Police Scotland's Use of Enhanced CCTV Technology: Public Consultation

Closed 2 May 2024

Opened 14 Mar 2024


CCTV object recognition software can be used to search recorded or live CCTV imagery for objects to enhance policing services in an effort to provide an effective and efficient service to the public.

We are exploring how Police Scotland can utilise CCTV object recognition to increase safety and support us in responding to threat, risk and harm in our communities. This proposal does not include any facial matching or facial recognition technology, only a capability to search for objects (including people) by description.

CCTV object recognition can be used on our existing public space CCTV cameras on both live and recorded feeds. This means our colleagues can search CCTV when an incident is still in progress (for example active enquiries to identify a vulnerable missing person or when a vehicle is being driven by a driver suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol). Retrospective searches can be carried out on recorded feeds to search for specific vehicles, objects or people (but only by their description, not searching or using facial imagery).

Searching CCTV to support police investigations is ordinarily carried out manually and can be time consuming and open to human error. Using CCTV object recognition software can reduce the time burden on our people by having the ability to respond to search commands specifying certain search terms, for example 'child with red jacket' or ‘blue van.’

Although we expect CCTV object recognition software to make us more efficient when reviewing CCTV images, any ‘matches’ identified by the software will always be double checked and all decisions about police action will be made by humans, as they are now.

The aim of this survey is to understand public opinions, feedback and any concerns on the introduction of CCTV object recognition within Policing in Scotland.

Your privacy and consent

By completing this survey, you agree to Police Scotland using your anonymous data for analysis and reporting that will improve the service we provide. Anything that identifies individuals will be removed during analysis.

Police Scotland is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We have robust procedures in place to ensure that any data that you provide is processed and stored securely. We will never pass your data on to any third parties without your express consent. We also meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation or 'UK GDPR'.

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