Minister Charles Flanagan welcomes guidance by the Data Protection Commission on data protection and community based CCTV
Charles Flanagan TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, has today welcomed the guidance issued by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to data protection and community based CCTV.
The Data Protection Commissioner’s Office has issued a note (available on its website www.dataprotection.ie ) confirming that there is a legal basis for community based CCTV and that the General Data Protection Regulation does not introduce new barriers in that regard. In particular, the Office in its note confirmed that:
“Data protection legislation does not stand in the way of the roll-out of Community based CCTV schemes that have been authorised by the Garda Commissioner. Once the local authority in the administrative area concerned is willing to take on and deliver on its responsibilities as a data controller for the schemes concerned, there is no legal impediment under data protection legislation to the scheme commencing.”
Speaking today, Minister Flanagan said:
“The guidance issued by the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office in relation to data protection and community CCTV is very welcome. It should assist in clarifying queries or concerns which communities and local authorities may have had; and provide further reassurance to them that community CCTV schemes, when duly authorised, have a clear legal basis.”
Minister Flanagan added:
“I am confident that local authorities will also be reassured by this confirmation that they are not required, as a result of their role as data controller, to monitor CCTV live feeds on a continuous basis. This has a real and very concrete impact on how local authorities carry out their role in relation to community CCTV.”
Minister Flanagan also took the opportunity to recall that, pursuant to a Programme for a Partnership Government commitment to supporting investment in CCTV systems, grant aid is available from the Department of Justice and Equality for groups wishing to establish community based CCTV systems in their local areas. Eligible groups can apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum total of €40,000.
Referring to the community based CCTV grant aid scheme, Minister Flanagan said:
“I have heard from many groups of their desire for CCTV in their local areas and I know the sense of security that it can bring to many communities. Responding to this demand, the Government has made significant funding available to assist groups wishing to establish community CCTV in their areas. The grant aid scheme administered by my Department is intended to run for 3 years, with €1million available each year. I would urge all interested groups, whether community groups or local authorities, to contact my Department if they wish to avail of the grant funding available.”
Full details of the grant aid package are available to download from the website of the Department of Justice and Equality www.justice.ie and support and guidance is available to help interested groups through a dedicated email address email@example.com
Notes to Editors
The full text of the statement by the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office on data protection and community CCTV is available at the following address: https://www.dataprotection.ie/docs/EN/29-11-2018-Data-Protection-and-Community-Based-CCTV-Schemes/m/1798.htm
Community CCTV is governed by section 38(3)(c) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006 (SI No 289 of 2006). This legal framework requires that any proposed community CCTV scheme must-
be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee,
have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner, and
have the prior support of the relevant local authority, which must also act as data controller.
This is the legal basis for all community CCTV schemes, regardless of how they are funded.
The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to supporting investment in CCTV systems. In furtherance of this commitment, a grant-aid scheme to assist groups in establishment of community-based CCTV systems in their local areas is being administered by the Department of Justice and Equality. Funding of €1 million is available each year and the scheme is intended to run for 3 years. Eligible groups can apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum total of €40,000.
There have to date been 27 applications to the grant aid scheme. 20 applications have been approved for grants totalling more than €500,000. A further 4 applications to the scheme are currently being assessed and considered. The remaining 3 applications have been returned to the applicants concerned to enable them to supply the information necessary to qualify for grant aid.