Why is improved CCTV needed in the city centre?

    Council has undertaken work with the police and other stakeholders which has identified that further investment in CCTV will support enhanced security for property and people. The draft policy we’re developing requires us to identify for each camera we install – why we need it, when we need it to operate, how it will achieve the intended purpose, and how we will keep an eye on this. We would be interested to hear your feedback on the purposes we’ve listed for using CCTV.

    What is CCTV and what is covered by the policy?

    CCTV is the commonly used name for visual recorded imaging systems.  Council has a range of existing and proposed CCTV systems which will be covered by this policy.  CCTV strictly means “Closed Circuit Television”.  In practice, technology has moved on and CCTV is now a commonly used term that refers to all types of monitoring visual camera systems, many of which are connected to the internet.  This does not cover private cameras, just ICC-owned and operated cameras.

    Where will the cameras be located?

    The planned locations for the new city centre CCTV cameras, along with existing council-owned cameras in the area, can be seen on p12 of the consultation document.  Click on key documents to see the proposed priority areas for the rest of the District 

    How do you decide where to put new cameras?

    Council only installs a new camera if it is satisfied it will achieve a specified purpose. The location of a camera is a key part of that decision. Cameras will only be put in locations that can capture the sorts of footage we have stated we need. We are working with an external consultant with expertise in CCTV systems, to make sure our cameras are put in the most appropriate and useful places we can.

    How will I know where the cameras are?

    Council will keep up-to-date information on our website which clearly shows the location of our CCTV. There will also be clear signs which alert people that CCTV is operating in the area.

    Who will have access to the footage from the cameras and how will privacy be managed?

    Identified and trained Council officers will have access to the footage from cameras as relates to their role.. It is expected that the police will have live access to the City Centre cameras and will be able to request recorded footage in line with Privacy Act requirements. Other public agencies (for instance Emergency Management Southland) and members of the public will also be able to apply to see certain footage from time to time for an identified specified purpose in line with the Privacy Act. In general, you have to have a good reason to see any of our CCTV footage, and each application will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

    Can I ask to see footage of myself?

    Yes, under the Privacy Act you have the basic right to request information about yourself that is held by an agency, and that includes CCTV footage. You can make a request for recorded footage by contacting Council. There are certain limited circumstances in which we wouldn’t be able to disclose this (for instance, if it would unreasonably breach another person’s privacy) but each request will be dealt with individually to find the best solution.

    How long will footage be stored?

    Under the Privacy Act 2020, we must not keep CCTV footage for any longer than is necessary to achieve the purposes for which it was collected. How long this is in practice will vary slightly depending on the specific purpose. For instance, a camera that is placed to help redeploy staff when we have a lot of customers will not need to be stored for long at all. On the other hand, a camera that looks at the outside of a building in case it is vandalised could capture evidence of something that no one discovers until days or weeks after the fact, so we might want to keep it longer. We are considering including a default storage period in the policy, which we would only deviate from for a particular reason. We would be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

    Can the Police view footage quickly in an emergency?

    This policy is designed to cover all CCTV systems currently installed and provide guidance for future installations.   Council is currently working through a process of installing a number of new CCTV cameras in partnership with a range of community groups.  This policy will ensure that access to that footage, be it live, or not is managed consistently with Council’s obligations under the Privacy Act

    Can emergency services/emergency management see footage in an emergency?

    Every case will be dealt with individually but yes, in principle we could share footage to assist in emergency situations.

    What is happening to the existing CCTV network? Will the old and new systems be able to talk to each other?

    All of this is being worked through with our external consultants. We want to make the best use of our existing technology and the budget for investment for new cameras, so we are looking for the most efficient and effective solutions

    How can I be sure my image isn’t being shared inappropriately?

    Council has strict legal obligations under the Privacy Act 2020 to look after people’s private information, and this includes your image. One of the reasons why we want to have this detailed policy in place is to help make sure we don’t ever get it wrong. Council proposes to have limited staff authorised to have access to the footage and will be able to monitor those who access the information.

    How do I know what information Council holds about me?

    You can make a request for your personal information from Council at any time. We have obligations under the Privacy Act which govern how we respond to these requests. Contact us at service@icc.govt.nz or you can call or visit us in person.

    You’ve got some of my information wrong – how can I correct this?

    Please contact us at service@icc.govt.nz or by phone or in person. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

    I think there’s been a breach of the privacy act, what can I do?

    We take your privacy very seriously. If you think there has been a breach of our privacy obligations, please contact us immediately and ask to speak to the Privacy Officer. You can also make a complaint. Refer to our Privacy Policy and Customer Complaint Policy for more information. If you are not happy with the way we respond to your complaint you can also contact the Privacy Commissioner directly – go to www.privacy.org.nz/your-rights/making-a-complaint-to-the-privacy-commissioner for help with this.

    How can I have my say?

    Let us know what you think about our proposed CCTV policy using the submission form at the bottom of this page!