Disgruntled neighbor does not like CCTV and has threatened with violence.

whatsmyname

Member
Hello to all

I moved into a property on an dead end terrace street almost 6 years ago now (UK, England). I installed some cheap CCTV cameras at the time to protect my property and car. They overlook a public road and path and can clearly see houses on the opposite side of the street. Due to the fact they was analog and low quality and distance at the time you was not able to see through windows so privacy mask simply was not enabled. (In fact, i don't even think the DVR had that feature at the time) I installed a CCTV sign and for many years nobody had any issues.

Due to the fact the CCTV sucked and was looking a little dated I upgraded them to dome vandle proof HIKVISION IP Cameras. The upgrade immediately gave a clear view of the street both ways and most importantly meant that I was able to identify anyone who came to my property or damaged my car. The cameras was setup to face both ways so I could see the road (both ways), my alleyway gate, my property and more importantly, my car. I've attached an image to demonstrate the configuration.

  • Over the years we have had multiple incidents on the street where people have reversed out of the dead end street and have hit our car causing damage (Hit and Run).
  • One of the residents across the road had his car hit twice in one week resulting in the car being written off.
  • Last year my neighbors shed was burgled stealing a bike and tried to take the lawnmower too (too heavy)
  • House had been burgled at the bottom end of the street which resulted in the police asking for CCTV and helping innocent victims be ruled out.
  • The CCTV helped rule out a suspect in a potential homicide (was later ruled suicide)
Last month I purchased a new car and it cost me a ton. I absolutely love the car and it is my pride and joy. However I came outside to discover that it had been bumped into (paint damage, scrape) - I was very upset as I saved a while to buy my first new car. I went through the CCTV to find the culprit but due to discovering it a little late the footage had already been overwritten with new recordings. (My fault, I sucked it up) - I spent the last week thinking how I could improve the view and security to better protect it. I purchased a dash cam with parking g-sensor and installed it into my car.

I then decided to re-position one of the cameras so it could see directly down at the road so I could see the side of my car which was on the road side should anyone hit it in future.

While doing so up a ladder a comment was made to me about "Privacy". - I calmly explained that the CCTV was their to protect my property and car due to it being hit multiple times. The response I then got was "well, its part of life.". I then replied back, "No, its not part of life, especially when you have paid alot of money for something and someone damages it".

This was then followed with the person "shouting" as loud as he could to get his point across about privacy and how he don't like cameras recording him and the fact they could see both ways of the street. I still remained calm and explained everything Im doing I have a right to do. The person then made multiple threats from "I'll just smash your face in" to a more disturbing "I'll petrol bomb your windows with your kids in it" - He then began taking photos of the CCTV and was going to use them to "check" or do whatever. I didn't care. He took the pictures and moved away.

Again, I remained calm and asking why hes acting so irrational. Some neighbors had arrived to look out to see what was happening. To my relief most of not all had quickly taken my side and agreed that they help and nobody has a problem other than this one individual of them being installed. One of the comments from a neighbor which was nice "Them cameras saved my mums car from hit and run, what if my sister got attacked" - After a while friends of the problem person came and tried to calm him down.

Now, the funny thing about this situation is that the individual with the problem lives MUCH further down the street and his neighbors have installed CCTV right next to him. CCTV was also installed at a property directly across from him on my side. I must have counted 3 houses that had decided to install CCTV over the years.

So, why target me? Especially with multiple house holds on the street also installed CCTV. What got him so triggered? - Multiple points was made to the problem individual about expectations and privacy out in public at which point the individual with the problem ignored and continue to shout his point almost asif nothing else matters but his view.

Has anyone else had any experiences like this? I'm still a little on edge after it all happened. I've read about as much I can in regards to the law and home use of CCTV and have tried my absolute best to make sure I stay well within the rules. - I took down the CCTV a few days ago to de-escalate the situation and have tried multiple times to contact the problem individual to help resolve and put it behind closed doors however I learnt from the persons friends that they are still upset/angry and not prepared to do so.

Since removing them I feel a bit off. - I really liked them and now feel my property is a bit vulnerable and if anything is damaged I now have no proof at all. - I've decided I will put them back up and just ignore the problem person and should anything arise in future call the police and let them deal with it.

