1. Introduction

1.1 This policy explains the purpose, use, and management of the CCTV installations at the University of Westminster.

1.2 The purposes of the CCTV installations are:

  • the protection of staff, students, visitors, and the assets of the University; 
  • the prevention, investigation and detection of crime and disciplinary offences in accordance with the University disciplinary procedures;
  • the apprehension and prosecution of offenders (including the use of images/data as evidence in criminal / civil proceedings);
  • the monitoring of the security of premises.

1.3 The principles of the policy are:

  • that individuals' rights are respected and protected;
  • that the installations are operated fairly and within the law;
  • that the CCTV system is operated for the purposes for which it was set up;
  • that the recorded material/data stored is fairly and lawfully processed;
  • that recorded material/data is adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purposes;
  • that recorded material/data is accurate, securely stored, and not kept for longer than is necessary.

1.4 This policy and its operations will be subject to regular reviews and audits, no less than every two years.

1.5 This policy is supported by the CCTV Operational procedures.

2. CCTV system overview and definitions

2.1 The CCTV system includes approximately 480 cameras over 13 buildings.

2.2 The systems will be operated 24 hours per day, 365 days of the year.

2.3 The CCTV installations comprise all fixed cameras, printer monitors, signs, recording and playing equipment, information, material, data, and any ancillary equipment required for the operation of the installations (eg cabling, printers, power supplies).

2.4 Recorded material/data means any material recorded by the installations, either in digital or analogue form on video cassette tape, PC computer system tape, hard copy print, or any document copy. The recorded material/data are the property of the University of Westminster.

2.5 The systems will be maintained on behalf of the University by NT Security and Link CCTV Systems and ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

2.6 The security contractor, CIS Security, has authority to operate the CCTV equipment and will ensure compliance with this policy and the Data Protection Act 1998.

3. CCTV owners

3.1 The CCTV surveillance system is owned by the University of Westminster.

3.2 The Director of Estates & Facilities is the responsible person for the management and operation of the system, with nominated individuals given authority to manage the day-to-day operations and ensure strict compliance with this policy.

3.3 The University's Information Compliance team have ensured this policy complies with the Data Protection Act 1988. For any Data Protection queries please email: [email protected]

4. Data Protection Act 1998

4.1 The University's CCTV installations will be registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and all release of information will be in accordance with the registration.

4.2 An exemption to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 covers the disclosure of information for the purposes of:

  • Preventing or detecting crime
  • Apprehending or prosecuting offenders
  • Assessing or collecting any tax or duty

This exemption applies only where non-disclosure would be likely to prejudice one of these purposes.

4.3 For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998 the University of Westminster is the data controller.

5. Access to images

5.1 The ability to review recorded and live images is limited to authorised staff personnel only: namely:

  • Site Security Manager
  • Deputy Site Security Manager
  • Campus Services Manager
  • Residential Life Manager (Halls of Residence only)
  • Ground and Sports Facilities Manager (Chiswick only)

6. Applications to review images

6.1 University staff, students and other individuals using the University premises (eg visitors, contractors etc) may apply to have CCTV footage reviewed.

6.2 The request must be made in writing supplying the information as detailed within Appendix A:

6.3 All requests should be made within 10 working days of the recording to ensure footage is not erased.

7. Retention and disposal

7.1 Unless required for evidential purposes or the investigation of a crime or otherwise required by law, recorded images will be retained for no longer than 30 days from the date of recording.

7.2 At the end of their useful life all images on discs will be erased and securely disposed of.

8. Complaints procedure and enquiry service

8.1 For any complaints regarding CCTV the usual complaints procedure applies. Complaints by students should go through the standard student complaint procedure while non-students should supply the information as detailed in Appendix B.

8.2 For general enquiries in relation to CCTV and this policy please email the appropriate campus team: 

9. Relevant documents

  • CCTV procedures (appendix A)
  • Complaint process (appendix B)

Appendix A

Request to review CCTV footage

Access to view CCTV can be requested by individuals whose images have been captured and/or uniformed police in response to an incident which occurred on the same day eg to assist in a specific criminal enquiry, identify a victim, witness or perpetrator in relation to a criminal incident.

To request access to view CCTV footage you must advise of the following:

  1. Name
  2. Student/Staff number
  3. Email address
  4. Date of CCTV footage to be viewed
  5. Time of CCTV footage to be viewed
  6. Location of CCTV footage to be viewed 
  7. Reason for the request

This information should be sent via email to the appropriate campus CCTV mailbox as follows:

Where the police or other law enforcement agencies request a copy of CCTV images a Section 29 request should be made under the Data Protection Act 1998 for this type of access. Please refer to the Information Compliance team – email [email protected]

Where an individual whose images has been recorded requests a copy of CCTV images relating to themselves, a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 must be made.  Please refer to the Information Compliance team at the address above.

Appendix B

Formal complaints process

If you wish to complain about the University facilities/services received, non-students should provide the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Address for correspondence
  3. Contact number
  4. Email Address
  5. A summary of the details of your complaint
  6. Who was initially approached to resolve your complaint
  7. What resolution you are seeking

This should be sent to: [email protected] ​