Electronic Surveilance Policy

Adopted by Council: 7 February 2011

Policy Goals

Latrobe City has developed an electronic surveillance policy as a strategy to minimise and address the incidence of unlawful activity on Council owned or controlled property. The policy has been developed as a strategy in the interests of contributing to public safety and/or the protection of Council assets.  The Council will ensure that the implementation of electronic surveillance does not intrude unreasonably into the privacy of citizens who are not under suspicion. Electronic surveillance will be implemented only when Council has substantial grounds to believe that unlawful activity is being undertaken and will only target areas in which unlawful conduct is likely to be recorded.

The policy only relates to fixed and/or concealed electronic surveillance devices and includes the use of any electronically operated device such as video, film, electronically operated remote controlled cameras, tape recorders, computers, telephones and telephone bugging devices used expressly for the purpose of surveillance.

Policy Implementation

No electronic surveillance is to be undertaken without a resolution of the Council. As a general principle the Council will only authorise the use of electronic surveillance when all other reasonable measures have proved ineffective in solving the problem or unlawful activity. The operators of any electronic surveillance system authorised by the Council are accountable for their conduct to the Council. In addition:

  • Electronic surveillance may be conducted only for the purpose of protecting the public against an identified risk to the security or safety of property, assets, or members of the public.

  • Electronic surveillance will be limited in scope, targeting only areas in which unlawful conduct is likely to be recorded.

  • Electronic surveillance may be conducted only for a limited time period, such as until the perpetrator of the unlawful activity is identified.

Strict controls will exist over the operation of the system, including authorisation of who may receive and view tapes, secure storage and erasure of recordings.  Such authorisation may only be given by the Chief Executive Officer of the Council.  Proper records must be maintained of the electronic surveillance operation, including documentation of the final resolution of the problem.

If electronic surveillance is conducted in an area accessed by citizens, a sign shall be installed in the area informing citizens of the conduct of electronic surveillance.

Exclusions:

  1. This policy does not apply to the use of speed cameras or police radar devices implemented for Victoria Police.
  2. The use of fixed lens video cameras in automatic teller machines is excluded from this policy.
  3. Cash collection points (cashiers and teller terminals) operated by the Council are exempt from this policy.
  4. Use of cameras for the purpose of monitoring the health and safety of employees working in isolation are excluded from this policy.

This policy has been reviewed after giving proper consideration to all the rights contained within the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006; and any reasonable limitation to human rights can be demonstrably justified.