The police may seek CCTV video for a number of reasons that may or may not be related to you or your property. You will be required to provide CCTV proof at first. However, if you refuse, the authorities have other methods for obtaining the film, including obtaining a search warrant.
The police can see the footage from your CCTV cameras, but only when absolutely required. They will only ever request data to assist in the investigation of local crimes, and certain safeguards are in place to guarantee that it is only used in safe and acceptable ways. For example, officers cannot download the tapes with a general crime-mapping program like Geonames.
CCTV footage is usually kept for several months before it is deleted or overwritten. The police may request to view the tape of a specific date or time period, but this is rare. Tapes are released back into the public domain once they are old enough; generally speaking, this is after three years. Older tapes may be destroyed if there are still relevant items on them that could help with the investigation.
CCTV is an important tool for keeping our communities safe, but you should only release footage to the police under special circumstances. It's best to speak with an officer about what would be appropriate in a given case.
You have the right to have CCTV footage of oneself taken. You must submit a formal request to the owner of the CCTV system. This can be done either in writing or verbally. Unless the owner is evident, the owner's information is generally posted on a sign connected to the camera (like a shop).
Even if you are not constantly watching your camera, analyzing security camera video can assist you in determining what occurred. Best techniques for dealing with strange footage
Say it aloud: "Pause."
There are several ways in which CCTV footage can be useful to police officers. For example, if an incident has taken place in a public place and there are no witnesses available, then CCTV footage can provide evidence of what happened. Police officers may also use forensic imaging software to examine recorded footage in order to identify suspects or victims. Finally, if a crime was committed in a residential area and the police need to locate the house where the incident took place, they may use landmarks visible in the video recording to find the right address.
CCTV footage is collected by many businesses and individuals, so if you are asked by the police to help them find such footage, then you should know how to go about doing this. There are two ways of searching for specific images on a camera system: manually or using a computer program. Let's take a look at each method in more detail.
Manually Searching for Images
If you know the exact time that the incident occurred, then you can simply search for any images of interest by entering those times into the search box on the camera's main menu.
If CCTV captures film of members of the public in public places, the police have access to it and do not require authorization in the same manner that they do with private footage. However, if the camera is located on or inside a residence, then the police would need to obtain a warrant to view the footage.
Using CCTV to Identify Suspects It is not uncommon for a police officer to review CCTV material and claim to have identified a suspect. In other circumstances, an officer may compare a photograph of a person to CCTV video and decide, after careful examination, that the photos are of the same person.
In theory, yes, an officer could identify you from CCTV footage. However, this would be difficult unless you were in the frame for more than one crime and were therefore a clear target. Even then, it would be next to impossible because of the variability of facial features between people. CCTV footage is useful, but it cannot be used as the only means of identification.
The "Use and Disclosure" Privacy Principle governs the disclosure of CCTV video from a privacy standpoint. As a result, whether or not CCTV footage may be revealed must be determined in accordance with that concept.
The Privacy Principle states that individuals have a right to control how their image is used and disclosed, without having their identity known publicly. Therefore, before any CCTV video can be released, its use must be authorized by the individual recorded on it. If an authorized person cannot be found, then only those images that do not involve anyone identifiable will be released.
CCTV cameras record images of people as they go about their daily lives. As such, it is not unusual for there to be some footage which shows scenes that are sensitive or embarrassing. It is up to the employer to determine what role, if any, these images might play in a disciplinary process. For example, if an employee is being considered for discharge and such footage exists, the employer should consider whether releasing it would violate the employee's right to privacy. The employer should also consider whether there are other ways of obtaining the same information.
In general, employees have a right to know that their images are being recorded in this way and should be informed of the possibility of their footage being released.