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As an enquirers thread was being diverted I have kicked off this thread to discuss CCTV and BWC.

 

As E Munch has highlighted ICO concerns and DPA on this thread at post# 8

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?457929-Bristow-and-Sutor-%28Council-Tax%29-threatened-ARREST-if-not-pay-NOW...%282-Viewing%29-nbspdress happens to be right number wrong street

 

I will kick off with the other side of the coin as in an aggressive EA is captured on a debtor's doorstep CCTV trying to intimidate a 14 year old daughter who looks 18, with no other adult present. DPA issues? and as it is a private house EA cannot demand footage destroyed and apparently no DPA issue especially if warning that CCTV is recording all visitors being displayed.

 

Compare and contrast with DPA implications for BWC on EA capturing the same incident.

 

Discuss


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There are a lot of discussions ongoing at the moment regarding the use of body worn cameras by enforcement agents. Some companies are using full facilities (such as filming) whilst some others (JBW Group being one company that springs to mind) have changed to audio recording only.

 

Given that this is a discussion thread, please feel free to contribute.

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There are many points to consider:

 

For instance, with many companies the enforcement visits are mainly of a 'domestic' nature (ie: the collection of council tax arrears and unpaid penalty charge notices). Accordingly, to ensure that the debtor is at home, visits are made in early morning (before 8am) and it is not uncommon that the family members may answer the door in their nightwear and young children may be running around in their underwear etc. Filimg in such circumstances is not permitted. Filimg may only involve the named DEBTOR (not family members).

 

Additionally, the videos require encryption (which is costly)......videos require storage (which is more costs) and there is the need for a Data Controller to be on the payroll.

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oops I just started a similar thread, perhaps site team could merge?


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Threads merged


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Threads merged

 

Thanks andyorch, hope BA doesn't mind, but one thread will tie it all together nicely


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Lets call it a joint thread brassnecked :-)


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As requested here is the post that prompted the transfer to discussion area:

 

 

Body worn video (BWV) is an important topic of interest to debtors, enforcement agencies and the advice sector but is one where everyone holds a strong and often opposing view which often ignores important realities.

 

 

BWV is expensive but this is not why there is a problem with introducing it for "all State Officials, whether EA's, Police or Council Enforcement Officers and their contractors visiting homes should be required to have a body camera." The problem is that the Data Protection Act which is overseen by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICOlink3.gif) does not allow such blanket use and the ICO is clear that they do not want to allow the creep in use of technology just because it is there. The Data Protection legislation is soon to be updated due to updating of European requirements which will include updating for new technologies.

The ICO, which did not write the DPA, but which has to try to enforce it and offer guidance based upon it wrote an article for CIVEA (the professional/trade body for enforcement agencies). The following two paragraphs give a good flavour of their views:-

 

Body worn cameras have the potential to be particularly intrusive because of their small size and portability. They can also incorporate audio recording, which is likely to increase the level of privacy intrusion. Organisations must be able to put forward a strong argument as to why it is necessary to use them

It would be disproportionate to turn the cameras on immediately in most circumstances. BWV should be activated in response to specific circumstances, for example where an individual becomes aggressive. There may be situations where it is proportionate to turn cameras on immediately, for example when visiting an address where there has been a history of complaints against officers or aggressive behaviour by a resident, but these should be the exception rather than the rule.

You can see there is total opposition to the filming of every visit throughout yet this is what is needed if it is to be a tool to prevent misbehaviour of enforcement agents. The ICO urges the use of a privacy impact assessment (PIA) before embarking on any change of operations which would increase the collection of personal datalink3.gif and they regard the videoing of the public as a huge intrusion on privacy even though many of us can see great advantages to its use. If an enforcement agency does a PIA it must find that BWV should only be used sparingly and really only when visiting an address where there has been a history of complaints against officers or aggressive behaviour by a resident. If the enforcement agency says it wants to use it to control their staff the ICO will rightly say they should be controlled in some other way and if they are uncontrollable by any other means then the guilty individuals should not be EAs and if they are they should be reported to the courts to have their certificates revoked.

If there is a pressing need for fulltime BWV for enforcement agents then it would be helpful if that was written into legislation as a requirement that the EA must follow. This legislation would of course need to be shown not to infringe the DPA and HRA which would be hard. (Remember the HRA trumps everything.) At the moment opinions are divided in the Enforcement industry with some people being firm advocates and attempt to use it as a way of gaining business whilst others are trying to comply with the DPA and HRA as well as doing their enforcement activities. If you follow the current legislation I believe it should only be used when a pressing need is foreseeable. If it isn't foreseen then BWV should not be carried and the debtor should be protected by sacking bad EAs, debtors complaining about any bad EAs that visit them and EAs protecting themselves from violent debtors by getting the hell out of it if the debtor or others turn nasty.

We are not in a situation where EAs and/or debtors are constantly at a high risk of harm such that recording everyone and everything is justified in terms of the DPA. Ask the ICO.

