If you own the property then it is perfectly legal to install CCTV (even with recording and playback capabilities) to protect your property against intruders and trespassers. You cannot put cameras up on other people’s property without their consent. So if you do not own the property you will need the written permission to use CCTV.
If you wish to use CCTV:
- Check - with your local authority before you install a CCTV system as certain installations require planning permission.
- Positioning – decide on the most effective positioning of the camera(s) and field of view. Make sure that your CCTV camera(s) trained on your own property rather than that of your neighbours.
- Installation/Maintenance – whilst it may be possible to do this yourself, if you intend using a private company it is always a good idea to check references first to satisfy yourself they are of good character. Whilst most are reputable, there are still some who may use this unique opportunity to gain inside knowledge of your system.
- Safety – ensure your camera(s) are fitted and installed correctly, securely and safely to avoid risk to either you or other members of the public.
Whilst it is lawful for you to monitor your own property for security purposes, the manner in which CCTV is used, in particular where the field of view covers areas outside your property, may have legal consequences.
Cameras being deliberately trained on areas outside an individual’s property, could amount to harassment and potentially give rise to prosecution under the Public Order Act or Protection from Harassment Act.
The Human Rights Act covers our right to privacy. Article 8 of the Act entitled: “The Right to Respect for Private and Family Life, Home and Correspondence” means that your CCTV cameras should be sited so that they only observe activity on your property.
For more information
If you are concerned about the use of domestic CCTV you can also contact your local police on 0845 6060606.