31d25b40ecfff81de09565ff2572b5462c1d6cac

41-DW9-Pddfp-L-AC-SX425

CCTV
 

Fergal82

Distinguished Member
Errr, with comments such as “I'll petrol bomb your windows with your kids in it" I’d probably be discussing with the police rather than avf
 

whatsmyname

Member
Errr, with comments such as “I'll petrol bomb your windows with your kids in it" I’d probably be discussing with the police rather than avf
Absolutely and have thought about this many times BUT. - I figured they are empty threats and even if the police was called nobody is going to be a witness and at that point it becomes my word against them. Believe me, I've pondered about it for days.
 
Was it not recorded on CCTV 🤔👍

Definitely would make police report of that encounter. Just in case that idiot gets some courage one day.

However strictly speaking it is not that clear regarding recording the road. The focus should really be on your property.
 

whatsmyname

Member
The incident was on CCTV but no audio recorded. Although you can see the guy shouting/waving hands about it's not proof threats was made.

As I understand because it's a public place I'm fine with recording. The aim is to protect my car as I don't have a driveway.
 
I think you are on thin ice to be honest. I mean you’ve received an objection. Just because others don’t mind doesn’t mean it is ok.

 

whatsmyname

Member
Absolutely. Take a look at this:

What is the law if my CCTV captures images of people outside my own home and garden?
If your CCTV captures images beyond your property boundary, such as your neighbours’ property or public streets and footpaths, then your use of the system is subject to the data protection laws.

This does not mean you are breaking the law. But it does mean that, as the CCTV user, you are a data controller. So you will need to comply with your legal obligations under the data protection laws.

You can still capture images, but you need to show you are doing it in ways that comply with the data protection laws and uphold the rights of the people whose images you are capturing.
So, as long as I'm abiding by the data protection laws I'm perfectly legal to record CCTV of a public road outside my property. The CCTV purpose is to cover my property and my car from damage which as far as I can tell I'm well within my right to do so.
 
Yet you received an objection for doing so on shared public areas. So one could also argue that you are not compliant.

If your car was on your own land, and because of that you also catch a bit of the road it would be much more straight forward but it is not. Just because you want to protect your property on public land doesn’t mean you can. It’s not your job.
 
Last edited:

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Whilst the guy clearly needs reporting to the police your own cctv does seem to be capturing an awful lot. If you can clearly see the neighbours' houses then you are capturing their comings and goings.

For me I get your point about incidents but have you quote from the ico website and don't seem to be fully compliant.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
I agree with the above. Have you registered yourself with the ICO as a data controller. Do you have 3 months of secure backups of your CCTV footage of public areas? Is your system secure against unauthorised access? Have you posted correct signage that CCTV is in use and posted your name and address as Data Controller on the signage? Do you have means to provide copies of any recording that may contain footage of recorded people on your system within the last 90 days? I could go on. In all honesty your difficult neighbour would be within his rights to complain and get your CCTV taken down. Sorry but you are acting outside of your rights here and you are potentially violating others right to privacy.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Tricky one...
You have a lawful right to record potential damage to your car and property and you have been subject to antisocial behaviour, so you will want to record this as well. Of course, you should not record someone else's home if they ask you not to. The street is a public area, so the local council have responsibility for it.

Registering with the ICO is very simple - it takes a few minutes and ensuring you secure the recordings should be as simple as putting the DVR in a locked cabinet and electronically controlling access - EG: making sure the web interface is secured, that sort of thing. You can set the length of time you will retain recordings for and what you will do if someone asks you to delete something. The right to be forgotten doesn't mean an automatic right to deletion.

If a neighbour doesn't want you to record his home, angle the camera - or use digital masking to remove it from your recordings. I would also let the council know that you are recording the street and what measures you have put in place to comply with privacy laws.

Just because someone doesn't like being recorded in a public place is not the trigger to remove the CCTV. They would have to show that their rights are somehow being eroded and that this overrides the public interest in protecting property and other persons going about their lawful business.
 

whatsmyname

Member
Thank you for taking the time to post. I contacted ICO today and this is the response I received:

[6/23/2020, 3:18:10 PM] [ICO]: Hello. How may I help?
[6/23/2020, 3:18:17 PM] [ME]: Hello, I'm looking for advice regarding domestic CCTV.

I've installed dome camaras which allow me to see both directions of the street.
I've enabled privacy masks to block out any windows that may intrude on someone elses privacy.