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Lets call it a joint thread brassnecked :-)

 

definitely, but it is public not "in camera" :-)

 

This issue really needs robust debate as there are many hidden issues that could crop up around use of any recording of a situation, from CCTV BWC to Channel 5 with their fly on the wall cameras.


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Just adding to the discussion, sometimes when the EA attends a property it could be were there are in a Council/privately run community home, or where there is a residential care home. The EA could capture innocent members of that home. Does this happen. Yes it does, I have helped 2 residents in one such place. The EA's had their BWV running. They were asked to turn it off but refused.

 

 

There could be significant privacy violations involved here. Many EA's like to look like they are not what they seem to appear. This has been discussed previously, but if you take the fuller picture here you will/could find they are trying far to hard to look like an emergency service personnel. In their attire manners and how they speak.

 

 

Lets look at the list for a moment ok.

1. Uniform

2. BWV

3. Warrants

4. The ability to detain someone

5. The ability to use reasonable force to subdue

6. The ability to use the Police as a backup service

 

 

The list could be longer but I think you get the drift.

 

 

The other side of the coin is as follows, where does the Act they are working under give them the right to use BWV in a private home? I have already contacted the ICO on this last year, their response was they should not be doing this. Also although they have the right in some situations to enter a property none have the right to video within a private address without the consent of the owner/tenant... Regardless of why they are there.

 

 

More information can be found on the ICO website or just look here >> https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1542/cctv-code-of-practice.pdf


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MM this also brings into question CH 5 film crew following their Tame EA's into someones home cameras rolling for Can't Pay. The householder however does have the right to film the EA and the crew if they wish with camcorder or phone.

 

E Munch, I agree with the points you bring up in your post, and like BA have issues around data security, storage of footage if requierd for a complaint, or even DPA issues with children running around, potentially half naked. Whilst helping a friend over Christmas with some delivery work for a well known parcel company, several times children answered the door, in one instance a girl of 8 or 9 answered the door with nothing on below the waist, in another a young boy of around 6 with a toddler sister naked below the waist following him answered, i told the children to close the door and go fetch a parent. If an EA with BWC running called and the girl answered, (I told the parents that they should not allow their children to answer the door under any circumstances) could the police if they disliked them prosecute the EA using the BWC footage as evidence of child porn? Even worse could such footage get out into the public domain if the data storage was insecure or was hacked?

 

This is indeed a very large can of worms.


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MM makes an interesting point. The EA is only allowed into any premises in accordance with the Schedule 12 procedure. Paragraph 14 is the usual section giving such authority and 14(1) says only that "An enforcement Agent may enter relevant premises to search for and take control of goods." There is no need to film anything to do those things so perhaps there is no right to do it at all even apart from the data protection and human rights issues. Paragraph 27(4) does however say that "The enforcement agent may take any equipment onto the premises." So he can presumably take a BWV camera onto the premises but if it is not needed for the searching and taking control of goods can he use it even if the people there agree to it?

 

 

BN for data protection purposes it does not matter what state of undress is filmed, someone's image is personal data though I suppose a state of undress might reveal sensitive personal data not visible when clothed. The state of undress would I suppose have relevance to infringement of some aspects of human rights.

 

 

I think you'll agree that there are real issues here that make a blanket ruling that EAs should film all their work (as was suggested yesterday in the original thread) difficult, if not impossible.

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Agree with the Human Rights angle EM, as for the DPA part, the EA can only film the debtor presumably, so third parties could object to their being filmed as they are on the premises.


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Ok guys lets put this to the test then, I would challenge anyone to go to the shopping Mall and to start making a video openly and then see what happens, that answer is simple you will be asked to stop recording and maybe leave. If however you are caught doing it discreetly then you can get into some serious trouble.

 

 

There are plenty of these situations on YouTube to say the least, BWV is not a tool under any one the schedules, it is purely for safety reasons and maybe a training aid to assist the other team members just in case things go wrong. A case in question on a previous thread when I posted about an EA and got away with it.

 

 

Trust me on this as I had the very same situation with CCTV on residential estates locally and the rules are strict to say the least. How will a BWV assist the EA anyway, can it say look here there is a XBOX or the like? NO it cannot. So therefore it is not a tool of the job it is simply there to protect the EA in case they get in to trouble. But as we know they can turn it off and /or hide the contents of the recordings. Also take the point of another thread when the EA was accused of an offence with a woman! Again the list goes on and on.

 

 

I do have plenty of time on my hands and this is what I look for and ways to keep the EA under control. Failing all of the above it must be stated that any poster if they can must now show any link and be able to back it up that the EA has the LEGAL AUTHORITY to film in private property... Even film crews are asked to leave, then they must...

 

 

Suffice to say the HRA has some special notes on how when and why, least not the excuse they may come out with we need to protect ourselves, my simple response to that is simple they are trained to deal with debtors at a PROFESSIONAL level and consideration.

