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Using CCTV in disciplinary hearing- is it OK?
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# 1
kittiej
Old 17-12-2010, 1:38 PM
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Default Using CCTV in disciplinary hearing- is it OK?

Hello all

I'm after a bit of advice about the use of CCTV footage in disciplinary hearings.

If the purpose for having CCTV is to detect crime and for security reasons can this footage then be used in a non-criminal disciplinary hearing?

Would 'criminal reasons' be only classified as cases where the Police are actually called in or can a company decide that something was a criminal act but not actually report it to any authority and therefore use this to rely on CCTV?

Is it acceptable to show CCTV footage on a large projector type screen in a room with glass in the door which faces a main corridor meaning that anyone could peer through the glass and have a nose?

Is it acceptable to ask the person being disciplined to identify other people on the footage if those people have no knowledge that they innocently feature in someone elses disciplinary?

Finally, if there are CCTV cameras in a place of work for instance in main corridors should there be signs up to say CCTV is in operation or can a company rely solely on a single sign in the staff car park?

Sorry for all the questions but something has come to my attention and I am not happy that the necessary rules re CCTV have been followed correctly.

Help anyone?
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# 2
marcowil
Old 17-12-2010, 1:45 PM
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The rules are different regarding montoring of employee activity via CCTV (and should be in your employment contract) but for general CCTV the code of practice states

"The public needs to be aware that they are entering an area that is being monitored by CCTV surveillance equipment. Signs should be placed so that they are clearly visible and legible. The size of the sign will vary according to the circumstances of its location. Signs need to contain the identity of whoever is responsible for the scheme, its purpose and their contact details. There are only a few exceptional circumstances where signs can not be used, such as investigating specific criminal activity."
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# 3
kittiej
Old 17-12-2010, 1:57 PM
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Thanks marcowil

I cannot remember anything about CCTV in my contract so I suspect it is the same for others - I will check this.

We have external visitors on a regular basis, though this is a private company, but there definitely are not any signs up. I don't even know who is responsible for handling any info and I think this is quite bad.

When you say the rules are different, what does this mean please? Does it mean that you sort of 'belong' to the company so they can do what they like with your image?

I should add that it was another company who collected the CCTV footage and just handed it over to our company.
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Last edited by kittiej; 17-12-2010 at 2:08 PM.
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# 4
Uncertain
Old 17-12-2010, 2:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiej View Post

When you say the rules are different, what does this mean please? Does it mean that you sort of 'belong' to the company so they can do what they like with your image?
There may be special regulations to do with CCTV in workplaces but this is not my field.

What I can point out (which many people don't understand) is that it is not generally necessary to have your permission to take your photograph.

If I take a photograph of you walking down the street I can do pretty well what I like with it (including selling it) without your permission.

This is what the press do every day.

Interestingly, if I stopped you and asked if you would mind standing in a particular place for a photograph then, legally, you become a model and have more say in how and where it is used.

It gets a bit more complicated on private property due to unwritten privacy laws which UK judges seem to be making up as the go along!
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Last edited by Uncertain; 17-12-2010 at 3:07 PM.
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# 5
SarEl
Old 17-12-2010, 2:57 PM
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I am sure that I am missing a point here. But probably not missing the point....

Whether or not the company have complied with the rules over a few signs for CCTV in their premises, and whether or not it mentions CCTV in the contract (or policy or somewhere else, which all form part of the contract) isn't really a big issue. At worst, the Data Commissioner would slap them over the wrist and tell them to get it right.

What is probably really the point is whether that CCTV footage shows you (or whoever it is of) doing whatever it is the employer said you (or whoever) did, which you (or whoever) wasn't supposed to be doing. And given that nobody asks these sorts of questions unless the answer is that it does, then the next question is - is it admissible evidence in a disciplinary? And the answer is yes. And the next question would be is it admissible in a tribunal? The asnwer to which is almost certainly, even if a civil offence was committed by not giving proper notice - it is evidence that speaks to "reasonable belief" of guilt.
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# 6
Uncertain
Old 17-12-2010, 3:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarEl View Post

What is probably really the point is whether that CCTV footage shows you (or whoever it is of) doing whatever it is the employer said you (or whoever) did, which you (or whoever) wasn't supposed to be doing. And given that nobody asks these sorts of questions unless the answer is that it does, then the next question is - is it admissible evidence in a disciplinary? And the answer is yes. And the next question would be is it admissible in a tribunal? The asnwer to which is almost certainly, even if a civil offence was committed by not giving proper notice - it is evidence that speaks to "reasonable belief" of guilt.
This of course is true.

However......

Depending on the type of firm they may well not have SarEl's detailed legal knowledge! If it is pointed out to them that their CCTV is "illegal" they may just panic and lose the tapes - who knows?
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# 7
kittiej
Old 17-12-2010, 4:19 PM
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No it isn't something relating to me lol.

It's something which has crossed my path so to speak and it has really made me wonder about the actual legalities of companies using such equipment and whether there are laws they have to observe.

Not only in the course of disciplinary matters but also to what extent it intrudes into everyday life.

It was brought even more to mind since we had very young school children come to visit the other day.

Edit to say.

It's a certain department at work and slowly one by one they're ending up with final written warnings, which is becoming a joke with the other workers.

This particular incident involved a delivery vehicle and a bit of rubber fell off the loading bay. No damage eg scratches to vehicle and the CCTV didn't actually capture how the rubber fell but it did and the driver was also accused of picking it up and placing it 3 feet away in a corner- this was what the chair decided since the camera was at the wrong angle to see what was going on. Not that rubber bounces at all.

This was one of a few things which have happened - no grand thefts I'm afraid
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Last edited by kittiej; 17-12-2010 at 4:32 PM.
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