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Rennie calls for new CCTV rules to prevent 'Big Brother Scotland'

April 8, 2013 12:44 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, hasWillie RennieWillie Rennie called on the Scottish Government to introduce a new code of practice to govern the use of CCTV after new figures revealed the number of surveillance cameras in use across Scotland has trebled in the last decade.

Figures obtained by The Scotsman through Freedom of Information requests show that there are now at least 4,114 public-space CCTV cameras and mobile camera vans in operation across Scotland.

The UK government has consulted on plans to regulate CCTV in England and Wales and has brought forward proposals that would limit how cameras could be used.

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

"CCTV cameras do have a role to play in keeping us safe but we don't want to live in Big Brother Scotland.

"The UK Government has brought forward proposals in England and Wales for a new code of practice that would help protect people's privacy and ensure that cameras are being deployed where they can do the most good.

"Ministers now need to follow suit in Scotland. The risk is that use of these cameras will spiral out of control without any assurance to the public that those who operate them demonstrate integrity and can be held to account.

"People will want to know that cameras are deployed to protect and support them, rather than spy on them.

"The Scottish Government must ensure that someone is watching the watchmen and improve the ways that we regulate the use of CCTV to prevent inappropriate surveillance."