Implementing CCTV into your fleet of vehicles

We can’t tell you whether to add CCTV into your vehicles but by the end of this blog you will hopefully have made a decision and will know whether CCTV will benefit your business.

 

Whether you are a driver who is working alone as a freelance driver or if you are part of a professional fleet, the situations that arise can be extremely bizarre and often hard to explain. If you are working with people then you need to understand that there are risks involved which are more common than you would like to think. A situation can involve verbal abuse, physical abuse and can even result in the person involved deciding to try avoiding payment for the great services you have provided. The issue arises when both the driver and person in question have very different versions of events which will lead to the reliability of confused eyewitnesses.

You can ask any taxi or bus driver and they will more than likely tell you that they have been on the receiving end of customer abuse or payment avoidance. A taxi may only have one passenger and the incident could occur in the vehicle meaning that witnesses to the events may be harder to come by. This could then lead to an entire business being tarnished with a bad brush and you only have to do a quick Google search to find taxi companies in threat

When these events occur, you have to be protected and the best form of evidence in the case of abuse or missing payments is to have CCTV footage of the situation arising. This would cover the driver, the company and the general public making the decision for prosecution easier.

 
 

What are the real pros and cons to CCTV then?

The Pros

Evidence – Assisting the police

It seems like every day when you login to your social media platforms you are faced with dozens of transport videos where someone has been recorded doing something hilarious and it gets thousands of shares and likes to force the video to go viral. There are however hundreds of videos of people being racially abused in a taxi, attacked on a bus or even terror attacks taking place on trains which are all caught on tape and shared across the media.

“In recent years we have witnessed at first hand how the transport CCTV infrastructure plays a vital role in tackling offenders”.

“This was evidenced, for instance, by the availability of high quality CCTV images, which helped to secure convictions for conspiracy to murder of those involved in a failed follow-up attack to the tragic events of the London bombings on 7/7, with nearly 28,000 CCTV recordings gathered by police from CCTV cameras on buses, trains and at stations.” (Intelligent Transport)

 

Jogger pushes a person in front of a bus - Caught on CCTV

Jogger pushes person infront of bus - CCTV footage
 
 
 
 
 

Keeping drivers safe

When installing CCTV cameras on your vehicle you are ensuring the safety of your driver by not only protecting their actions but also deterring potential criminal activity by adding a simple sign which states "CCTV on board" or "smile you're on CCTV".

There are many studies conducted by the media, police and universities which will show statistically that CCTV and the signs that come with the CCTV will deter crime as criminals who are wanting to hide their identities will not want to be caught on camera as this is the best form of evidence you can collect against someone. 

 
 
 

Moment teen 'left bomb on tube train' caught on CCTV

Moment teen left bomb on tube train caught on CCTV
 
 

Library House of Commons states this in a recent study:

CCTV and its effectiveness in tackling crime

"A NACRO report has summarised some of the assumptions behind the use of CCTV for crime prevention purposes:


• Deterrence The potential offender becomes aware of the presence of CCTV, assesses the risks of offending in this location to outweigh the benefits and chooses either not to offend or to offend elsewhere

• Efficient deployment CCTV cameras allow those monitoring the scene to determine whether police assistance is required. This ensures that police resources are called upon only when necessary


• Self-discipline - by potential victims They are reminded of the ‘risk’ of crime, therefore altering their behaviour accordingly

• Self-discipline - by potential offenders …the threat of potential surveillance (whether the cameras are actually being monitored may be irrelevant) acts to produce a self-discipline in which individuals police their own behaviour…the CCTV camera may produce self-discipline through fear of surveillance, whether real or imagined" (Source - House of Commons)

 
 
 
interior van cctv
driver monitoring van cctv
 
 
 
 

Cons

Infringement of privacy

Customers and members of the public may not enjoy the thought of being recorded and may raise issues with it when noticing that the method of transport they are using has up to 16 CCTV cameras pointing at all areas of the vehicle. You have to clearly state that people are being recorded and when using the footage as evidence you may need to blur faces that aren't involved in the incident as they shouldn't be identifiable in the recordings used.

 If you are unsure on the guidelines surrounding CCTV then visit the Gov website and go to this link (Guidance on the use of domestic CCTV)

The Data Protection Act

"In 1998 the Data Protection Act outlined the responsibilities of those using CCTV. However, because the DPA was designed to protect individual privacy, its guidelines do not apply to all CCTV cameras.

Provided you can show that you are not using the camera to analyse the behaviour (and invade the privacy) of any one individual, then you are entitled to put a CCTV camera anywhere on your premises. If, for instance, the owner of a small newsagent installed a CCTV camera above the till and recorded everything to a tape in case of robbery, this would not usually be relevant to the DPA as it does not violate privacy.

In a domestic context, invasion of privacy is in fact not an issue that affects privately-owned CCTV. It is only an 'offence' under the Human Rights Act and that act only applies to the State. i.e. The Government, local government, police, parish councils, Health Care Trusts etc. In other words, an individual cannot infringe the human rights of another individual - in this case, the right to privacy.

A common scenario of privacy invasion using CCTV is when someone uses CCTV cameras to view their neighbour's property. As this is not actually an offence, the police will usually have to resort to using the Harassment Act to resolve the matter.

However, where CCTV cameras are installed specifically to monitor behaviour, identify potential criminals and track individuals, for privacy purposes they must be registered with the Information Commission. These cameras are subject to the DPA.

The DPA ensures that footage is reasonably captured and kept; it should be viewed by a designated staff member and not made widely available. The DPA also requires that the footage is made available to its subjects, where appropriate, and if requested. If you have installed CCTV cameras that will be subject to the DPA (i.e. you’re capturing information of certain individuals) then you can read the Information Commission’s Good Practice Guide online." (Your Privacy / CCTV Systems)

 
© 2017 SURE24 Limited. All Rights Reserved. SURE Transport is a registered trademark of SURE24 Limited.