CCTV rules will make Swansea safer
NEW rules for the use of surveillance cameras will help to keep people safe in and around Swansea, according to operators.
The Home Office this week introduced a new code of practice for public CCTV cameras in Wales and England, which states cameras must be used "in pursuit of a legitimate aim" and when it "meets a pressing need".
It also restricts access to them and retention of data, and encourages private operators to apply the code as well as public bodies.
Swansea's public CCTV system is operated by Swansea Council, providing comprehensive coverage of the city 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It is directly linked to police, front line council staff and businesses across the city helping to prevent crime and disorder and improve public safety. The new code has been welcomed by the Safer Swansea Partnership.
Councillor Nick Bradley, cabinet member for place, said: "The new and updated code of practice effectively requires the rest of England and Wales to comply with the standards already operated in Swansea.
"Swansea's existing robust procedures regarding the storage and processing of CCTV images are designed to ensure that the only people with any need to have concerns about the operation of CCTV are those who are up to no good.
"[The code] should help give further confidence to our residents and visitors that CCTV is a powerful tool for helping keep people safe, with proper and effective measures in place to ensure it is not misused.
"The CCTV system is continually reviewed to ensure cameras are appropriately located and being used effectively."
CCTV cameras are used for a range of uses from providing information on traffic flows and problems which motorists hear over their radios, to identifying known troublemakers before they gain entry to shops or bars.
They are also used to call for assistance for people who have fallen into the river or marina, resulting in the saving of lives.
Chief inspector Steve Jones, of South Wales Police, said: "The CCTV system in Swansea is a massive asset. CCTV operators provide an invaluable service to police officers on the ground when investigating crimes."