I use the CCTV to protect my property and car which is on a cul de sac street as I have no driveway, The CCTV records footage for upto 30 days and then is deleted.
The CCTV data is secure to prevent any third party access.

Do I need to register as a data controller and pay a fee?

I've used your self-assessment form which says I do not, but as the CCTV is pointing to the street (public area) I'm unsure.
[6/23/2020, 3:19:56 PM] [ICO]: I see. Are the cameras in your own domestic property? If so, and they are not to do with a business, you do not need to register with us, but you do need to be aware of your data protection obligations if you are filming beyond your property's boundaries.
[6/23/2020, 3:20:06 PM] [ICO]: If you have a domestic CCTV camera that captures images beyond the boundaries of your property then you will be subject to data protection legislation.
To understand how data protection legislation applies to the usage of domestic CCTV you may find our guidance useful CCTV filming carried out by others
[6/23/2020, 3:20:24 PM] [ME]: Yes they are installed on a domestic property.
[6/23/2020, 3:21:34 PM] [ICO]: No need to register, but do have a look at the guidance I have sent a link to.
[6/23/2020, 3:22:01 PM] [ME]: Thank you for that information. Can you confirm as long as I follow the data protection legislation I am fully entitled to install CCTV on my property facing the street (public space)?
[6/23/2020, 3:24:01 PM] [ICO]: We could never confirm that you are able to actually install the cameras on your property.
[6/23/2020, 3:24:42 PM] [ICO]: We would want you to be aware of your obligations if you are capturing footage of people outside your property boundar so do read the guidance.
[6/23/2020, 3:24:46 PM] [ME]: As for the subject to access request, does this apply to me as I'm using the CCTV for domestic use and not business?
[6/23/2020, 3:26:18 PM] [ICO]: Yes, if someone thinks you have captured footage of them outside on the cul-de-sac, they are able to make a subject access request and ask you to provide a copy of their images from the CCTV. As I said, you do not have to register with it being in your own home, but one of your obligations is to respond to any subject access requests you might receive.
[6/23/2020, 3:27:18 PM] [ME]: Thank you for that. As for obligations for recording CCTV in a public space which is in this instance a street, what are they? Are they clearly listed in the guidance? :) - Sorry for the questions I want to make sure I'm following the law.
[6/23/2020, 3:28:47 PM] [ICO]: Well, the obligations include keeping the footage secure and responding to subject access requests and displaying clear signage. You would also need to delete someone's footage if they ask you to.
[6/23/2020, 3:29:21 PM] [ME]: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I am not sure what your last post is adding to what others include myself have added. The ICO is not an approval organisation they are a regulator and if necessary enforcement agency.

What you are doing is still very much open to interpretation and the lack is often not black and white hence we have lawyers to argue cases and judges to rule.

Where is your signage, would somebody walking down the street see it, does it contain your details name and phone number etc.

What does the sign say you are recording them for?

Under which of the basis are you collecting the data you need to have a valid reason that matches one of the 6 bases.

Why are you only blocking the windows out of the neighbours surely you should be blocking their entire house (and garden\front yard if applicable)

Your neighbours could get quite arsey and ask you to delete them each day going to work\for a walk\see their secret acquaintance. If you don't comply then you are breaking the law.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
ICO Guidance on Domestic CCTV

Using CCTV at your home

There are many domestic CCTV systems on the market to help you protect your home. If you’re thinking of using one, you need to make sure you do so in a way that respects other people’s privacy.

If you set up your system so it captures only images within the boundary of your private domestic property (including your garden), then the data protection laws will not apply to you.

But what if your system captures images of people outside the boundary of your private domestic property – for example, in neighbours’ homes or gardens, shared spaces, or on a public footpath or a street?

Then the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) will apply to you, and you will need to ensure your use of CCTV complies with these laws. This guidance refers to them as the ‘data protection laws’.

Regardless of whether or not your use of CCTV falls within the data protection laws, the ICO recommends you use it responsibly to protect the privacy of others.

What does ‘private domestic property’ mean?
It means the boundary of the property (including the garden) where you live.

How can I use CCTV responsibly at my property?
You should ask yourself whether CCTV is actually the best way to improve your home security.

Think about the following questions:

Do I really need CCTV?

