CCTV cameras to be mandatory in new law

CCTV Cameras.

You are likely to see more closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras near you in coming days as all public and private institutions will now have to fit the systems.

Further, Kenyans who install CCTV systems in their homes and business premises will also have to register the same with the government.

This is according to a new National CCTV Policy that seeks to standardise the installation, operation and management of the digital security systems countrywide.

Under the draft policy published this week, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government will establish a national CCTV coordination centre that will register all installations in Kenya.

"The increased level of crime in the public places has necessitated various institutions and individuals, both public and private, to use CCTV as a tool to address the security challenges," explains the ministry of interior.

"However, the installations have been taking place without any guideline and the objective of this policy is to guide installation, operation and management of all CCTV systems in public and private premises while promoting their use as a mechanism to deter, detect and prevent crime."

According to the policy, those who install CCTV systems will have to ensure their systems are compatible with the government’s own digital security network.

The new requirements are likely to increase the cost of developing and installing the system as product vendors and technicians move to ensure compliance.

Owners of CCTV systems will be required to report incidences and footage captured on their systems to the police as well as facilitate the same upon request.  

The use of CCTV systems has traditionally presented a policy challenge to law enforcement agencies in Kenya, particularly when footage is presented as evidence in court. 

In several cases in the past, the court has declined to admit CCTV evidence in court after lawyers argued the footage could have been doctored.  

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