, CCTV has been installed in the lobby of each block and also outside each block. I contacted the factor yesterday who told me the camera only covers the footpath outside and can't see the carpark. I went into the cafe at the top of the road (the whole road/land is gated off from the main road) to see her camera which she has on a TV inside her kitchen and I can clearly see a 180 degree angle around the entrance to her cafe which extends right out to the carpark and the canal outside - which the factor previously denied that the CCTV reached, stating it was the footpath only which I know is not true. My car was parked right in front of our block which has one of the round cameras above the door so I am 99% confident it is visible on the CCTV (if recording!).

 

Today I phoned them again asking for them to review the camera or provide access and they point blank refused stating 'they are not trained to access this'. The police also cannot asisst as it happened on private property.

 

My questions are:

 

Do I have any rights to the CCTV? Technically this has been a hit and run/crime, if I don't have access, who does?

 

We pay a factors fee, no one notified us about the CCTV being installed, is this regulated and surely this is there for our security which has now been breached, do I have any rights at all? What is the point in having it when I cannot rely on it when an incident has occured and has been caught on camera?

 

The management company is a private limited company, is it normal for the factor to be overseen by another board etc? We don't see eye to eye with the person who is the director of the management company and who runs the factor as his mother lives below us and there have been problems with a leak that came from a communal pipe however she prefers to blame this on us and give us agro, and he is the person blocking all of my requests to try and find out who crashed into my car and drove off.

 

I hope this makes sense, all help is appreciated, and this happened in Scotland - as I am aware that laws differ between E&W and Scotland.

 

Thank you.

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Time may be short. You therefore need to grab hold of this by the scruff of the neck.

 

You are not entitled to a copy of any relevant CCTV footage there may be without a court order. However s.35 of the Data Protection Act 1988 (which applies in Scotland as equally as it does in England and Wales) allows for the lawful disclosure of personal data (which such footage almost certainly represents) for the purposes of, amongst other things, legal proceedings, prospective legal proceedings or establishing or exercising legal rights which would clearly include pursuing someone who has damaged your property.

 

As the CCTV system has been recently installed then the system owner is obliged to display warning signs that detail who the "data controller" for the system is and their contact details. Failure to display these notices is a breach of the Act. If there are no signs then I suggest that you speak as soon as possible to the factor and ask him who the system owner is. If he declines to answer or simply doesn't know (I'd find that hard to believe, but hey, these things happen) then write to him and the management company in the following sort of terms. Make sure you keep a clear copy of the letters you send. You could, conceivably hand the factor's copy to him but send the copy to the management company by recorded delivery.

 

Dear Sirs

 

Damage to VW Golf, registration number at , on

Formal Request for Disclosure of CCTV Footage

 

I refer to the above incident which occurred between the hours of and in which substantial damage was caused to the vehicle, probably as a result of another vehicle colliding with it. The vehicle did not, it seems, stop at the locus and certainly no communication has been received from the driver of that vehicle indicating their responsibility.

 

A CCTV camera system was recently installed at this location which I understand is recorded. In order to identify and pursue the person responsible for the damage, howsoever it was caused, for the costs incurred in making the necessary repairs, I request that any and all relevant footage be made available to me without delay.

 

I draw your attention to the terms of s. 35 Data Protection Act which permits the lawful disclosure of personal data for use in connection with: "... any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings), or for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, or is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights." Indeed, in such circumstances, the data is exempt for the normal non-disclosure provisions of the Act.

 

As a tenant/resident with an established relationship with your company I would appreciate your cooperation in connection with my recovering the costs in relation to the damage caused the vehicle. I therefore ask that you avail yourselves of the provisions of s.35 and disclose any relevant footage to me as soon as possible. This would obviously minimise our costs. If, however, you feel unable to disclose such footage without the benefit of a court order then please accept this letter as formal notice of my intention to issue proceedings to obtain any footage if so required.

 

With this in mind and as time is of the essence I therefore request that you indicate to me whether such footage as will assist me in this matters exists without further delay.

 

Having already sought guidance from the factor, Mr , as to how such footage may be obtained you have already been put on notice as to the potential value of relevant recordings. I would be extremely disappointed if footage has already been lost as a result of any retention policy you may have, given that the system was presumably installed to provide the occupiers of the property with additional security.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

If and when you get copy of the footage then this may help you identify the vehicle concerned. If it is not one you recognise but you can make out the registration number then you can apply to the DVLA at Swansea using a form V888 to obtain details of the registered owner of the vehicle. You can download the form on this link on DirectGov. Make sure you read the guidance on what details to give - generally the more detail you can give the better your chances are of getting the details by return. Attaching a still from the CCTV footage of the vehicle involved showing the registration number would be most useful.

 

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

 

I am not a solicitor but was for a long time a data controller and have dealt with numerous applications of this type (my employers had car parks at all of their properties through which there was a lot of public traffic).

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