Body Worn Camera Policy


1.Introduction and Scope

2. Legislative Framework

3. General Principles of Operation

4. Accountability

5. Maintenance

6. Data Storage

7. Access to Data

8. Privacy

9. Accessing Image

10. Subject Access Requests 

Appendix 1 – Local Operating Procedures for Civil Enforcement Officers

1 Introduction and Scope

1.1 This policy sets out Thoburns Enforcement Services Ltd.  (“TES”) protocol and procedure for Body Worn Video (“BWV”) devices worn by its officers.

1.2 It has been drafted to promote public confidence by developing a safe and secure environment for members of the public and TES officers.

1.3 This policy has a dual purpose, in that it will assist operators and other staff involved in the use of body worn video to understand their obligations whilst reassuring the public that appropriate safeguards exist.

 1.4 This policy will ensure staff comply with the relevant legislation relating to surveillance cameras and personal information and outline the benefits to staff and the general public. Detailed procedures will explain how TES will maintain the integrity of the data, images and video collected along with data security and its use.

1.5 BWV devices will be used to gather evidence in respect of the investigation of any offence or suspected offence for both internal and external investigations and can also act as a deterrent to acts of aggression and verbal / physical abuse towards TES officers.

1.6 The BWV device is issued to TES officers as part of their Personal Protective Equipment in line with their Risk Assessment as a method of mitigating potential abuse to the officers. The BWV device will be clearly worn by the officer in an overt manner and the device will clearly show that it is a CCTV recording device by either signage or verbal instruction as appropriate.

1.7 For the purpose of the scheme, TES is the Data Controller. TES is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, Registration Number: Z7369498.

1.8 There are only Civil Enforcement Officers which utilise BWV.  (as set out at Appendix 1)

  1. Legislative Framework

2.1 The BWV system will be operated in compliance with the following legislation and statutory guidance:

  • Data Protection Laws1
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000 · Human Rights Act 1998
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Home office Surveillance Camera Code of Practice (the SC Code)
  • Information Commissioner’s CCTV Code of Practice (the ICO Code)
  • Criminal Procedures and Investigations Act 1996
  1. General Principles of Operation

 3.1 The following principles of operation apply to all uses of BWV across TES.

  • Prior to its installation and use, a camera system must have a clearly defined purpose which is in pursuit of a legitimate aim, and it must be necessary to meet an identified pressing need. It should only be used for the specific purpose which it is established to address.
  • Therefore, prior to use of BWV, a Data Protection Impact Assessment will be undertaken in compliance with the SC Code and the ICO Code. It should take into account the nature of the problem the proposed system is seeking to address, whether a surveillance system is justified and effective, whether better solutions exist, what effect its use may have on individuals and whether, in light of this, its use is a proportionate response. It is accepted that body worn video cameras (BWV) are more intrusive than normal CCTV because of their mobility and the level of intrusiveness must be taken into account as part of the Data Protection Impact Assessment.
  • Carrying out a Data Protection Impact Assessment ensures that the system is justifiable and there is consultation with those most likely to be affected with appropriate safeguards for the impact on their privacy. This also demonstrates that the necessity and extent of any interference with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 has been considered.
  • Where the BWV utilises audio then, in addition to the capturing images, the use of audio also needs to be justifiable as this adds to the privacy intrusion.
  • Where it is intended to use BWV in more sensitive areas e.g. private dwellings, schools, care homes, there will need to be a pressing social or investigative need which will have to be far greater in order for the use of BWV to be necessary and proportionate. In the case of civil enforcement, an additional DPIA should be carried out to demonstrate that this is the case.
  • Continuous recording requires strong justification as it will capture people going about their daily business as well as the individual who is the focus of attention.
  • BWV should have robust technical and physical security in place to protect the recorded information. Devices must be capable of being encrypted and should have the ability to be turned on or off, with features to allow image and sound recording separately.
  • BWV will only be used by trained, authorised personnel.
  1. Accountability

4.1 It is a recommendation of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and Information Commissioner that the system should be reviewed annually to determine whether BWV continues to be justified. As such, there will be an annual review of TES use of BWV covering the following aspects:

a) ensuring the BWV remain necessary, proportionate and effective in meeting their stated purpose for deployment

b) whether the purpose and objectives statements remain valid

c) change in extent of the scheme

d) contracts with suppliers e.g., maintenance agreements

e) a review of the data protection or legal requirements

f) maintenance schedule and performance test of the system

g) scheme evaluation findings

h) complaints procedure and evaluation

As part of the annual review of the scheme, there will also be an annual review of this policy. In addition, the policy will be kept up to date with changes in legislation and procedure as and when they occur. The officer responsible for updating this policy is the Managing Director.

