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What Can we do About a Neighbour's CCTV Camera?

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 3 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Cctv Privacy Law Harassment Human Rights

Q.

I was wondering what action I can take with regards to a neighbour who has just recently moved a CCTV camera into his bedroom and is pointing it directly at our front door and two bathroom windows.

We live in a courtyard development (5 houses) and the camera is about 10-15 metres away and clearly visible. He already has an external camera pointing towards his own door which is absolutely of no consequence, but I feel the second camera is in violation of our rights to privacy.

We have recently had some flooding issues, although his property was not affected. The emergency services were called and he was seen standing watching everyone and even the fire brigade felt the need to comment.

Later that day when council representatives were on site, in front of witnesses he "flew" at my wife and invaded her space and verbally attacked her. What can I do?

(D.M, 16 October 2008)

A.

The main laws surrounding the use Of CCTV are contained within the Data Protection Act 1998 but these do not cover domestic residences. It is perfectly legal for a resident to install CCTV (even with recording and playback capabilities) and, in the normal course of events, this will be done to protect one’s own property against the threat of intruders and trespassers.

When installed correctly and used for the right purpose, residents who have installed CCTV will tend to have a positive effect on the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour occurring in the neighbourhood, as would be perpetrators of such actions would be less inclined to commit offences for fear of being caught on camera.

The problem, as you rightly pointed out, lies in the fact that you perceive that one of your neighbours’ CCTV cameras is pointing directly at your property and this is a Privacy Issue. As far as the law goes in this regard, it would be covered by the Human Rights Act under your rights to privacy. Article 8 of the Act entitled “The Right to Respect for Private and Family Life, Home and Correspondence” means that your neighbour might well be breaking the law here.

Ideally, it would be better if you could speak to the neighbours politely, explain the situation to them and request that they make certain modifications to the CCTV system so that it does not infringe on your privacy. However, given you stated that the man verbally attacked your wife, the likelihood would seem to suggest that he would not be prepared to listen. Incidentally, the fact that the man verbally attacked your wife might be also covered under the Human Rights Act in terms of harassment alone. It's also likely that his behaviour will have been mentally noted, at least, by the council representatives so that could obviously go in your favour.

Therefore, I think you have every right to contact your local authority or local police force and have them come out to investigate. They would obviously need to be satisfied that the installation was basically Causing Harassment, perhaps even bordering on voyeurism, and they could then take action. Alternatively, get some advice first from a solicitor who has specialist knowledge in this area.

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I live in an area of social housing where the majority of residents are on some kind of benefit and do not work. However they are surprisingly fit and competent enough to be anti social, have parties, arguments, drug deals, shouting matches, door slams, fight with other dealers, create damage and so on. I have reported their activities to the council, the local police where necessary, environmental health and so on. All that is ever done if anything is that they will log it and send a letter, maybe visit once a year. So basically they are just ignoring the behaviour and abuse of the system. Although I am shocked and disappointed at this response what galls me is the flagrant misuse of our tax payer money on people who do not deserve it and the tolerance of this from those in power. It is obvious that they do not want to go through the hassle of warnings or eviction because they have an easy cash cow. How do I get serious people involved to take action? My MP and local Benefit fraud agency do not respond either. Should I go to he Secretary of State?
DeathWishPaul - 3-Jul-17 @ 6:31 PM
Three years ago I bought an ex council house which is lovely everything was fine until our council tenant nneihdecided to cut down the border fence between theproperties with out asking me which leaves all our gal
?? - 23-Jun-17 @ 11:39 AM
Hello, My neighbours son (who doesn't live there and is an adult male) has been prosecuted for indecent behaviour towards me however since this has occurred they had installed a cctv camera pointing down at their front door and drive way (I can only assume as an intimidation technique and to be annoyed at his prosecution) , this made me feel extremely uncomfortable as they were the ones who were in the wrong so I felt like why are they putting this up?! After a few months they've took it down but now it has reappeared directly across the street on their relatives house, so that they can aim it towards my house from across the street. I feel it's looking at my house and driveway so they can see as I enter and leave. What can I do that's not going to make the situation worse without having to be involved at all with them as they are horrible people I could not have a conversation with ? Thank you. I worry of ringing the police and getting them to check in case I'm wrong and it makes life harder. Thanks so much!!
ralpher - 21-May-17 @ 10:20 AM
Hello, My neighbours son (who doesn't live there and is an adult male) has been prosecuted for indecent behaviour towards me however since this has occurred they had installed a cctv camera pointing down at their front door and drive way (I can only assume as an intimidation technique and to be annoyed at his prosecution) , this made me feel extremely uncomfortable as they were the ones who were in the wrong so I felt like why are they putting this up?! After a few months they've took it down but now it has reappeared directly across the street on their relatives house, so that they can aim it towards my house from across the street. I feel it's looking at my house and driveway so they can see as I enter and leave. What can I do that's not going to make the situation worse without having to be involved at all with them as they are horrible people I could not have a conversation with ? Thank you. I worry of ringing the police and getting them to check in case I'm wrong and it makes life harder. Thanks so much!!
ralpher - 20-May-17 @ 7:03 PM
I've had cctv covering the front of my property drive and the road immediately outside my house where a second car is parked.It doesn't cover anyone else's property.If neighbours choose to park their car closer to my garden then the cctv will cover their car too.Initially I had neighbours calling me for it but as soon as one of their cars had damage they came running to me for footage. Of course I was glad to help and this seems to have calmed negativity. I have had problems with abuse from the neighbour directly near me and have checked with police on the legality of cctv with audio for my back garden where the neighbour puts his head over the fence to verbally abuse us.They have advised that this is fine as long as cctv is only covering my garden so I'm waiting on a 6 foot fence to be erected round the edge of my whole garden then will get the cctv up. I've asked police to inform them that I will be getting audio cctv not to catch them out but to prevent and deter future attacks.
Teepee - 30-Mar-17 @ 7:27 AM
Randmatt - Your Question:
Our Neighbour has recently installed six CCTV cameras two of which are positioned on the top of hi property looking over all of the other residents gardens. He refuses to talk to any of the neighbors about these cameras. We live in a row of small two up two down terraces. We are all concerned that he will be recording footage of each family in their gardens. A number of us have small children. Several of the neighbors have contacted the police but the neighbour with the cameras has refused to let the police see what he is filming? Has anybody got any advice about what we can do??

