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FEARS OF BIG BROTHER PROMPT TOWER HAMLETS CCTV CODE OF CONDUCT

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Fears that closed circuit television systems are intrusive and a threat to civil liberties has led to Tower Hamlets...
Fears that closed circuit television systems are intrusive and a threat to civil liberties has led to Tower Hamlets LBC to draw up guidelines to ensure that 'big brother is watching you only when it has good reason to do so.'

CCTV is currently in limited use in some schools and council estates in the borough, and the council says its effectiveness as a deterrent to combat vandalism, drug dealing and other crimes will mean the introduction of more systems.

But Tower Hamlets is concerned that such systems, whether introduced by the council or other public bodies, are introduced in such a way that they are not an intrusion in the private lives of local residents.

The code of practice will set out clearly:

- the need to consult tenant associations and similar bodies prior to installation

- special requirements for covert cameras

- use of tapes, secure storage and rights of access

- proper monitoring of incidents

Council leader Dennis Twomey said:

'We recognise the value of installing such systems, but we want to reassure the general public that we will be taking strict measures to ensure access to what is recorded is limited.

'Quite simply anyone recorded on tape going about their daily business will have nothing to worry about, unless this involves harassing your neighbours, vandalism or other kinds of unsociable behaviour.'

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