Hidden Cameras in Service Property

Mr Evans made this Freedom of Information request to North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear North Wales Fire and Rescue Service,

Please provide information as to the following

1. Are there currently hidden cameras in use in service property?

2. If so, do these cameras include receipt of audio / sound ?

3.Does the service have to apply for a licence for hidden cameras if they wish to use them?

4.What licence(s), if any has the service applied for?

5.Do staff need to be informed by law that they are being recorded?

Yours faithfully,

Mr Evans

Brian Mottershead, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Dear Sir,

I hereby acknowledge receipt of your request for information (see below), which is being actioned under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is now receiving my attention, and you will receive a response within 20 working days. To confirm, your request was received on 29th November 2013 and you have supplied an email address for response.

Yours faithfully,

Brian Mottershead
Swyddog Rhyddid Gwybodaeth/Freedom of Information Officer
Gwasanaeth Tân ac Achub Gogledd Cymru/North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Am archwiliad diogelwch tân yn y cartref yn rhad ac am ddim, ffoniwch 0800 169 1234, e-bostiwch [email address] neu ymwelwch â www.gwastan-gogcymru.org.uk.

For a free home fire safety check, please call 0800 169 1234, e-mail [email address] or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk.

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Brian Mottershead, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Dear Sir,

 

Further to your recent request made under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act regarding hidden cameras on North Wales Fire and Rescue
Service (NWFRS) property, the response from NWFRS is as follows:

 

1. Are there currently hidden cameras in use in Service property?

 

NWFRS is not aware of any hidden cameras in use in Service property, but
evidently we could not be certain that someone had not placed or carried
hidden cameras in Service premises without the organisation’s knowledge or
agreement.  

 

2. If so, do these cameras include receipt of audio/sound?

 

Following on from our response to Question 1, this is not applicable.

 

3. Does the Service have to apply for a licence for hidden cameras if they
wish to use them?

 

No.

 

In some defined circumstances, some authorities are required to apply for
a magistrate’s approval to conduct covert surveillance in accordance with
the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).  The magistrate
approval falls under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. 

 

You may wish to refer to the Home Office’s revised Code of Practice on
covert surveillance and property interference for further information. 
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

 

We would specifically refer you to paragraphs 2.25 and 2.26 of the code of
practice that explain the circumstances whereby an authorisation under
RIPA would be appropriate:

 

2.25 An authorisation for directed or intrusive surveillance is only
appropriate for the purposes of a specific investigation or operation,
insofar as that investigation or operation relates to the grounds
specified at section 28(3) of the 2000 Act. Covert surveillance for any
other general purposes should be conducted under other legislation, if
relevant, and an authorisation under Part II of the 2000 Act should not be
sought.

 

2.26 The ‘core functions’ referred to by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal
(C v The Police and the Secretary of State for the Home Office
–IPT/03/32/H dated 14 November 2006) are the ‘specific public functions’,
undertaken by a particular authority, in contrast to the ‘ordinary
functions’ which are those undertaken by all authorities (e.g. employment
issues, contractual arrangements etc.). A public authority may only engage
the 2000 Act when in performance of its ‘core functions’. The disciplining
of an employee is not a ‘core function’, although related criminal
investigations may be. The protection of the 2000 Act may therefore be
available in relation to associated criminal investigations so long as the
activity is deemed to be necessary and proportionate.

 

For fire and rescue services, core functions potentially requiring
authorisation for directed or intrusive surveillance might relate, for
example, to its enforcing powers under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety)
Order 2005.   However, Fire and Rescue Authorities are not local
authorities under RIPA for the purpose of magistrate approval under the
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 or the crime threshold set by SI 2012
No.1500 [2]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/...

 

4. What licence(s), if any has the service applied for?

 

Following on from our response to Question 3, this is not applicable.

 

5. Do staff need to be informed by law that they are being recorded?

 

No. 

 

You may wish to refer to the Information Commissioner’s Office’s
Employment Practices Code. 
[3]http://www.ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/...

 

We would refer specifically to the section on covert monitoring of staff
(section 3.4).  

 

Although it is good practice to ensure that workers are informed of the
extent and nature of any monitoring that is taking place and the reasons
for it, covert monitoring by its nature would be carried out in a manner
calculated to ensure that the people subject to it would be unaware that
it is taking place.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request a review by writing to:

 

The Freedom of Information Officer

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters

Ffordd Salesbury

St Asaph Business Park

St Asaph

Denbighshire

LL17 0JJ

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: [4]www.ico.gov.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours faithfully,

Brian Mottershead
Swyddog Rhyddid Gwybodaeth/Freedom of Information Officer
Gwasanaeth Tân ac Achub Gogledd Cymru/North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Am archwiliad diogelwch tân yn y cartref yn rhad ac am ddim, ffoniwch
0800 169 1234, e-bostiwch [5][email address] neu ymwelwch â
[6]www.gwastan-gogcymru.org.uk.

 

For a free home fire safety check, please call 0800 169 1234, e-mail
[7][email address] or visit
[8]www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk.

 

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