Our Response:
The police can make the owner of the CCTV show them the footage. They can also check the siting of the cameras to ensure they are not invading others' privacy. So get back in touch with the police and ask them what they're doing about it. We think you can also ask for footage yourself under data protection rules...see this government page for more details.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Mar-17 @ 12:25 PM
Our Neighbour has recently installed six CCTV cameras two of which are positioned on the top of hi property looking over all of the other residents gardens. He refuses to talk to any of the neighbors about these cameras. We live in a row of small two up two down terraces. We are all concerned that he will be recording footage of each family in their gardens. A number of us have small children. Several of the neighbors have contacted the police but the neighbour with the cameras has refused to let the police see what he is filming? Has anybody got any advice about what we can do??
Randmatt - 22-Mar-17 @ 1:51 PM
I have had a similar problem where my neighbour has installed cameras to the front and rear looking at our property.I didn't pay much notice at first but then she commented on stuff we do in our garden and also showed footage to othere when a theft occurred.This got me worried and I called west mids police on 101. A community support officer did come out the next day, but he was in a rush and done things very briefly. He told me that my neighbour had accidently put the cameras facing my property,but 3 days later 1 of them was still facing my property.I called 101 again and the cso has not updated anything on their system.I have now told them that I would like to make a complaint of harassment and they have called me for a interview tomorow. Lets see how it goes.
Immy - 19-Mar-17 @ 4:21 AM
2012nieghbour 2 away put cctv on to my gate..each time I opened my gate I saw her light go on. police ignored me. she is a friend/worls with the croydon council and that is like talking to a briackwall. seems they are behind her installing the cctv. I am white immigrant and non stop harassment from her and her 30 recruits, 99% jamacian.I am not techno.so I battle and have a small camera on my window sill they dont care, they break my gate/broke 3 locks and taken my small slar light from fence and lot more.the man who does this is a boyfriend of one of the "pack" and he does what he wants.AS IS THE RULE HERE .no rules, no idea of LEASEHOLD. now his car has been standing on the DELIVERY section WITH A cam to watch me..NO ONE ELSE just the white lady........
BLUE - 5-Mar-17 @ 1:59 PM
anthony - Your Question:
Hi,my neighbour has at least 3 cctv cameras and one of them looks across my front door so she sees who goes in and out of the property. The camera also looks onto the public footpath I have checked on the ICO register and there are no cameras registered with them at that address 21/02/2017. She has inadvertently told me she has stored several recordings of me parking my car close to hers! She also complained that I park outside my own house to prevent her from parking there as its where the Camera looks.In my mind this camera is being used illegally and its an invasion of my family's privacy what should I do ?

