Since 1902

Owners of structures to ensure they have CCTV cameras in new National policy

A CCTV surveillance camera. [Courtesy]

Owners of all institutions, businesses, and facilities with public areas should ensure those areas are covered by CCTV surveillance systems.

A new National CCTV policy prepared by the government says the systems installed must be registered and operated in compliance with the law.

It adds owners or operators of the systems should maintain them regarding the make and model of all CCTV system components, including but not limited to recorders, cameras, lenses, and multiplexers.

The owners should ensure the system provide reasonable access, connection, linkage and integration mechanisms.

 “All CCTV footage/images should be disclosed for carrying out a formal investigation where it can reasonably be expected that the disclosure of the footage/images may help the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence,” says the draft.

According to the ministry, the public has until August 14 to submit their views on how the policy should be implemented.

Authorities have in the past used CCTV footage to solve incidents.

The policy adds owners or operators of the cameras operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week and that they report all security related incidences captured by CCTV systems to the relevant security authorities.

“The CCTV systems should have the capability of working in all light situations to illuminate the cameras field of view.”

 It says the owners of the systems should ensure that they do not cover restricted areas?and should be sited in such a way that they monitor areas intended to be covered by the system.

The owner of a property or space being overlooked should be informed and CCTV control equipment should be housed within a secure area.

“The control equipment should be protected using a secure validation process like a password, or electronic key, to avoid unauthorized access to the CCTV system.”

The draft policy says any installation of CCTV systems that transverse more than one county should be vetted and registered by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, while at county level, be vetted through the County Security and Intelligence Committee.

“There should be clear signage informing the public of CCTV surveillance systems coverage. The owner of the system should be able to provide footage/images and will be accountable, impartial and fair with procedures for dealing with complaints.”

The draft says audits and submission of reports shall be done quarterly at County level and annually at National level

The ministry of interior will ensure that regular audits on installation and management of CCTV systems in relation to addressing security concerns in the country.

“All CCTV Systems should store the recordings for a minimum of 30 days, while incidences of interest be sufficiently archived for a minimum of 90 days,” it says.

The draft says the aim of the policy is to provide general principles and standards for installation, operation and management of CCTV systems.

The purpose of having it is to prevent, deter and detect crime to safeguard life and property, assist in investigation and prosecution of incidents and offences and facilitate emergency and security deployment operations.

When considering setting up or expanding a CCTV system, the relevant concerns of all parties potentially affected by the systems should be taken into account.

“All CCTV systems should be open, accountable and operate with due regard for the privacy and civil rights of individuals and the community,” says the draft.

Owners, police, officials from the county governments and national governments will form part of the CCTV policy.