Are there other things I could use to protect my home, such as better lighting?
What is the most privacy-friendly way to set up the system?
What areas do I want the cameras to capture?
Can I position the cameras to avoid intruding on my neighbours’ property or any shared or public spaces?
Do I need to record the images, or is a live feed enough?
Has my CCTV system got an audio-recording facility? Audio recording is very privacy-intrusive. So in most cases where householders use CCTV, they should disable audio recording.
Think about the problem you are trying to tackle. It will usually be to safeguard you and your property against crime. Check your local police advice about crime prevention. Better locks, security lighting or an alarm system may be more effective and less expensive ways of securing your property.

If you decide to use CCTV, think about what areas need to be covered, and whether your cameras need to capture images beyond the boundary of your property. Remember, if your cameras don’t capture images beyond your boundary, the data protection laws won’t apply to you.

What is the law if my CCTV captures images of people outside my own home and garden?
If your CCTV captures images beyond your property boundary, such as your neighbours’ property or public streets and footpaths, then your use of the system is subject to the data protection laws.

This does not mean you are breaking the law. But it does mean that, as the CCTV user, you are a data controller. So you will need to comply with your legal obligations under the data protection laws.

You can still capture images, but you need to show you are doing it in ways that comply with the data protection laws and uphold the rights of the people whose images you are capturing.

What must I do if I capture images of people outside my own home and garden?
If you are capturing images beyond your property boundary, you should have a clear and justifiable reason for doing so. In particular, you will need to think why you need these images. If asked by an individual or the ICO, you will need to be able to explain your reasons, so you should write them down now. You should also write down why you think capturing the images is more important than invading the privacy of your neighbours and passers-by.

You will also need to:

Let people know you are using CCTV by putting up signs saying that recording is taking place, and why.
Ensure you don’t capture more footage than you need to achieve your purpose in using the system.
Ensure the security of the footage you capture – in other words, holding it securely and making sure nobody can watch it without good reason.
Only keep the footage for as long as you need it – delete it regularly, and when it is no longer needed.
Ensure the CCTV system is only operated in ways you intend and can’t be misused for other reasons. Anyone you share your property with, such as family members who could use the equipment, needs to know the importance of not misusing it.
You also need to make sure you respect the data protection rights of the people whose images you capture. This includes the following things:

Responding to subject access requests (SARs), if you receive any. Individuals have a right to access the personal data you hold about them, including identifiable images. They can ask you verbally or in writing. You must respond within one month and give them a copy of the data.
Deleting footage of people if they ask you to do so. You should do this within one month. You can refuse to delete it if you specifically need to keep it for a genuine legal dispute – in which case you need to tell them this, and also tell them they can challenge this in court or complain to the ICO.
Consider any objection you get now from particular people about capturing their image in the future. Given the nature of CCTV systems, this may be very difficult to do. However, you should again think whether you need to record images beyond your property boundary – particularly if your system is capturing images from a neighbour’s home or garden.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I think it's fair to say the OP has good reason to be recording a public area - where his car is stored, but should take all steps to exclude other public areas. The crux being that he is not providing CCTV for the whole street, just protecting his own interests. This might mean changing the cameras or their location to narrow the field of view.

Again, if some neighbour insisted their footage be deleted, that's fine so long as there's no suspicion that they were engaging in nefarious activities. Refusal to delete might include frequent loitering near the car or the OPs property, but not entering or leaving their own house at all hours - just because that looked a bit dodgy!

Access to view CCTV footage is fraught with issues. How would you mask out anyone else in the frame other than the individual? How would you identify when they have been captured on the camera? You may have to view all your stored images to be sure. The best way to avoid this is to store images for the shortest possible period of time. 24-48 hours should be enough for recording damage to your car or home but is manageable in terms of storage and retrieval. If a neighbour asks you for footage from further back, you can then show that you no longer retain it.

This might be of less help to the police in investigating other matters, but that's not really a strong enough case to set up your own private CCTV company to protect the street!
 

whatsmyname

Member
Thank you for posting:

I am not sure what your last post is adding to what others include myself have added. The ICO is not an approval organisation they are a regulator and if necessary enforcement agency.

Thank you for pointing this out the very reason Im posting is to understand the rules and regulations and you have been fantastic helping clear this up.

What you are doing is still very much open to interpretation and the lack is often not black and white hence we have lawyers to argue cases and judges to rule.

Again thank you for clearing this up. I've contacted by solicitor to see if they can provide any additional information should I have any issues in the future.

Where is your signage, would somebody walking down the street see it, does it contain your details name and phone number etc.