Our Response:
Contact your local Police or PCSO (non-emergency number 101). They should be able to go and take a look at the neighbour's CCTV and check where they're focused.
ProblemNeighbours - 24-Feb-17 @ 10:36 AM
Hi, my neighbour has at least 3 cctv cameras and one of them looks across my front door so she sees who goes in and out of the property. The camera also looks onto the public footpath I have checked on the ICO register and there are no cameras registered with them at that address 21/02/2017. She has inadvertently told me she has stored several recordings of me parking my car close to hers! She also complained that I park outside my own house to prevent her from parking there as its where the Camera looks. In my mind this camera is being used illegally and its an invasion of my family's privacy what should I do ?
anthony - 21-Feb-17 @ 12:55 PM
Frog - Your Question:
I am a childminder working from home. We have CCTV installed around the outside of our Home for the protection of the children and our property and are registered with the ICO. Recently our 'neighbours' the local angling society have installed CCTV cameras into their car parks due to recent vandalism and theft. I am sure that one of the cameras points towards our garden and home and are worried that the camera could be recording images of the children. Unfortunately they are not very friendly neighbours, can I ask them to ensure that their cameras are turned away from our home? or to see evidence that it is? or to ask for a letter confirming it is? Many thanks

Our Response:
Yes you can ask for this, or you can ask your local police if they will take a look at the cameras to ensure they are only pointed at the car parks.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Feb-17 @ 12:42 PM
I am a childminder working from home. We have CCTV installed around the outside of our Home for the protection of the children and our property and are registered with the ICO. Recently our 'neighbours' the local angling society have installed CCTV cameras into their car parks due to recent vandalism and theft. I am sure that one of the cameras points towards our garden and home and are worried that the camera could be recording images of the children. Unfortunately they are not very friendly neighbours, can i ask them to ensure that their cameras are turned away from our home? or to see evidence that it is? or to ask for a letter confirming it is? Many thanks
Frog - 8-Feb-17 @ 5:57 AM
I like the way neighbours cry about cctv
cctv man - 28-Jan-17 @ 3:49 PM
I have CCTV fitted on the advice of the Police after my male neighbour grabbed and threatened my wife, my neighbour has made a complaint over 3 years 4 times and I have been visited by Police to show the position of cameras. My cameras (3) stay, regardless of complaints, they have paid for them selves over and over after catching my neighbours father setting up a £100K fraudulent claim in our garden.....there's not a magistrate in the land that wouldn't see it my way.
Mel - 25-Jan-17 @ 9:33 PM
I have, for 3 yrs now, seen the flicker on my walls from my neighbors cameras. I've reported this to authorities only to be viewed as someone who is afraid to live in my own home alone.I have a brinks system I don't use....that's how fearful I am.What can I do to prove this?
Gen - 25-Jan-17 @ 9:12 PM
Dyke, perhaps if you listened to your neighbours and allowed them to show you how little is actually covered by the CCTV you would see that you and your family, nor your property, is actually being "watched".
Friendly suggestion - 24-Jan-17 @ 9:07 PM
My neighbour has instalked cctv one of the cameras points directly out onto all our neighbours parked card they can see who comes into and out off out road 24/7 I'm not happy about being filmed nor my family is there something I can do I feel this is invasion of my privacy ... I have askexyhem about it but they don't care I and my neighbours are not hapoy at being watched ... advise please
dyke - 22-Jan-17 @ 4:29 PM
We have a self employed builder with a criminal record in the Trentham area, done for assault and cautioned for it, realigned a camera to view our property and watch our kids. Police were sent round and he refused to show them the footage proving he has no other reasons for the CCTV other than to harass and watch our children. Council can't be bothered to get involved as they're pretty useless and he's refusing to move his camera. We have been advised we can take him to Civil court under grounds for privacy and harassment, but you'd think the Police would have more authority in dealing with A-Holes like this.
Gonnagetcha - 28-Dec-16 @ 2:12 PM
People who complain about cctv are normally doing something they shouldn't be... I have 3 of them. There are trouble makers on my street who dont like us having them.. why not? Because they can't get away with their illegal activities anymore. Imagine urinating in the street and public intox while fighting with golf clubs and being seen and having that shown to law enforcement.
I keep greg in line - 27-Dec-16 @ 5:56 AM
It is not true that domestic CCTV is not covered by the dat protection act, it is. Contact the ICO for more information.
John55 - 17-Nov-16 @ 11:51 AM
I have just spoken to my elderly mother ands they have just noticed that the next door neighbour who has always been troublesome, has CCTV cameras pointing into their back garden. The main problem we don't know how long it has been there but my younger brother has been building annexe so that hew can move back home due to his arthritis condition so it is possible it has been there while building has been going on and I think she was one neighbour who objected. I advised my mother to contact CA first thing Monday morning or should she ring the council first also should contact a solicitor too? any help/advice asap Ican give when I see her tomorrow would be gratefully accepted
