ONCE AGAIN: Fresh delay to number plate cameras
A new Ingleby Barwick CCTV device on entrance to the estate, Image: Cllr Ted Strike
New cameras capturing car number plates entering and leaving a Teesside estate have been delayed once again.
The number plate capabilities were due to be turned on at three entrances to Ingleby Barwick at the start of this month after a £14,000 purchase by the estate’s town council.
But the town council has confirmed this has been put “on hold” while correspondence from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is awaited by Stockton Council officers.
CCTV cameras have been installed at Ingleby Barwick’s three main entrances and exits off Queen Elizabeth Way, Thornaby Road-Ingleby Way, and the Ingleby Manor roundabout at Low Lane-Barwick Way.
Town councillors agreed to buy the fleet of cameras in March after repeated calls from Cllr Ted Strike.
The hope is they will help enforcement teams and police to retrospectively track suspect vehicles on the estate while also offering 360 degree visibility as pan-tilt-zoom cameras.
But the scheme wasn’t agreed without doubts about criminals getting around the cameras – as well as worries over whether they were good value for money.
A wrangle over signs for the cameras triggered a separate delay to their ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) features being switched on over the summer.
Similar devices have been used on private land on Teesside in the past.
Seven cameras in the rural Hertfordshire town of Royston were deemed “unlawful” and “excessive” by the ICO in 2013.
But the data watchdog confirmed it had not received a complaint about the Ingleby Barwick cameras as of yet.
An ICO spokesperson said: “Organisations wishing to use ANPR systems must comply with data protection law before, during, and after its use.
“That means organisations must put in place appropriate technical and organisational measures, robust policies, and complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment prior to processing to determine that the use is lawful, necessary and proportionate.
“If anyone has concerns about how their data has been handled, they can report these concerns to us.”
Meanwhile, new CCTV – funded by Ingleby Barwick ward councillors – has been lined up at the Myton Way underpass between the Rings and Broomhill in response to trouble in recent weeks.
Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter
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