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

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 17 Apr 2021 | 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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You can go to dollar store but spinners those flashy things that spin you hold or plant when wind blows..these cameras are motion activated. If neighbors cameras are catching spinners they see your area.They will get phone alerts every 5 seconds when wind blows..abd they will adjust caneras..I mooned my neighbor abd he immediately came out so I said if you cant see me on camera how did you know. Perverts mr Mrs bowers. They moved
Ahole - 17-Apr-21 @ 3:16 AM
Thanks for article. The act has been updated Data Protection Act 2018. I can have an outdoor camera but it shouldn't be pointing to the neighbours garden.I would have to adjust it accordingly so that it was only filming my property boundaries. Unless of course you've got permission from your neighbours, perhaps there is q common thief who is harrassing more than one neighbour.
A - 11-Apr-21 @ 9:33 AM
I have caught my neighbours 45 year old daughter ..pearing over the wall a couple times shes not married no kids..and always at her mothers house next door to me ..one day I asked her if her mother would mind me highering the back wall which is below eye level......no she said I like the wall this height ..I told her I wanted a bit more privacy ..no she said I like it I've told you ..... Now this lady has installed a door bell on her mothers terraced house ...were she can record me in my front garden I feel.like I am living in a gold fish bowl.....this doir bells are great if you have a drive way ....but a night mare when you have a nosy neighbour like I do ! I work.6 days a week and can not enjoy one day in my front or back garden with out being watched or recorded ... And it's clear to see this woman is getting a kick out of it ..its soooo wrong people should have rights to.privacy in there own home ... It should be a basic right ..and you shouldnt have to pay solicitors £300 for advice
Jan - 26-Mar-21 @ 7:52 PM
What more proof that people don't have enough space to themselves, AND have too much CCTV available but not enough police to be a deterrent to crime, than all the above stories?
The Green - 26-Mar-21 @ 3:55 AM
Hi my next neighbours have put a security camera up really high and its recording all the time he watches it on his phone but 2 days ago he has put another security camera up in the back so he is recording me when I go out the front and he is recording me when I go into my back garden is there anything I can do it is really stressing me out im a private person and suffer with mental health issues and they no it they are doing everything that they can so will move i love it here its very quiet but they are driving me suicidal what can I do
Tilly - 20-Mar-21 @ 3:20 PM
I stay across from sheltered houding and inside there land they have camera but it goes round and points onto myself and neighbours Windows we feel that's invasion of privacy is thereanything we can do .
nic - 19-Mar-21 @ 11:41 AM
I'm having problems with my neighbour's Cctv I have a,camera that points straight at my property and side window of my property I have to keep blinds closed as it's straight through my living room side window And on my driveway not on hers. I've called the police but they said it's a,civil matter It's a,housing association property Shes saying its a shared drive way When it's not There is as a,pathway that leads up to the back of 4 houses back gardens That breaks the driveway up Shes saying that's why she can point it at my house as she recording the shared drive Is so distressing I have bioplar and ptsd is making my life unbearable. She has front Cameras as well which doesn't bother me but they are on motion and follow cars people in the street. It's so intrusive as she won't point the ip cctv camera on her own drive. It's directly on my property I have grandchildren. How can I find out who owns the path And what is classed as a shared driveway...
Pat - 7-Mar-21 @ 9:18 PM
I am the ground floor owner of a converted house, split into 2 apartments with my neighbour occupying the upstairs flat. The land in the front yard belongs to us, though the upstairs owner has right of way on the footpath leading from the pavement/street to the shared entryway that both apartments use to gain access to each respective flat. Due to recent criminal activity on our road, I am concerned for the wellbeing of my family and overall security of my property.I have bought a camera that I have paced on the window sill (behind my living room window) - in full view of everyone - that looks outward in the direction of the street and has been angled towards the footpath and shared entryway. I have placed this camera on motion sensor between certain hours at night.It does not record sounds. The issue is that my neighbour has claimed that we are 'spying' and are infringing upon rights to privacy.As mentioned, the camera does NOT view the up stair's flat in anyway, but only looks out at the shared entryway and the 'right of way' footpath leading up to it.He as instructed us to remove it immediately. The intention of this has never been to snoop, but only to act as a security measure and added deterrence. What are my rights regarding this - do I need to remove the camera?
