The government has opened a consultation on proposals for a code of practice on CCTV and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems.

In its Protection of Freedoms Bill, ministers hope to introduce guidelines for the placement of surveillance systems, including a checklist to determine if CCTV is absolutely necessary; industry standards to ensure that it is reliable and captures images of sufficient quality; and time limits on how long data collected by systems should be retained for.

The government also wants to appoint a Surveillance Camera Commissioner to monitor the code and ensure its effectiveness.

Although the proposals will initially be for cameras placed by police and local authorities, the government will "consider whether the code should be extended to other organisations, such as businesses and private security firms, in due course".

Crime prevention minister James Brokenshire said: "CCTV and ANPR systems play a vital role in the prevention and detection of crime. However, it is important they are used in a way that does not invade law-abiding people's privacy, or undermine the public's confidence in them."

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