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Research published by civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch has issued criticism for local authorities over their use of body-worn cameras.
Smile you are on Body Worn Camera, Part 1 – Local Authorities highlighted that the recent trend of ‘widespread filming’ by body-worn surveillance was not ‘proportionate’ to the often trivial offences committed, such as littering, bad parking and dog-fouling, arguing that there is ‘little to no evidence that they are the right tool to solve the particular problem’.
The finding show that 227 local authorities were at least trialling the cameras, with 3,760 cameras having been purchased at a cost of £1,791,960.81. However, 150 of those local authorities did not know if they had completed a privacy impact, and 21 per cent of councils were keeping footage for longer than 31 days, which is the limit recommended for police forces.
Renate Samson, Big Brother Watch chief executive, said: “Despite repeated warnings about misuse of surveillance powers we have found that once again councils are choosing to use powerful law enforcement tools with little consideration of privacy.
“Using body worn cameras to protect people’s safety is one thing, but widespread filming of people’s behaviour in order to issue fines is simply not proportionate.”
By Graham Payne, CEO of Opencell, ensuring everyone indoors has network.
Your mobile phone rings at work, it’s an important call and you need to answer but when you pick up, the call drops. After a few failed call-back attempts, you realise you need to go outside to get a good connection. So off you go to return the call you can’t miss, in a way that wastes more of your time than necessary, out in the open (oh no!) it’s raining, and quite frankly you need to be getting on with that work left over from yesterday, and now the wind is making it hard to hear…