We are commited to keeping its customers up to date with the latest news on legislation, standards and policies affecting UK workplaces.

Use the tabs below for information on individual standards & legislations

 

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Policy on Police Response to Monitored Security Systems

To counter-act the increase in false alarms generated by monitored security systems, and the resulting strain on Police resources, the Association of Chief Police Officers have introduced a policy which places an increased emphasis on the use of alarm confirmation technology. Police response will be reduced or completely withdrawn if a system repeatedly generates false alarms. To apply for Police response or to have it reinstated, a security system must incorporate alarm confirmation technology.

2006 Policy

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) review their Police response policy every 4 or 5 years in an aim to reduce the number of false alarms which the Police attend. Following the previous policy released in 2001, they released a new policy on 1st April 2006. The new policy places increased emphasis on the use of Confirmed Alarm Technology.

Tightening the Rules

Police response is dependent on the number of false alarms policed in any rolling 12 month period.

False Alarm Thresholds Response Level
1 – 2 False Alarms Immediate Response 
3 or more False Alarms Police Response withdrawn, Key Holder notified only

Subject to generating fewer than 3 false alarms within a 12 month period, an intruder alarm installed without confirmed alarm technology before 1st April 2006, will continue to receive Police response.

Subject to generating fewer than 3 false alarms within a 12 month period, an intruder alarm installed without confirmed alarm technology before 1st April 2006, will continue to receive Police response.

Withdrawal of Police Response

While Police response will still be immediate for systems that generate 1 – 2 false alarms, once a system generates 3 false alarms Police response will be withdrawn.

Reinstatement of Police Response

Following withdrawal of Police response, there is a 6 month window in which a system must be free of false alarms for a period of 3 consecutive months, in order to have response reinstated. In addition, a system must include alarm confirmation technology. All new systems installed must also include alarm confirmation technology, in accordance with DD243.

Alarm Confirmation Technology

Confirmed alarm technology is required in order to initiate Police response on any new system installed and to have Police response reinstated where it has been withdrawn.

Police Force Variations

All Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be implementing this policy, however regional variations will apply as well as different implementation dates.

 

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) Policy on Police Response to Monitored Security Systems

To counter-act the increase in false alarms generated by monitored security systems, and the resulting strain on Police resources, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) has introduced a policy to reduce the number of false alarms attended by the Police in Scotland. Police response will be reduced or completely withdrawn if a system repeatedly generates false alarms.

Current ACPOS Policy

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) introduced a Police response policy in April 2002 in an aim to reduce the number of false alarms which the Police attend. This policy emphasises the need to use Alarm Confirmation Technology.

The Rules

Police response is dependent on the number of false alarms policed in any rolling 12 month period.

Response Level False Alarm Thresholds Response Type
 Level 1 0 – 4 False Alarms Prioritised Response 
 Level 2 5 – 7 False Alarms Police attendance desirable but will be dependent upon resource availability
 Level 3 +7 False Alarms Police Response withdrawn, Key Holder notified only

Subject to generating fewer than 5 false alarms within a 12 month period, an intruder alarm installed without confirmed alarm technology will continue to receive Police response.

Non-Prioritised Police Response

While Police response will still be immediate for systems that generate 0 – 4 false alarms, once a system generates 5 false alarms Police response will be non-prioritised and will be dependent upon sufficient resources being available.

Withdrawal of Police Response

Once a system generates 8 or more false alarms, Police response will be withdrawn.

Reinstatement of Police Response

Following the reduction in priority to Level TWO, a period of three months must elapse after which application can be made for reinstatement to Level ONE. During this period, the system concerned must have been free from false activations.

Unconfirmed systems which have police response withdrawn (Level THREE), will require alarm confirmation technology to be installed to DD243 before police response is reinstated. Force
discretion will be given in terms of immediate reinstatement for such newly confirmed systems.

Confirmed systems that have had police response withdrawn will require to produce written confirmation accompanied by activation history to show that the system has been free of false activations for a period of three months and that the original cause of the false activations has been rectified.

Alarm Confirmation Technology

Alarm confirmation technology is required in order to initiate Police response on any new system installed.

 

CCTV – Data Protection Act (DPA)

The Data Protection Act was introduced to promote high standards in the handling of personal information, and so to protect the individual’s right to privacy. This applies particularly to CCTV systems as they process personal data in the form of video images.

The 8 Data Protection Principles

Most businesses with CCTV installations will have to comply with the requirements of the Act by complying with the 8 data protection principles of good information handling.

Personal information must be:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for specified purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate, and where necessary, kept up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with the rights of the individual
  • Kept secure
  • Not transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area unless there is adequate protection of the information

What happens if I do not comply?

  • Your business’s reputation and finances could be affected
  • The Information Commissioner could also take enforceable action against you to bring your processing into compliance with the 8 principles
  • A failure to notify or renew a notification that your business has a CCTV system in operation is a criminal offence punishable by a fine, unless you are exempt from notifying
  • An individual may seek compensation through the courts for any damage suffered

What is a Subject Access Request?

Individuals have limited rights under the Act to request a copy of the information held about them. This is known as the right of subject access.

Such requests must be documented and reasonable, and you can charge an administration fee of up to £10 to produce the information. You must deal with such requests promptly and in any case within 40 days.

How do I become compliant?

Firstly, you should ensure that your system complies with the 8 Data Protection Principles.

