Why does Council use CCTV?

    The primary security use of CCTV is to discourage and/or detect unlawful behaviour. CCTV can also help to improve perceptions of safety within the community.

    Council’s commonly use CCTV an asset protection measure, with the presence of operative cameras helping to prevent damage to property and deter anti-social behavior and inappropriate activity in settings such as libraries and leisure centres.

    Is CCTV effective?

    CCTV can be effective in improving perceptions of safety, protecting assets and assisting with prosecutions. In stakeholder consultations conducted as part of the development of the CCTV policy, there was overall very strong support for CCTV cameras as a key to advancing safety.

    Council recognises that CCTV is only one of a range of strategies that can be used to reduce crime. The preferred approach is to consider options such as creating clear site lines, minimising concealed areas, installing appropriate lighting, and enhancing natural surveillance, increasing access control, and improving signage, ahead of the installation of CCTV.

    What is the purpose of the CCTV Policy?

    The purpose of the policy is to provide direction and guidance to the Council and Council officers when considering the introduction, revision or significant maintenance to CCTV cameras and systems in public places or on council managed property.

    The policy does not propose an expansion of the existing CCTV Public System but rather a policy position and robust framework for the operation of the current system; as well as established processes for assessment and decision-making if there were to be a proposed expansion (or reduction) of the existing CCTV public system in the future.

    What is the policy’s scope? What does it do?

    The policy applies to all Council owned CCTV systems installed in public places that have the purpose of surveillance. This currently includes three distinct systems:

    ·  The City of Maribyrnong Public Safety CCTV Camera System

    ·  CCTV systems monitoring council owned or occupied Property

    ·  Mobile CCTV systems used for enforcement. 

    This policy outlines how and when Council will employ CCTV and the procedures that will ensure personal privacy is maintained. More specifically it aims to:

    ·  Guide Council’s decisions about the introduction, revision (including expansion or reduction) and significant maintenance to CCTV cameras in public places.

    Ensure that Council CCTV systems are compliant with relevant legislation and other statutory requirements.

    How was the policy developed?

    A background paper was written to inform the development of the policy. This drew on both primary and secondary data collected from interviews with key stakeholders/informants as well as a review of over 35 articles from academic literature. CCTV policies from other local governments and academic institutions were also consulted.

    What are the implications for new CCTV requests?

    The policy provides for a centrally managed point of decision-making, a rigorous process for managing CCTV requests and clear governance arrangements.

    Requests for modifications to the existing CCTV system will be required to be assessed using either a temporary application form or permanent application form and a decision-making matrix. These operational documents require that evidence of the issue is provided and that other crime prevention measures have been considered.

    Council’s CCTV Project Control Group will assess requests and briefing Council in line with the policy procedures. The group is comprised on senior managers from a range of Council departments; as well as Victoria Police representatives involved in the operation of the public CCTV system.

    Does the policy comply with the relevant legislation?

    The policy considered and is consistent with the following State and Commonwealth legislation:

    Commonwealth: Privacy Act 1988, Surveillance Devices Act 2004

    State of Victoria: Information Privacy Act 2000, Public Records Act 1973, Private Security Act 2004, Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the Charter), Freedom of Information Act 1982, Evidence Act 2008

    How does the policy deal with requests for CCTV footage?

    Section 5.4 and 5.5 relate to data capture and storage and access to data. Access to data collected from the CCTV system will be assessed in accordance with the ‘Use and Disclosure’ Privacy Principle as included in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. Requests will be managed differently depending on the CCTV system.

    When does the policy apply?

    Following the public consultation period, the policy will be reviewed and changes made as appropriate. The policy will then be presented to Council for endorsement and made publically available on our website.