This page provides advice and information about information rights obligations to those working in the criminal justice sector. It is particularly relevant to the police and others working within law enforcement.

Last updated 31 January 2017: Added links to Home Office guidance about body worn video 


Our team often receives enquiries about surveillance technology including body worn video, ANPR and unmanned aerial systems. Advice about these technologies is provided in the updated version of the CCTV code of practice. The code sets out the Information Commissioner’s recommendations on how organisations can process personal data within the legal requirements of the Data Protection Act when using these technologies.

In November 2016, the Home Office published specific guidance about data protection concerns when using body worn video (BWV). At the same time the office also issued guidance offering technical advice for police forces procuring and deploying BWV. This publication offers technical guidance, which aims to inform those in the sector about the unique technical BWV functionality required by the police.

Guidance about data protection concerns and BWV was also produced by The College of Policing in August 2014.

 You may also be interested in reading our guide on the responsible recreational use of drones – also called unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

We liaise with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner where appropriate. The Surveillance Camera Commissioner has also produced a code of practice. 

There is more information available about the role of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner and the tools available to help with compliance.

Advice on the crime prevention exemption

In certain circumstances related to crime and taxation, the usual requirements to provide fair processing information and respond to subject access requests can be restricted. Section 29 allows this information to be withheld if releasing it would prejudice specific crime and taxation functions. The exemption also allows other organisations to disclose information to the police and similar bodies, when it is necessary to prevent and detect crime. The ICO has drafted guidance on the application of the exemption.

Transparency, and access to the information you hold

The drive for greater transparency brings with it further challenges for public authorities. In these links you will find information and guidance on topics and open data initiatives relevant to policing, justice and borders, including crime mapping and data sets. Individuals have the right to view any information you hold on them by making a subject access request.


Data Controllers must ensure that they take appropriate technical and organisational measures against unlawful or unauthorised processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage to personal data.  Some of the ICO’s largest civil monetary penalties have been served on data controllers in the police, justice and borders sectors. This frequently occurs where insufficient safeguards have been in place for handling sensitive personal data. Here you will find advice on security measures safeguarding cloud computing and privacy impact assessments.

Audits, advisory visits and overview reports

See the latest reports detailing some of the good practice and areas for improvement we have seen in the sector.


See the latest monetary penalties, enforcement notices, undertakings and prosecutions we have issued in the sector.

Further reading