UK law

The system meets UK Law and Autospeedwatch Limited is certified compliant with the Biometrics & Surveillance Camera Commissioners' Code-of-Practice.  

In the UK, there are several pieces of law that affect systems such as these, including:

  • Data Protection Act and GDPR regulations
  • Protection of Freedoms Act
  • Surveillance Camera Commissioner Codes of Practice
  • Road Traffic Act (1988)
  • Road Traffic Offenders Act 1998
  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (for installation)

Unlike other systems that use continuous video streams of all approaching vehicles, AutoSpeedWatch/AutoNoiseWatch only takes still images of the rear of offending vehicles;  this is to deliberately reduce the chances of personal identification of individuals, and not to surveil the law-abiding public.  Wherever possible we've tried to minimise intrusion as far possible, whilst meeting the aim of improving road safety.  

Parish and Local Councils have powers to democratically address their electorate's concerns, which is why we offer the system to them.

Information Commissioner / GDPR

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) have previously confirmed to us that there is no personal information involved in the recording of a VRM (licence plate), UNTIL that VRM is combined with other personal information (such as the DVLA's registered keeper database).  As this is done by the police having received the VRM data, there should be no GDPR implication within the system itself.   Effectively its just the same as traditional roadside Community Speedwatch.  Following a specific query by a Gloucestershire group, the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner (BSCC) has confirmed that GDPR was not intended to protect law-breakers in such circumstances, and should not prevent the sharing of VRMs.

However, ICO further guidance implies the recording of non-personal data with the purpose of assisting to identify an individual may also need to be considered in itself as sensitive and potentially personal data (even if that identification is only done by the police).  We therefore continue to work within the regulations and respect this sensitivity, as must those authorised users that handle imported or exported data under our terms of use, and in accordance with their local Police Force policy.  Protection of all sensitive information, even when not directly classified as personal, is very important to us,  and we will continue to work within the law whilst reducing the safety threat caused by persistent speeders. Nonetheless, there seems to be differences of interpretation between the ICO and the BSCC (both Home Office departments) which we are currently seeking to clarify. 

Please also see our data policy for members of the public regarding captured offences.  Users of the AutoSpeedWatch/AutoNoiseWatch system can see our users data policy here.

Biometrics & Surveillance Camera Commissioner /  Codes of Practice

The UK Home Office codes of practice for the use of Surveillance Cameras applies and you, as the installing authority (parish council etc.), need to be mindful of and adhere to those guidelines.  Again, as it is not continuous surveillance of people, but the recording of offending speeder vehicles only, the justification of cameras consistent with those codes of practice becomes easier.  Nonetheless, their deployment needs to be on a justifiably appropriate basis; i.e. that speeding is a problem causing significant risk that this system helps reduce, and the images collected managed and used appropriately.  We've more information here should you need it.

NASPLE is not applicable

Your police force may confusingly refer to NASPLE (the National ANPR Standards for Policing and Law Enforcement).  These are Home Office standards that the police must adhere to before deploying police ANPR cameras.  As AutoSpeedWatch & AutoNoiseWatch are not ANPR Systems these standards are not relevant or applicable.  The website confirms that these systems are not ANPR systems (that log every vehicle).  AutoSpeedWatch and AutoNoiseWatch are offence-triggered cameras more like a "yellow box" enforcement speed camera, but without the enforcement.