Anna - 26-Feb-21 @ 1:09 PM
I live in an apartment block and our Nextdoor neighbour has 21 cctv cameras on his house including a PTZ. These cameras film us everytime we are driving in and out of our car park, we have a 7 month old daughter who is also being filmed when we get in and out of the car. The PTZ follows people that walk past their property and this can obviously zoom in aswell. The alarming thing is we have a primary school at the end of the road aswell. What can be done about this matter?
Annoyed neighbour - 15-Feb-21 @ 7:55 PM
Usually CCTV cameras are use for surveillance but its should not disturb others privacy.
swa - 15-Feb-21 @ 11:55 AM
Hi, my neighbours have had cctv installed today all around their property including the passageway between our houses. This is positioned in the overhang of their extension and so possibly overlooks the private seating area in my back garden and the whole of the passageway leading to my back door. The passageway is approximately 2 metres wide and so there is no doubt that the passageway is viewable on the camera. We do not have a good relationship with these neighbours and feel like this was done deliberately to spy on us. We were not informed by them that this was happening. I did challenge the installers when they were fitting the camera and they spouted some data protection nonsense. I’ve read about the possible violation of article 8 of the human rights act but not sure what the procedure is with regards to reporting it. Is it a police matter, or a civil matter? Do I contact my useless council or environmental health? Any advice greatly received.
Violated Neighbour - 10-Feb-21 @ 6:43 PM
Hi my neighbour 2 doors away has cctv with microphones on, which points into my back garden. The tenant constantly watches her cameras n I feel like my privacy is completely invaded. The police and the housing have told her to move the angle of the cameras but she refuses point blank....
Missy - 21-Jan-21 @ 3:10 PM
With the greatest of respect, the Human Rights Act does not apply horizontally. This means that individuals are not bound by the European Convention of Human Rights. This only applies to a "Public Authority" (see s.6 HRA 1998). That said, if you bring case to ocurt under Harrassment, the court will be obliged to have regard to ECHR. So in a nutshell, a breach of ECHR will not give you a 'legal claim' (cause of action) against your neighbour but once you get to court you are free to complain of the breach of Article 8 and the Judge must take it into account.
Law Enthusiast - 19-Jan-21 @ 7:55 PM
U can delete certain areas of the camera view
Bent - 17-Jan-21 @ 7:50 PM
My neighbour has installed a cctv on her front porch which I feel is looking into my porch lounge area,This happened straight after she made a noise complaint about me,I had a friend over one weekend then on the Wednesday I receive a noise complaint letter that I was up all night being loud using foul language yelling slamming off doors etc, Basically over reactions and lies and all to get me back because I made a complaint about her barking dog a month ago,She knows I suffer mental health issues and when I went to try calmly talk to her about the camera she stormed off rudely and angrily,I have told the H.A, and they have sworn to me the cctv can't see into my lounge area but yet won't give me proof,I feel intimidated and feel my moves are being watched and seeing when I'm coming and going from my place,I have lived here almost 10 years and she's only lived here 2 she is a nosey gossiperand I really feel as if she's picking on me because I am a single divorced male and suffer mental health issues,It's horrible living like this,People have said just move and I really want to but I don't know where to go and I feel as if I move I will be giving into the bullies
Billy - 15-Jan-21 @ 1:14 AM
I asked the police direct as i have neighbours from hell. He advised me as long as it is pointing in my garden as i would look. it is fine if it sees into other people gardens and properties. You can't point it into someone's window or door. Hope that helps some people.
betty - 1-Jan-21 @ 2:53 PM
I am in the fourth floor of the building consisting of 40 flats. The main door of my flat is facing towards the steps leading to terrace/roof top the building. Since there are chances to culprits to enter my floor through terrace /roof top( as the door of terrace is kept open Always) I installed CC camera covering both the lift door and steps leading to terrace. Which is a common area of the building. Please let me know am I wrong. More over myself and my wife stay alone and we being the senior citizen, from safety point of view we installed CCCamera to view the culprits entering our floor. Please inform me the legality of my such installation.
Basri - 1-Jan-21 @ 7:42 AM
CCTV is there to protect you and a deterrent so unless you have concrete evidence to show your neighbours are using the camera for another purpose then you haven’t really got a leg to stand on. Maybe you’re overreacting/paranoid. Maybe you’re up to no good or your children and don’t want to be caught Clog. Your neighbour with the camera has every right to protect herself/himself.