Gaz - 22-Oct-16 @ 1:41 PM
I have been thinking of getting an action camera to wear while doing a newspaper round am I breaking the law filming on private property and possibly in peoples property if a door is open while I am working
matt - 14-Oct-16 @ 1:48 PM
Planning permission is also required if: • any part of the camera would be less than 250 centimetres above ground when installed, altered or replaced; • any part of a camera would be less than ten metres from any part of another camera on the same building; • where there would be more than four cameras on the same side of the building; • where there would be more a total of more than sixteen cameras on the same building. If any of these are true then you can contact your local planning department.
TC - 21-Sep-16 @ 8:48 PM
Hello I have a question I lived on a shared property. I live in the upstairs flat and my neighbours live on the ground floor below us. Now we have different front entrance to the property, but the path to the back garden is shared. I noticed that the neighbours have put up 3CCTVson the property. oneon their side at the front , one over their door which is the path to my garden. they have also put CCTV in their back garden, which I have to cross before reaching to my back garden. I am very troubled by this and I feel that my privacy is be violated.
TT - 14-Sep-16 @ 8:28 PM
I have a neighbours who have a CCTV cameras facing ward my house number 32 Barrett's street Smethwickshe looks in people house and street her CCTV camera show a light flashing on it can this be legal she cause so much troubles her CCTV camera causing problem what can l do l all ready told the police they not doing any think she have lot of things go on
Kaur - 2-Sep-16 @ 4:26 PM
My my neighbour has cameras front and back of council property. The front camera is in the inside of down stair window looks out right down the right side of our street where we all park our cars. He parks his out the back on the street. The back camera is in the up stair window which looks out above his garden hut which is right next to our fence. He has eye ball cameras which looking in sitthe houses facing us and the square out back where the kids all play.if I go 5 steps out my back door to my garden I am on camera. He has moved the cameras in the past to watch what has been going on in the street. When we were putting up a 5:8 fence to stop them watching in our kitchen window all the time. The camera was derected down watching the fence being put up. I want to be able to put out my washing. To go to my bucket and to let my 3 year old granddaughter to play with out being on camera. He is happy just now moving it from the gate or the hut as he can watch the new neighbours build their extension. I would not mind so much if he put it in his down stair windowwhere he could still see his hut and all his garden.
Bash - 18-Aug-16 @ 5:18 PM
I am living next door to a convicted sex offender. He is not allowed by law to be in sole presence of any child between the ages of 3 and 16 His family stood by him but his grandchildren are now never in his presence He has erected 2 cctv cameras one front and one rear of his property He can clearly see right along the pathway at the front I can see the lens in from my garden at the rear I have 4 grandchildren between the ages of 6 and 15 As this person was only convicted Nov 15 and had only just moved in in January 2015 we had no knowledge about him This will be the first summer since we found out that my grandchildren will be playing in the rear garden What steps can I take to ensure the camera cannot see in my garden The camera is pointed towards his garden but I can clearly see the lens in the dome camera from my side
Whoveruare - 29-Jul-16 @ 8:57 AM
Iv lived in my house for 4years now and never had any problems with my children playing out the back. Where I live we all have children and from day one they have all played out there together with no trouble. We have had a lady move in she lives in a flat and all she do is tell the kids off and stare out of her window at them. Nothing has ever happend to her car or anyone else's in all the years we have lived here! But she has reported the children for playing out there and is now getting cctv put in. She has her own drive but her sons car is parked in a visitors space she is getting cctv on both cars! Children are always playing out there I don't think this is right. Can she do this? and she also lives in social housing do she need the go ahead from them? Can anyone give me some info on this please.
Beanie - 21-Jul-16 @ 10:07 PM
Natandmike - Your Question:
Hi I've got problem neighbours doing all sorts, which ended up my partner n the neighbour fighting. They then called police after my partner was jumped by two of them. They called police and said they had a camera. It showed all of it but strangely they got away with it. They have now had another camera fitted it's facing the street surely it's not right as there is a lot of children playing outside. The problem neighbour has also been having someone in his house that is on the sexoffenders register in his house what can I do??

Our Response:
Tell your local police, on the non emergency 101 number. They should take a look at sighting of the cameras and can ask the neighbour to move it.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Jun-16 @ 10:00 AM
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