Having recently posted about local councils reducing the number of CCTV cameras in their local area it seems that the Government has taken the additional step to ensure that pub landlords aren’t forced into using CCTV when it is not necessary to do so.
Concerns were raised by pub landlords and the public that council licensing authorities have been making CCTV a legal condition of every pub license. To tackle the problem, the Government has announced that the blanket use of surveillance in pubs will end, with a new stricter code of practice being in place that will strike a proper balance between privacy and security.
Community Pubs Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, commented that:
“CCTV has a role to play in stopping and deterring crime in anti-social behaviour hotspots. But well-run community pubs that don’t have a public order problem shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush.
“The public deserves to have a pint in peace in a community pub without being snooped on. This government has called time on Big-Brother’s secret, intrusive and costly rules that has forced pub landlords to pay to install CCTV where it was not needed.
“The use of surveillance cameras should only be used if it is necessary and where it has public support.”
It is only right that people should be able to enjoy a quiet pint without being constantly recorded on camera. This announcement brings some long overdue common sense to a situation where councils were driving up the cost of a pint by demanding pubs spend thousands of pounds on CCTV where there are no problems to deal with.
Our privacy is too important to be undermined by a tick-box on a licensing form and I’m sure landlords across the country will join me in raising a glass to Eric Pickles and Brandon Lewis for defending people’s local pubs from needless surveillance cameras.