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Can I See CCTV Footage Before Accepting Liability?

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 21 Jun 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Cctv Footage Cctv Cameras Crime Data

Q.

I was involved in a collision at a petrol station and have been told that by police that it was my fault. I believe it was both the fault of myself and the other driver. There is cctv footage do I have the right to see this before I accept liability?

(J.H, 14 May 2009)

A.

Britain is considered to have more CCTV cameras in use than many other countries and an average UK resident going about their daily business can be caught on camera around 300 times a day without their knowledge. Privacy issues and human rights have long been waged with CCTV proponents who claim that CCTV cameras help to reduce crime and make people feel safe. Some research suggests that the cameras have little effect on the prevention of crime, yet most would agree that they are generally beneficial in catching a criminal after the act has been carried out. Due to the continual arguments about whether CCTV is an invasion of privacy or is indeed a useful safety tool in our society, laws have been put in place that determine how the data can be used by officials and individuals.

Data Protection Act 1988

The Data Protection Act 1998 was initiated to give people a number of rights in respect to any personal data held on file about them. Part of this act specifically refers to information that is gained from equipment that is operated automatically. What this means is that recorded information that is captured through a CCTV camera, which has received a specific order to do this, can form part of the Data Protection Act. Essentially in looking at it in this cut and dried way, someone who is captured on a CCTV camera, should have the right to view that footage.

Information Commissioner Reviews the Data Protection Act

The information commissioner is the individual who works in conjunction with the police, to advise them on the application of the Data Protection Act. In 2003, a court case led to doubt over whether merely being seen on a CCTV camera footage was significant enough to allow you access to this as personal data. At this time it was decided that small CCTV systems would not be covered by the act, however this was revised in 2008, when it was decided that CCTV cameras that are installed to specifically record individuals and their activities do fall under the Data Protection Act. This means that if you're caught on CCTV camera, you have the right to not only view the footage, but to have a copy of it.

Obtaining CCTV Footage Of Yourself

If you believe obtaining CCTV footage of yourself when you were involved in the collision would help you with your claim that you weren't the only driver at fault, you should seek to obtain your CCTV footage. To do this, you must apply in writing to whoever captured the footage. In your case, contact the petrol station, find out who operates their CCTV system and write directly to them. This will cost £10 and you have to be able to give the data controller in charge of the system an indication of when the incident occurred. This is so that they can pinpoint the exact footage and provide you only with that. They generally have around 40 days to comply with this. At this stage, you can then review the footage, consider your options and if you still feel you weren't the only person responsible for the collision, speak with a reputable lawyer who can help you further from here.

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angel - 8-Mar-16 @ 3:09 PM
@bella. If you want to take this further you could try professional legal help. Alternatively if you feel the police have not conducted the investigation properly you could try the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 11-Jun-15 @ 9:58 AM
I was recently thrown out of a pub three days before xmas when understandably I should. However the ex marine then stamped on my head again and again tilll I thought I'd die. When the police came to chat they decided to checkcctv, apptly it was facing the wrong way. I have since heard they have it it all but we are all drunk and they dont want to do leg work. I could have died that is how bad is was.
bella - 7-Jun-15 @ 2:09 PM
I was involved in an incident in a pub at the weekend were glasses were broken somone was sick over the seat and a Christmas Reeves at 70 pounds was wrecked management says I was sceen laughing and was with party at Christmas do but I can't remember what happened I asked to c cctv footage they say they have but got refused because of some law should I b allowed to c the footage
Paul Lagan - 28-Dec-14 @ 10:51 PM
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PEDESTRIAN - 14-Nov-14 @ 11:50 AM
my campervan was hit when parked in car park at my home ,there is cctv cameras ,I reported the damage ti the police and they have contacted my landlady who told them they would have to go to the supply company ,the police have informed me today the company will charge £150 pounds to view the footage ,I believe this is because the landlady doesn't want to help in this matter,I don't undrrstand this as it is a criminal offence and they are withholding evidence ,,
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I would like to install a dashboard camera, which will only face the outside view, in front of my car. Do I have to have CCTV warning streakers on my taxi, if no video recording is made inside the car?Thank you.
taxi driver - 2-May-14 @ 1:03 PM
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