Body Worn Cameras Legislation

Body Camera

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Body worn cameras are becoming more popular in recent times. The need to record people’s behaviour is increasing because attacks on blue light emergency service workers such as the police and ambulance workers are becoming more common. The devices are also deployed to help build trust between local communities and the police force, which can be strained at times. Body worn cameras can deter threatening and aggressive behaviour towards emergency service workers, but also can hold people accountable if there is any wrongdoing in the line of duty. Body Camera

Although elements of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act govern where you can conduct recording, it is legal for anyone in the UK to own a hidden body camera and a licence is not a requirement. In this article, Wall to Wall Communications will be discussing where you can operate body worn cameras and the best practices to follow, so you can use a hidden body camera within the rules. If you do have any question concerning body worn cameras legislation, please get in touch.

Who can wear hidden body cameras?

Rising in popularity since the mid-2000, body worn cameras are usually used by the emergency services but they can be used by anyone in the public. The people who usually use them are as follows:

  • Police Officers and Transport Police
  • Fire service
  • Private security companies
  • Council officials
  • Door staff 
  • Train guards
  • Universities
  • Prison guards
  • Football match attendants 

Follow the link to learn more about who can use body cameras

What is the body worn cameras legislation?

There is no law which states how to use hidden body cameras but there is legislation that gives users a code of practice, which has been produced by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and the Information Commissioner. The Police follow a code of practice as well. These codes of practice include: 

  • You cannot fit spy cameras to a business or residential property that you do not own have legal occupancy
  • It is illegal to use spy cameras in areas with an expectation of privacy. This includes toilets or locker rooms
  • You can set up a camera in your own home or business
  • You can set up and operate a recording system to the outside of your property, provided it does not breach anyone else’s right to privacy. 
  • Be sure to take reasonable steps to safeguard laws and protect any footage gathered via a recording system. Failure to do this could be a breach of the Data Protection Act
  • You must not share footage from CCTV without permission from those captured unless as part of a legal criminal investigation

To learn more about these, read our discrete surveillance blog here 

What to do with your recorded footage?

If you intend to use body worn cameras to record people, you must follow the body camera codes of practice. Any footage that you collect must be stored securely on a private internal system where no one has easy access. The footage you do collect must not be stored longer than necessary, Wall to Wall Communications recommends you keep it until a month has passed unless it’s needed for a court case. 

If you feel inspired to purchase one for yourself, please take a look at Wall to Wall Communications range of body cams.

Body worn cameras are becoming more popular in recent times. The need to record people’s behaviour is increasing because attacks on blue light emergency service workers such as the police and ambulance workers are becoming more common. The devices are also deployed to help build trust between local communities and the police force, which can be strained at times. Body worn cameras can deter threatening and aggressive behaviour towards emergency service workers, but also can hold people accountable if there is any wrongdoing in the line of duty. 

Although elements of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act govern where you can conduct recording, it is legal for anyone in the UK to own a hidden body camera and a licence is not a requirement. In this article, Wall to Wall Communications will be discussing where you can operate body worn cameras and the best practices to follow, so you can use a hidden body camera within the rules. If you do have any question concerning body worn cameras legislation, please get in touch.

Who can wear hidden body cameras?

Rising in popularity since the mid-2000, body worn cameras are usually used by the emergency services but they can be used by anyone in the public. The people who usually use them are as follows:

  • Police Officers and Transport Police
  • Fire service
  • Private security companies
  • Council officials
  • Door staff 
  • Train guards
  • Universities
  • Prison guards
  • Football match attendants 

Follow the link to learn more about who can use body cameras

What is the body worn cameras legislation?

There is no law which states how to use hidden body cameras but there is legislation that gives users a code of practice, which has been produced by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and the Information Commissioner. The Police follow a code of practice as well. These codes of practice include: 

  • You cannot fit spy cameras to a business or residential property that you do not own have legal occupancy
  • It is illegal to use spy cameras in areas with an expectation of privacy. This includes toilets or locker rooms
  • You can set up a camera in your own home or business
  • You can set up and operate a recording system to the outside of your property, provided it does not breach anyone else’s right to privacy. 
  • Be sure to take reasonable steps to safeguard laws and protect any footage gathered via a recording system. Failure to do this could be a breach of the Data Protection Act
  • You must not share footage from CCTV without permission from those captured unless as part of a legal criminal investigation

To learn more about these, read our discrete surveillance blog here 

What to do with your recorded footage?

If you intend to use body worn cameras to record people, you must follow the body camera codes of practice. Any footage that you collect must be stored securely on a private internal system where no one has easy access. The footage you do collect must not be stored longer than necessary, Wall to Wall Communications recommends you keep it until a month has passed unless it’s needed for a court case. 

If you feel inspired to purchase one for yourself, please take a look at Wall to Wall Communications range of body cams.