We operate and manage Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.
Our CCTV system is designed to:
- promote community safety by protecting people and property
- assist with the prevention and detection of crime
- help to act upon threats or instances of criminal and anti-social behaviour
- ensure public safety and better services (eg traffic management, alarms, etc)
Our CCTV Code of Practice provides more details.
The majority of our CCTV cameras are installed across the City Centre to help monitor public spaces and highways.
We have other CCTV cameras in operation, for example:
- bus lane enforcement cameras and automatic number plate recognition cameras to help traffic management (please note, these do not record footage)
- Urban Traffic Control cameras which monitor and control the flow of traffic (these also do not record footage)
- security cameras in and around council properties (commercial and residential)
- body worn cameras used to support our frontline enforcement officers
Where CCTV is in operation, we have signs to let you know. These signs also explain who to contact if you have a query or concern about its use.
Covert surveillance can occur in particular circumstances, but only with the approval from a Magistrate.
Our City Centre CCTV is operated by Council staff who monitor for live incidents taking place, for example road traffic collisions or public disorder, to assist the police or traffic management staff in real-time.
City Centre CCTV footage is generally kept for 14 days and then automatically overwritten on the 15th day. There are exceptions to this rule, for example footage copied for (a) enforcement or legal proceedings may be kept as evidence for up to 7 years, (b) complaints or requests for information may be held for up to 2 years.
CCTV cameras can capture personal data and must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. We aim to comply with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s advice and guidance, which defines the rules for the installation and operation of CCTV and the management, access and use of recordings.
Body Worn Video footage
Body worn cameras are used by some front line staff who carry out enforcement roles, such as by Civil Enforcement Officers within our Parking Services Department (Parking Wardens), and only activated where they believe they are under threat or are facing threatening behaviour.
These cameras will record conversations between members of the public and Council staff where considered appropriate. Where a Council officer intends to record a conversation with a member of the public, the member of the public will be informed verbally at the time.
All body worn cameras will be overt and clearly visible.
Our Body Worn Video Devices Policy and Privacy Impact Assessment provide more details.
Disclosing CCTV footage
CCTV and Body Worn Video footage can be disclosed to (subject to exceptions):
- individuals requesting footage of themselves or on behalf of someone else with the appropriate consent or authority. These requests are covered under the 'Subject access request procedure'. However, sometimes there may be legal reasons which prevent us from disclosing, for example, if it contains footage of a third party
- the Police, other law-enforcement agencies involved in the prevention or detection of crime and/or apprehension of an offender. These requests are covered under the 'Access to personal information procedure'
- insurance companies or anyone else involved in legal proceedings. These requests are covered under the 'Access to personal information procedure'
- individuals requesting footage that does not contain personal data. These requests are covered under the 'FOI procedure'
CCTV operators are not allowed to disclose images of identifiable people to the media - or to put them on the internet - for entertainment. Images released to the media to help identify a person are disclosed by the police.
All recordings and copies of recordings including images saved by ourselves remain the copyright of Sheffield City Council. Any footage released is for reference only and should not be placed on any social media, website, or any other medium of publication.