When you are considering security measures for your home or business, you will of course have a lot to think about. You’ll need to make sure everything is tailored to your specific needs and level of risk first and foremost, and aside from that, you will also be thinking about aesthetics and any regulatory or planning compliance. But what about legal compliance? Many people overlook this crucial aspect, but ensuring your security solutions fall in line with the law is absolutely vital.

Here we take a look at various security measures, and their corresponding legal obligations which may apply to domestic and / or commercial properties.

CCTV and the Law

Companies that employ CCTV have to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Homeowners need not concern themselves with the Act if they are using CCTV to protect their properties from burglars, but for businesses, there are stipulations to follow which include informing people that they are potentially being filmed, and notifying the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of the reason for using the CCTV. The rest of the stipulations, together with information about how the Human Rights Act also applies to the use of CCTV, are all further explained in our dedicated post on CCTV and the law.

If you are using CCTV for monitoring purposes rather than crime prevention, then you must let staff know that it is being used and be aware that employees have a right to ask what data is being held about them and why. You should also bear in mind that data, i.e. recordings, cannot be held beyond time limits set down by the Data Protection Act. Under Human Rights law, CCTV must be proportionate and not overly intrusive. There’s more information about CCTV and staff monitoring in our dedicated post on the subject.

Boundary Security and the Law

Fences and walls that mark boundaries are often cited by property owners as potential security risks, and are regularly earmarked for ramping up. However, any measure that will affect the height of a boundary wall or fence must be carefully considered, as should anything that could potentially cause personal injury, such as barbed wire or broken glass.

Sometimes it will be necessary to obtain planning permission when increasing the height of a fence or wall. Anything over two metres in height will definitely require planning permission, and if the boundary meets a public highway, then the allowable height without planning permission reduces to just one metre. For listed buildings, or properties adjacent to them, planning permission will be required for any sort of work.

Under the Highways Act 1980, the local highway authority has the responsibility of ensuring any fence or wall topper that could potentially cause injury is not posing a risk to passers-by. The same applies to trees or shrubs that are overhanging the public highway.

The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 also comes into operation wherever a property owner is using any form of deterrent or security measure that has the potential to cause injury. The Act states that warnings must be given, and that trespassers should be discouraged from putting themselves at risk.

As for the various types of deterrent such as barbed wire, broken glass, anti-climb spikes and rotating or spinning toppers, there are various legal considerations to bear in mind. You can read about these, and more on the subject of boundary security and how to keep it within the law, in our separate post on the subject.

When it comes to security measures, whether you are a homeowner or commercial premises owner or manager, you are going to come up against legal restrictions. It is important that these are taken into consideration when planning your security system, so consulting with security professionals who are thoroughly versed on the law and various Acts is vital.

At Barry Bros Security we have been assisting property owners with legally compliant, fully tailored security solutions for many years. If you are looking to implement new security measures within your home or business premises, why not give us a call and have a chat with one of our friendly experts who will guide you through the whole process? You can also visit us in person at our London showroom.