University of Oxford receives Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s third party certification mark

The University of Oxford has been awarded the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s certification mark after being audited against the 12 guiding principles of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. The latter aims to balance the need for cameras in public places with individual’s right to privacy.

The University of Oxford is a large and internationally-renowned academic institution recognised as the oldest in the English-speaking world. It’s also one of the largest employers in Oxfordshire. The new certification enables it to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and accountability to nearly 24,000 students and more than 13,000 employees. From an initial six cameras in 1990 to almost 200 cameras today, the University of Oxford has sought to use its CCTV system to prevent and detect crime and support a safe environment for staff, students and visitors.

Lesley Nesbitt, crime prevention design advisor for the University of Oxford, said: “Oxford University aspires to the highest standards of CCTV surveillance and the Commissioner’s certification provides confidence to staff, students and visitors alike that the deployment of our CCTV system is proportionate, effective, compliant with relevant legal obligations and, importantly, deployed to protect and support them.”

Tony Porter QPM LLB: the Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Tony Porter QPM LLB: the Surveillance Camera Commissioner

The University employs its own security team to provide 24/7 staffing for the Security Control Room and undertake patrols of the academic and residential campus. The University of Oxford security services team carries out an annual review of its CCTV cameras to ensure that each camera’s deployment is justified with a pressing need and legitimate reason, identifying cameras that can be removed and areas where new cameras should be deployed.

Tony Porter QPM LLB, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, explained: “Oxford University is one of the most prestigious in the world. It’s great that it’s demonstrating to staff, students and the public a defined commitment to use surveillance cameras to the highest standards by achieving my certification mark.”

The certification audit was conducted by the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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