CCTV monitoring shared service agreement

CCTV services in Tamworth are provided in partnership with West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to help develop a safe and secure community.

The overt (open) surveillance camera systems are owned by Tamworth Borough Council and operated in accordance with the relevant General Data Protection Regulations, as well as good practice guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office, Surveillance Camera Commission. This is so the need for public protection can be balanced with respect for individual privacy.

As part of the shared service agreement with the WMCA, Tamworth benefits from:

  • CCTV monitored 24 hours a day from the WMCA’s state-of-the-art control centre in Birmingham
  • Expertise and intelligence including ISO 27001 National Quality Assurance Accreditation
  • Working across boundaries with other councils and police forces
  • An upgraded fully digital HD system and the WMCA’s superior video analytics
  • Shared access to police analysts and radio links to the police
  • Partnership working with people who use Tamworth’s Storenet and Nightnet radio surveillance systems to proactively reduce and manage crime in the town

If you have any questions about the CCTV shared service in Tamworth, please contact: Lee Birch, Head of Housing Management and Neighbourhood Resilience by emailing, or calling 01827 709709.

What CCTV is

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a television system which operates on a 'closed loop' overt (open) basis.

Unlike broadcast television which is available to anyone with a suitable receiver, CCTV pictures are only available to those directly connected to the loop which, in our case, is the West Midlands Combined Authority’s central monitoring control room in Birmingham. The loop is a physical link consisting of a fibre optic cable which carries the picture from the camera to a monitor.

The purpose of CCTV

CCTV plays a major role in making Tamworth safer, helping to provide evidence where a crime has been committed and ultimately, reducing crime where cameras are operational. CCTV monitoring aims to:

  • Assist in the detection, reduction and prevention of crime
  • Provide evidential material to assist police investigations
  • Deter those having criminal intent
  • Reduce the fear of crime and give confidence to the public that they are in a secure environment
  • Provide safer communities
  • Reduce acts of vandalism
  • Assist in the prevention and detection of anti-social behaviour
  • Assist with traffic management

How CCTV works

Dedicated CCTV monitoring operatives continually monitor the CCTV pictures 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week, 365 days-a-year from the West Midlands Combined Authority state-of-the-art control room in Birmingham.

All data is also recorded 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, onto a computer hard drive. This is over-written every 31 days. If requested by law enforcement or licensing authorities within that 31 days, specific footage may be saved for longer into a secure system. If no longer required by the requesting authority, or after 60 days, it is irretrievably deleted.

Any actions performed on the CCTV system (for example, viewing, copying to storage) are all recorded.

When evidence of an incident is saved and then electronically download for the police, a report of all relevant data that accompanies it is stored by the CCTV system. This evidence can then be used by the police as an evidence trail in court.

In all CCTV system processes, both Tamworth Borough Council and West Midlands Combined Authority are committed to being fully compliant with all relevant statutory and legislative requirements including the surveillance code of practice. All new CCTV installations will be subject to submission of a formal business case. This will aim to provide the reasons why CCTV monitoring is required.

Access to the CCTV monitoring control room

Access to, and security of, the monitoring area is strictly controlled at all times. Only people with a legitimate purpose will be allowed in.

Signage in areas protected by CCTV 

Areas protected by CCTV will be indicated by the presence of signs like this one.

CCTV in operation sign

The signs will be placed so that members of the public are aware they are entering a zone which is covered by surveillance equipment. The signs will state the organisation responsible for the scheme i.e. Tamworth Borough Council, the purposes of the scheme and a contact telephone number.

Monitoring of CCTV footage

CCTV footage is viewed and monitored by the employed, trained CCTV monitoring operators and their management team. Images can also be made available to the police and statutory authorities with powers to prosecute, provided the reasons and purpose complies with current legislation, and on condition that the information is not used for any other purpose than that specified.

The CCTV monitoring operators will be responsible for complying with the relevant code of practice and operating procedural manual. They have a responsibility to respect the privacy of the individual and understand and comply with the objectives of the CCTV monitoring scheme. They are required to be proficient in the control and the use of the CCTV camera equipment, recording and playback facilities, image erasure, and maintenance of all logs. The information recorded must be accurate, adequate and relevant to the purpose of the CCTV monitoring scheme. They should bring to the attention of the supervisor immediately any equipment defect that may occur.

CCTV recordings and how long they are kept

All footage is recorded digitally and kept for 31 days to enable the police to request a copy if an incident is reported to them. Footage will only be retained for longer if a copy has been requested in relation to an on-going investigation.

Accessing CCTV footage

If a crime has occurred, it should be reported to the police to investigate. They are able to access CCTV footage to assist with their enquiries.

You can make a 'Subject Access Request' for CCTV footage. Your request will be considered on a case by case basis and depends on the incident or type of footage held. Information will only be released if the footage captures your own personal individual activities and your access request reasons are deemed acceptable, the request and release of information complies with current legislation and on condition that the information is not used for any other purpose than that specified. You will need to provide sufficient information to enable the operators to identify you in any footage. All requests for access will be recorded.

If a request for CCTV footage is received via a Freedom of Information application (FOIA) and the person requesting is the subject, these will be exempt from the FOIA and will be dealt with under the Data Protection principles. Any other requests not involving identification of individuals can be disclosed but only if it does not breach the data protection principles.

To make a Subject Access Request please fill in our online CCTV Subject Access Request form.

Cameras near residential properties

Privacy screening technology is used to blur images where the cameras are near residential properties to prevent footage of the inside of people’s homes from being captured or seen by monitoring staff.

Number of council-owned CCTV cameras in Tamworth

Presently in Tamworth we have 154 cameras covering public open spaces.

Other cameras in Tamworth

There are many privately-owned CCTV cameras in operation throughout Tamworth that are not monitored by Tamworth Borough Council and West Midlands Combined Authority shared CCTV service. For further information on these private cameras we recommend you refer to the relevant CCTV signage displayed at the location.

Determining whether CCTV is justified

Prior to the installation of cameras, an impact assessment is carried out to determine whether CCTV is justified and how it will be operated. This is done in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s CCTV Code of Practice and the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice.

The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice has a dual purpose, in that it will assist owners, management and operators to understand their legal and moral obligations whilst reassuring the public about the safeguards contained within it.

Tamworth Borough Council and West Midlands Combined Authority are both committed to working in accordance with the recommendations contained in the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice and the Information Commissioner’s CCTV Code of Practice.

Radio surveillance systems

We also monitor and communicate with partners on the radio systems listed below to proactively reduce and manage crime taking place in Tamworth.

  1. Tamworth users of Storenet & Nightnet Radio Surveillance Systems
  2. Police radio

Data controller?

Tamworth Borough Council is the data controller.

Tamworth Borough Council
Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, Staffs B79 7BZ
Tel: 01827 709709

The role of data controller includes all statutory data protection responsibilities. The Council’s Data Protection Policy gives more information on how the council processes and looks after data.