What does the sign say you are recording them for?

The sign is bright yellow and is around 20cm height and 40cm width. I believe this is big enough. I've attached a photo.

As this is a domestic property is it explicitly required to have a name and phone number as it's obvious which property its installed on?

As you know the CCTV is to protect my property and car, what would be appropriate and accepted for reason of recording?


Under which of the basis are you collecting the data you need to have a valid reason that matches one of the 6 bases.

Can you confirm the 6 bases you are referring to?

Why are you only blocking the windows out of the neighbours surely you should be blocking their entire house (and garden\front yard if applicable)

Absolutely, If i was to reinstall the CCTV i would block the entire house.

Your neighbours could get quite arsey and ask you to delete them each day going to work\for a walk\see their secret acquaintance. If you don't comply then you are breaking the law.

Absolutely, I intend to comply which is one of my reasons for getting clarification.
 

Attachments

whatsmyname

Member
To give everyone an insight to the layout of the street. (Not the exact street) but looks identical.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
In response to your question regarding the sign, no it does not need to have a name and phone number, but it should be clear as to where the data controller can be contacted. In this case, if it's attached clearly to your house, the inference is that knocking on your door would provide the contact.

The ICO are taking a very light touch with CCTV unless the owner is deliberately using it to intrude upon another person's privacy. If you are taking reasonable precautions I doubt you would ever have a problem.

You have established a legitimate reason to record the area - your car has been damaged in the past and you wish to prevent future damage by recording images of the person you allege is causing the damage. You therefore need to ensure that you keep the data safe, provide access when requested and deletion where appropriate. Data minimisation in this context means limiting coverage to the bare minimum to cover your car and your home and deleting the data as soon as it's no longer required.

I would suggest that you provide sample images of the CCTV coverage to your neighbours so that they are clear as to the area that is covered by the cameras. If they object, work with them to limit the area, but be clear with them that you have a legitimate reason to have the cameras and it's to prevent damage, not to intrude on their freedoms.
 

whatsmyname

Member
In response to your question regarding the sign, no it does not need to have a name and phone number, but it should be clear as to where the data controller can be contacted. In this case, if it's attached clearly to your house, the inference is that knocking on your door would provide the contact.

The ICO are taking a very light touch with CCTV unless the owner is deliberately using it to intrude upon another person's privacy. If you are taking reasonable precautions I doubt you would ever have a problem.

You have established a legitimate reason to record the area - your car has been damaged in the past and you wish to prevent future damage by recording images of the person you allege is causing the damage. You therefore need to ensure that you keep the data safe, provide access when requested and deletion where appropriate. Data minimisation in this context means limiting coverage to the bare minimum to cover your car and your home and deleting the data as soon as it's no longer required.

I would suggest that you provide sample images of the CCTV coverage to your neighbours so that they are clear as to the area that is covered by the cameras. If they object, work with them to limit the area, but be clear with them that you have a legitimate reason to have the cameras and it's to prevent damage, not to intrude on their freedoms.
This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much for taking the time to help :)
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I am going to disagree on this one and state that your sign is incorrect. For a starter it says these premises are under surveillance. From the Street view there is very little front garden to cover so most of what you are recording is the street.

You are not specifying why are you recording and still don't seem to be satisfying a legal basis for recording.
 

whatsmyname

Member
I am going to disagree on this one and state that your sign is incorrect. For a starter it says these premises are under surveillance. From the Street view there is very little front garden to cover so most of what you are recording is the street.

You are not specifying why are you recording and still don't seem to be satisfying a legal basis for recording.
Can anyone else add to this statement? - Increasing sign size, what would the reason be? "Recording to protect my house and car"?

Is there a legal basis for recording your property and car on the street? Such as past crimes?
 

Puntoboy

Well-known Member
Personally, if it was me, I would put all your cameras back, block out any houses nearby and carry on as you were. Then respond to any SARs if and when they happen.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
You don't need to use the sign to justify the reason to record. It's sufficient to state you are recording. How many people have a sign up next to their Ring doorbells that states "Images are recorded in case somebody nicks my Amazon parcel"...

Just make sure the sign is clear that images are being recorded in that general area, that's all. Here's some really cheap ones if you are worried. Just fill in the gaps with "Homeowner". CCTV Data Protection Act Compliant A5 Self-Adhesive Warning Sign
 

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