Are you considering using CCTV in your workplace?
You want to keep your business secure. You’re considering using CCTV because you know it’s widely recognised as an effective deterrent. But the last thing you want to do is to make people feel they’re being ‘spied on’. How do you strike the right balance?
The benefits of CCTV security systems
There are some very sound reasons for using CCTV security systems in the workplace. They can help protect your business and property from burglary, vandalism and other forms of crime. They can improve the security of your employees and your customers. Some businesses may even use CCTV to protect against specific concerns like harassment in the workplace or health and safety issues. And of course if something did happen, the CCTV evidence can be really useful when it comes to tracking down those responsible and holding them to account.
Also, business owners and landlords can now monitor CCTV on mobile phones and tablets from anywhere in the world, allowing them to check their premises any time, night or day.
But whatever your reasons for installing it, a CCTV system can potentially record the movements of anyone in or near your workplace so it must always be used appropriately to make sure you’re complying with your legal and ethical obligations.
What issues should you consider?
It’s certainly worth being familiar with the key requirements they outline but it’s not necessary to read your way through every detail of every Act. A more digestible starting point for businesses is provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who has set out useful guidance on the use of CCTV in the workplace.
The CCTV privacy impact assessment
One important aspect mentioned in the guidance is the privacy impact assessment which should be carried out to identify and minimise all the privacy risks associated with installing CCTV cameras. The assessment addresses both physical and information privacy considerations such as the specific use and siting of cameras and what’ll happen to the information collected. The guidance also explains your obligations when it comes to providing people with access to any footage you hold of them as a result of using CCTV.
You’ll need to make sure people know about the CCTV system by putting appropriate signs up. Don’t use CCTV in areas where they would normally and reasonably expect privacy either. Always have clear justifications for why you’re installing CCTV cameras and make sure you explain those justifications to employees.
What type of CCTV security system should you choose?
While there are many different types of systems available, it’s worth investing in a good quality one – you don’t want it to let you down at a critical moment and end up losing vital footage. When you’re talking to potential CCTV installers look for one who’ll do a survey of your property to identify all vulnerable spots and operational issues. They should also be able to advise you on carrying out a CCTV privacy impact assessment. Many CCTV systems can be integrated with your other security systems such as intruder alarms and access control so it’s well worth exploring this option at the same time.
Installing a well-planned out CCTV system will boost your workplace security. And thinking through the ‘people’ issues beforehand will help make sure it’s recognised as a measure that enhances everybody’s wellbeing. Jackson Fire and Security’s team are experts in installing bespoke surveillance systems designed specifically for your workplace so if you’d like to find out more about installing a commercial CCTV system or you’d benefit from a chat about any of the associated issues then give us a call.