According to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) there are estimated to be up to 6 million CCTV surveillance cameras in the United Kingdom. Many businesses use CCTV systems for their security benefits, however the images of people captured is classified as personal data. Due to this, businesses must comply with the Data Protection Act, or from May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Danny Adamson, Managing Director of Surrey-based signage makers Stocksigns said, “As part of a businesses’ obligation under the legislation you must tell people that you are taking their personal data. The most effective way of doing this is by using prominently placed signs in any area covered by CCTV. This should be at the entrance to the area, as well as within.
“Clear and prominent signs are particularly important when the CCTV cameras are placed discreetly or where people do not expect to be under surveillance. Signs should be prominent and frequent.”
Danny Adamson continues, “Having CCTV signage is an added deterrent when it comes to protecting a property and cost very little to install. Not having the correct signage in place is often where businesses fall short. If you are unsure about what signage is required and where to position it, it’s always best seeking expert help and visiting the Information Commissioner’s Office website.”
Below is a useful guide for CCTV signage.
The CCTV Signage Check List
Signage should be clearly visible and readable. It will also need to show details of the organisation operating the system, the purpose of its use and who to contact if there are any queries.
Signs should be an appropriate size in relation to its context. If the sign needs to be seen by a car driver it should be bigger, and if it is in a shop then a small sign would be more suitable.
All staff should know what to do and who to contact if a member of the public enquires about the CCTV system. Any signs in a public area must show the organisation or authority responsible for the systems.
Take care when it comes to positioning your CCTV cameras. Although your cameras may be positioned on site, they may still capture images of people walking by. If this is the case your CCTV signage should be visible outside the business too.
Consider whether installing CCTV is necessary for the location it is in. It could be more cost effective and better for the environment to use new signage or, for example in a car park, installing new lights instead of investing in an expensive system.