  1. Maintenance

 5.1 Equipment must be kept in good working order. The BWV devices must be checked they are working correctly at the start of the shift or operation and any faults reported immediately to the Managing Director. It is the responsibility of each user to report any faults or damage to the Managing Director during their shift or at the end of the shift. A fault note will be made on the video Z: drive should there be a break in a recording due to a technical failure.

5.2 There may be other reasons where an incident is only partially recorded, such as through the equipment being knocked, covered or dislodged during a struggle or through the nature of the incident where the camera view is restricted. There may also be occasions where the sound recording is unclear or verbal responses are difficult to hear because of other more prominent sounds such as traffic or noise created by strong winds. In this case, the TES officer is to make notes on the account as necessary to support any BWV device evidence.

5.3 In order to ensure that clear images are recorded at all times the equipment for making recordings and any associated security equipment will be maintained in good working order in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In the event of a malfunction the equipment will be repaired and all documentation relating to the equipment and its servicing/repair and malfunction is retained.

  1. Data Storage

6.1 All footage will be uploaded automatically, once the BWV device has been docked on the docking station, to the BWV device software.

6.2 If any incidents have occurred during the shift, it is essential that officers complete a ‘Internal Report Form 415 of the Incident / Injury’  including the time and location of the incident. The report must also indicate if the police have been involved. Once an incident has been received a clip of the incident will be created by an authorised officer and saved on the secure server. Data storage for public protection purposes will be in accordance with retention requirements in the CPIA and ACPO Good Practice Guide for Digital Evidence.

  1. Access to Data

7.1 Where BWV is used, a register or Digital Evidence Management System will be kept to show the life of the recorded media at all stages whilst in TES possession. Such a register may also show itself to be useful in enabling evaluation of the BWV scheme.

7.2 The register should include the following: · unique equipment reference number(s); · time/date/person removing medium from secure storage for use; · time/date/person returning medium to secure storage after use; · remarks column to cover additional points (e.g., erase/destroy/handed over to law enforcement agencies/removed from recording machine); · time and date of delivery to the law enforcement agencies, identifying the law · enforcement agency officer concerned; · in the event of a non-automated system of erasure of data, the time/date/person responsible for erasure and/or destruction. · Details of all reviews of images, including persons present, purpose, date/time and results.

  1. Privacy

 8.1 Recordings from a BWV device provide an account of what the officer saw and heard during an incident. There are however limitations to the technology and wearers must be aware that some aspects of incidents vital to the evidence for the incident may occur out of camera view, that sound recordings may not be complete or that other sounds at the scene may block significant statements by those present. There is the possibility of other technical failures or operator errors that may hinder the production of the recorded evidence. Officers need to ensure that they remain mindful of standard evidence gathering procedures at scenes and must not rely solely on the BWV evidence to support their incident.

8.2 There are situations where the use of BWV Devices is not appropriate; the following list is for guidance only and is not exhaustive.

  • Intimacy – BWV must not under any circumstances be used for the recording of intimate circumstances where persons are in a state of undress.
  • Legal privilege – users must be careful to respect legal privilege and must not record material that is or is likely to be subject to such protections.
  • Private dwellings – users must consider the right to private and family life.
  1. Accessing Images

9.1 Requests to view files may be received from the following third parties (but not limited to):

  • The Police
  • Solicitors
  • Claimants in Civil Proceedings
  • Accused Persons or Defendants in criminal proceedings

9.2 Reasons for requests may include (but not limited to):

  • Evidence in criminal proceedings
  • Evidence in civil proceedings or tribunals
  • The prevention of crime
  • The investigation and detection of crime, which may include the identification of offenders
  • The identification of witnesses
  • Complaints made against Council officers
  • Complaints made against members of the public

9.3 If a third-party requests access to images they must provide any details that TES require                        to substantiate the request. A log of all requests will be made.

9.4 To make a request for information, a request should be made in writing to:

Information Rights Team

Thoburns Enforcement Services Ltd

Design Works, Unit 12,William St,

Felling, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear

NE10 0JP

Or email:

10 Subject Access Requests

10.1 Any individual (employee or member of the public) may request access to and a copy of their own image under Data Protection Laws.

10.2 To make a request for information, an individual should contact:

Information Rights Team

Thoburns Enforcement Services Ltd

Design Works, Unit 12,William St,

Felling, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear

NE10 0JP



0191 4772080