 

 

Second task I dare anyone to try is to go in to an EA's office and film, then again see what happens! Their reply will be you cannot film in here there are rules this is a private area and you cannot film in here. Sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.....

 

 

Finally filming in public is allowed unless there are signs banning the use of them. Like it is in the Courts. So do you see where I can go with this? A very long way.... My observations are below


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BN the difference for the debtor in his own home can ask the TV crew to leave and they must.

 

 

The rules are for all to see and very clearly the EA may enter if given permission and or under warrant for fines and the like. I have yet to see anywhere were they have been given ANY permission to use video recording equipment inside private property. I recently gave a video statement to the ASB team that were using these devices at my front door. Before it started I said don't record yet as I need to shut my door so you cannot record in to my home. So they didn't start for a while till I secured my premises. This is so they didn't record inside my home...

 

 

My arguments are as follows:

 

 

1. Article 8(1) HRA

2. Article 8(2) HRA

3. It has been suggested that I read on the case of Wainright v Home Office which can be found here >> http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/2003/53.html which also leads to further case law.. Not sure what to expect but will look at it all.. My new homework... Something about invasion of privacy umm


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Paragraph 27(4) does however say that "The enforcement agent may take any equipment onto the premises." So he can presumably take a BWV camera onto the premises but if it is not needed for the searching and taking control of goods can he use it even if the people there agree to it?

 

 

Munch, I am not all together persuaded that Para 27.4 is intended to allow for Body Worn Camera's to be included as 'equipment'. It needs to be read in conjunction with Para.27.5

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/15/schedule/12/paragraph/27?view=plain

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Looks like we have also found a new topic from this discussion! That is what is deemed equipment and for what purpose it will be used for... Food for thought


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Looks like we have also found a new topic from this discussion! That is what is deemed equipment and for what purpose it will be used for... Food for thought

 

All this doesn't take away the debtors right to film the EA, a CH5 film crew TVL goon etc with their own CCTV camera covering the doorstep, or use a phone or camcorder to do so on their own premises. As in with their own equipment.

 

As to EA equipment a BWC, a smartphone and a camcorder would qualify as equipment for filming.so might not be permissible, equipment in the

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/.../27?view=plain

 

That may well be a ram to force interior doors, locks and boxes to secure goods. a camera to photograph seized goods taken into control. Just a couple of thoughts.


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Which could bring us straight back to posts #15/16. Also a debtor automatically has the right to film in their own home the EA doesn't does s/he?


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Which could bring us straight back to posts #15/16

It could as the debtor may well have the right to film, whilst the EA once told to cease and desist might not

 

On a slightly different tack, I film and edit video with a media charity, and we always seek permission from the venue management and the organisers, also people sign a permission to be filmed.We also ask for names of people who cannot be filmed, to avoid accidental capture.


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I do understand what you have said and for you that is the correct way to go. But, it is the EA we are talking about and if they can do this with total disregards to the privacy issues as stated earlier... Should they be doing this anyway? Still no proper answer yet, but I have given reasons that they should not dot it...


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I do understand what you have said and for you that is the correct way to go. But, it is the EA we are talking about and if they can do this with total disregards to the privacy issues as stated earlier... Should they be doing this anyway? Still no proper answer yet, but I have given reasons that they should not dot it...

I agree that they are on dodgy ground, and they risk a tolchock from a debtor or the ICO if they film children and third parties, for example if a third party answers the door to the EA with a camera running.

 

What I am suggesting isd that the EA has none of the protections and positive permissions I have to film in whatever circumstances, there are HRA impications from the moment the EA stars filming or recording audio. A police officer has to caution someone before he starts the tape in a police Office interview, it appears the |EA does not need any permission at all.


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The most recent Code of Practice on the use of Surveillance equipment (including ANPR, CCTV and BWV) is the following from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) dated July 2105.

 

Pages 27 through to 29 deal specifically with BWV camera's.

 

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1542/cctv-code-of-practice.pdf

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The most recent Code of Practice on the use of Surveillance equipment (including ANPR, CCTV and BWV) is the following from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) dated July 2105.

 

Pages 27 through to 29 deal specifically with BWV camera's.

 

Thanks BA so it allows domestic CCTV within the curtilage of a home and garden:

covered here

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-cctv-using-cctv-systems-on-your-property/domestic-cctv-using-cctv-systems-on-your-property

 

If notices are up the Ea cannot object to the CCTV filming him. It is a two way street with obstructions for the EA but not the resident

 

There is another can of worms as in a dashcam recording a vehicle journey, especially if it inadvertently films an EA parking his Berlingo and going into a property whilst the vehicle with the camera is stuck in a traffic jam outside the debtor's house.

 

Before anyone screams out of context, this shows how far cameras and recording have come, they record journeys by car, van or truck and even cycles with helmet mounted cameras.

 

Here is a random dashcam off Youtube, wonder what DPA breachesd are contained in it being as it is a private individual posting this up.

 


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