If you have not done so already, you should register your CCTV system (commercial or public) with the Information Commissioner. This can be done at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk, or by telephone on 01625 545740. The notification period is one year and the fee is £35. If you have already registered your CCTV system the Information Commissioner will write to you before the expiry date of your register entry, and the renewal cost is £35.

You should display warning signs to show that CCTV cameras are recording, and stating the purpose of the system and details of who manages the system and how to contact them.

Is it easy to comply if I have an analogue (VCR) CCTV system?

CCTV Systems incorporating an analogue Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

The main issues with analogue CCTV systems, in terms of complying with the Data Protection Act, is with subject access requests and releasing personal information to an individual if requested, and ensuring that personal information (video images) is kept as long as necessary.

  • All your recordings must be logged and tracked to show who changes tapes and when, and when a tape has been released to a third party or removed from use
  • All your recorded tapes and video cassette recorders must be kept secure

Is it easy to comply if I have a digital (DVR) CCTV system?

CCTV Systems incorporating a Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

The main issue with a digital CCTV system, in terms of complying with the Data Protection Act, is with securing the recordings and digital recording devices.

  • All your recordings must be logged and tracked to show how long images are stored and when images have been released to a third party
  • All your recorded images and digital recording devices must be kept secure

 

BS8418 – CCTV Monitoring

British Standard BS8418 is a Code of Practice which covers the installation and remote monitoring of detector activated CCTV systems and sets out to raise the standard of installation and operation of integrated systems.

What is BS8418?

BS 8418 is a Code of Practice for the installation and remote monitoring of detector activated CCTV systems. The document provides recommendations on best practice for the design, installation, commissioning and operation of detector activated CCTV systems.

Why has this new British Standard been introduced?

Increasingly sophisticated intruder alarms are being integrated to incorporate ‘smart’ detectors and CCTV cameras to provide a means of verifying, or confirming if an alarm is genuine. This ensures that the appropriate response can be actioned quickly and effectively by keyholders, and more importantly by the Police. To minimise the number of false alarms that the Police attend, intruder alarms must comply with DD243. Now, with the introduction of BS8418,  this initiative has been applied to detector activated CCTV and remote monitoring.

How will this affect me?

The Police will now only issue a Unique Reference Number (URN) to systems that comply with BS8418.

This not only affects the overall design of the system, but also the performance of motion detectors, CCTV cameras, alarm handling and how the system is maintained.

Is it easy to become compliant with BS8418?

To obtain a URN and therefore qualify to receive Police response, your CCTV system will need to comply with all of the following: –

  • ACPO Security Systems Policy
  • BS 8418 Installation and remote monitoring of detector activated CCTV systems – Code of Practice
  • BS EN 50132-7: CCTV Application guidelines
  • The system must have the capability of audio challenge

 

PD6662:2012 and BS8243:2020 A change in Intruder and Hold Up Alarm standards

From the 1st June 2012, all new Intruder and Hold Up Alarms will be designed and installed to the EN50131:2006 standard in accordance with PD6662:2010 and BS8243 for police calling systems.

All Intruder and Hold Up Alarm* systems installed within the European Union must meet fundamental standards in order to be accepted by insurance companies and to be allowed to summon a police response. The European standard applicable to Intruder and Hold Up Alarms is the EN50131 series.

Each country in Europe often has its own individual requirements which alarm systems must also comply with. In the UK these additional standards are represented by the PD6662 and BS8243 standards.

 

DDA Part III – Access Control

From October 2004 the Disbility Discrimination Act requires that service providers should make reasonable adjustments to physical features to ensure goods and servcies are accessible to disabled or physically challenged people.

What is a ‘Physical Feature’?

The majority of the duties placed upon you by Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 looks at the physical features of your building, such as:

  • Ramps / Stairways
  • Counters / Service Desks
  • Entrances / Exits
  • Internal / External doors
  • Floor Layouts
  • Toilet Facilities
  • Telephones
  • Escalators / Lifts
  • Printed Materials
  • Fire & Safety provision

What are ‘Reasonable Adjustments’?

Whilst the policy asks you to make reasonable adjustments, it does not actually list what these are. It would certainly depend on the size and resource of the service provider, the financial cost of making the adjustments and just how practical it is to make these changes. A DDA risk assessor can do a full access audit and advise you on what you may need to change, but it is down to you as a responsible company to determine what is considered a reasonable adjustment.

This may mean removing, altering or providing a reasonable means of avoiding any physical features of a building which make access impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people. Examples include:

  • putting in a ramp to replace steps
  • replacing access control turnstiles with infra-red barriers
  • improving access to toilet or washing facilities

Why should I make ‘Reasonable Adjustments’?

Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 applies to those providing “free or paid-for” goods, facilities or services to the public. It is unlawful for you to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability and a disabled person can make a claim against a provider whose services are impossible or unreasonably difficult for him or her to access.

There are more than 8.5 million disabled people in the UK, all requiring goods and services. Satisfying their needs in terms of complying with the Disability Discrimination Act, should make commercial sense to any provider of goods and services.

When should I make ‘Reasonable Adjustments’?

The duties have been introduced in three stages:

  • since 2nd December 1996 it has been unlawful for you to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability
  • since 1st October 1999 you have had to make “reasonable adjustments” for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way you deliver services
  • from 1st October 2004 you may have to make other “reasonable adjustments” to the physical features of your premises to overcome barriers to access

Where can I find further advice and support?

More information is contained in a Code of Practice available from the Disability Rights Commission website at www.drcgb.org.