CCTV Installation: 5 Crucial Things You Need to Know

The benefits of installing CCTV are many, but if you are planning to add surveillance cameras to your home or business property, there are a number of legal considerations you’ll need to factor in.

The benefits of installing CCTV are many, but if you are planning to add surveillance cameras to your home or business property, there are a number of legal considerations you’ll need to factor in. Read on as we tackle the likes of planning permission, data protection, signage and neighbour considerations.

CCTV installation

CCTV installation is a wise investment if you want to deter intruders, and capture footage of crimes in the vicinity of your home or commercial premises. Smart CCTV will relay real time images of what’s happening at your property, allowing you to keep track remotely.

But there are various things you need to consider ahead of installing CCTV. Our Q&A will help you navigate your way around the subject of CCTV installation, so that you are clear on your legal responsibilities.

Is permission required for CCTV installation?

In most cases, unless your property is listed or in a Conservation Area, or you are renting it, you won’t require permission for CCTV installation.

For listed buildings, and properties in Conservation Areas, it is best to consult your local council’s Conservation Officer with regard to planning permission, as rules will vary from one local authority to the next. The Planning Portal on the local council’s website may well provide the information you need, and some councils offer self-assessment forms to help you work out whether or not you need permission for certain installations.

Generally, if you are installing CCTV, you will have certain responsibilities. These will vary according to where you plan to install the CCTV, the type of system, and the nature of the property.

The best source of advice is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This is the UK’s regulatory body for public interest and information rights, in charge of enforcing UK data laws.

Can my home CCTV cameras point outside the boundary of my property?

If your CCTV cameras are set in such a position that they capture images outside the boundary of your private property, such as public footpaths or streets, or neighbours’ properties, then they will fall under certain data protection laws.

Capturing CCTV images from beyond the boundary is not illegal, but it does mean that, as the operator of the cameras, you will become a registered data controller. This means that you take on certain legal obligations in regards to the imagery you are capturing, and you will need to register with the ICO.

You may capture these images, but you will have to protect the rights of anyone in them, and comply with all related data protection laws.

You’ll also need to have a justifiable reason for capturing the images, so that you are not accused of invading the privacy of public passers-by. It is important, for example, that the cameras do not record private conversations between members of the public, as this would be considered an invasion of privacy. Any audio recording facility must therefore be disabled where cameras are pointing onto public land.

Often, homeowners are advised that they need to put up signage stating that CCTV is in operation, and why. It’s also important that images are only kept for a reasonable length of time, and that the CCTV system is only operated in the intended manner.

Do I need to let my neighbours know about my CCTV installation?

There is no legal obligation for homeowners to let neighbours know about a CCTV installation, providing you are certain that the images you are recording only cover your private property.

If you have reason to believe that your CCTV cameras are recording images beyond the boundary of your property, then as previously stated, you’ll need to have good reason and register with the ICO. You will also need to inform your neighbours.

You should explain to your neighbours why you feel it is important to capture the images, and that in doing so, you will always comply with data protection laws. Any images you capture beyond your property’s boundary will be subject to data protection requests, with which you’ll need to comply within 30 days.

As a tenant of a rented property, can I go ahead with a CCTV installation?

Tenants who wish to install CCTV to protect the interior of their rental property, their parking space or their front door, may usually do so without the landlord’s permission, providing they do not breach the tenancy agreement in terms of installing permanent structures or damaging the property.

Smart, wireless CCTV systems are favourite here, because they do not need hard wiring or permanent fixings.

For any CCTV installation that’s outside of the property, permission will normally be required from the landlord.

Where should my CCTV cameras be positioned?

Following a survey of your property, a security expert with specific experience in CCTV installation will be able to advise you where best to point your cameras.

CCTV cameras positioned to face ground floor windows and doors will catch any intruders who try to get into your property this way. Cameras both inside and outside are advisable. Hallways, living rooms and kitchens are often the best areas to cover inside.

If you have cars parked on your driveway, then a camera pointing at those is a good idea. You may also wish to point one at your garage door if you have one.

For properties with a side entrance, covering this and a back garden, is also recommended.

Finally, if you are using a smart CCTV system, you’ll need to make sure it’s positioned close to the Wi-Fi router, or use a Wi-Fi range extender ensure the connection doesn’t drop out when you need it most.

Whether you are choosing CCTV for business security, or looking for a plug and play home CCTV system, you’ll find a variety of options and features. It’s important to take the right advice for your needs, so that you are aware of the pros and cons of what’s on offer.

Taking CCTV installation advice from a security expert is vital so that you are clear on your responsibilities and legal obligations.

At Barry Bros Security, we have been servicing the security needs of businesses and private property owners for over 70 years. To learn more about how we can help you choose the right CCTV cameras to suit your specific needs, you are welcome to get in touch. Our CCTV installation experts are ready and waiting to provide you with the bespoke advice you need to secure your property.

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Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.