The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has welcomed the news that the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s contract has been extended by a further three years by the Home Office.
The Commissioner, Tony Porter, was originally appointed for a three year term ending on 10 March 2017. The Home Secretary and Permanent Secretary have now extended Mr Porter’s term from three to six years with his contract now expiring on 10 March 2020.
The BSIA has been pleased to see the Commissioner make significant strides in encouraging compliance with the surveillance camera code of practice during the first three years of his tenure. Some of the many notable achievements include: a review of the code of practice, the development of a third party certification scheme (of which 40 organisations have been awarded the certification since its launch) and the beginning of a National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales.
Mr Porter said: “I’m delighted to have my commission extended for a further three years. With the help of my advisory council and many others, I’ve been able to raise standards across surveillance camera users and protect individuals’ right to privacy through tools such as self-assessment and third party certification. There’s still much important work to do though and I’ll be launching my national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales later in the year setting out my vision up until 2020.”
The BSIA’s Director of Technical Services, David Wilkinson, commented: “The BSIA is pleased that Mr Porter has accepted an extension of his commission until 2020. We have enjoyed a productive relationship with the office of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner since its inception and Mr Porter has demonstrated that his vision for Surveillance Camera regulation is very much in line with our own. I look forward, on behalf of our members, to continue working with the Commissioner over the next three years and I expect that we will continue to see improvements in the standard of Surveillance Camera system usage during that time.”
Simon Adcock, Chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV section and the lead on the industry strand of the National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales, added: “Working with Tony Porter has provided a golden opportunity to improve the way that manufacturers and service providers work with buyers to deliver effective and compliant systems. The work of the industry strand of the National Strategy has been focussed on educating buyers on what to expect from a knowledgeable, professional service provider as well as providing practical guidance to help them comply with the Code of Practice. Ultimately, we are aiming to establish and promote a set of good practice guidelines that should be met by anyone providing professional video surveillance services.”
The BSIA will continue to work closely with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and his office throughout the remainder of his contract, providing guidance on behalf of the industry and support to the initiatives that develop over the coming years.