Johnny - 21-Dec-20 @ 10:37 PM
My neighbour has a ring door bell, in shared pathways, She watched sus go to garden,bins, comk g and going, weve been told she also love links to listen into convos sat Her sensor always goes off when we get to our front door her door is about 10ft away from ours, she also got her fmaily linked up to watch it and god knows who else, The neighbour across from her asks for video footage as he got issues with abovehim, so she could also be sharing Our kids dont want to go outside to play anymore as they being watched, Police said she allowed it, as she protecting her proeprty, but surly we have rights if she filmingus coming and going at our door,she refuses to remove it, Apparently you can film any where as long as you have property there including the street you park on of your car is there, not sure that's true,
Clog1085 - 29-Nov-20 @ 9:56 PM
My neighbour had cctv camera fitted on his childs property to look at his garage, but this also overlooks the garage/parking area and the ends of people's gardens so you can see who is coming and going all the time , we feel wrare being watched what can we do ?
Pat - 27-Nov-20 @ 9:06 PM
my neighbour has installed c c t v that covers my garden so when i asked for it to be moved he told me hat my garden is blanked off on his hard drive.is this right can you blank of a certain area.
pat - 17-Nov-20 @ 5:53 PM
My nieghbor was summon me in our brgy., My cctv installed last april 2018. But now they complain my cctv for violation of right of privacy. My cctv pointed in my perimeter fence and the angle of my cctv camera cover the vacant portion of thier place. What is my possible answer or idea about this case?
Vic - 5-Nov-20 @ 1:59 PM
My neighbour who live opposite of me have their CCTV Camera facing directly on my property over looking in my garden. I find this very uncomfortable, intridiating and breaching my privacy. I told my housing officer who work for Cambridge Housing Society (CHS) and she won't help me or deal with the situation. Alot of the residents has complained about the housing officer who can't seen to do her job properly. The whole situation with my neighbour and their CCTV is affected my health. Please can you help?
Lizzy - 2-Nov-20 @ 3:37 PM
I was thinking about getting cctv cameras the price ranges from a few to astronomical hundreds of pounds probably even more and provider charges more than another I know some are rip off theives and chancers just like some so called plumbers are definitely that and theives and scoundrels. I don't really want to get them put in but their are scumbags who go into next doors property and throw garbage into mine and the cur next door allows the scum to do it he even fired it at my window when I threw it back and even came around to my door she or he even put the rubbish on the hedge like she did with a tile. I've had vermin pelting the brand new windows with eggs that my Father got installed.There was even a big bags of human excrement placed outside my fence. I have also had to put with non stop constant noise at my home that's being going on for years by them next door nearly 24/ 7 also abussive remarks and ridicule from them and the verminous scum outside I have also been physically assaulted and threatened. Even by from him next door an attempt was made of violence. The police and council and environmental depth have been absolutely useless I've been ridiculed by them also and abbussive remarks made against me infact a so called pcso who gave that abuse thought that he had the right to enter my home and even barged past me and then on other occasions gave abussive remarks outside my home and was supported by the rest of them one even said that I couldn't stop him from entering my property even said that he had carte blanche to do whatever he wanted and would never be accountable for doing so. Another from the council she thought exato do so ctly the same way after giving me abussive insults and derogatoryhaughty replies and also had the support of her obnoxious colleagues just like him and he's so called colleagues and a sgt. They even broke into my home after I was assaulted by some scum and was in the hospital breaking doors that were expensive which Inhad to pay other sharks to fix it. So if I had cctv pointed in the direction of where that verminous scum throw the garbage I wouldn't be in my rights to do so but they're right to carry on doing whatever they want by doing what they are doing.
John - 28-Oct-20 @ 10:53 PM
The Human Rights Act only applies to public authorities breaching it, not individuals.
Mazza - 25-Oct-20 @ 8:15 AM
Hi scared I sympathise with you I'm in the situation. I had a neighbour complain about my CCTV that it was pointing directly at her house but it is mainly looking at my garden this has made me feel afraid to go in my garden as well
Ron - 23-Oct-20 @ 7:55 PM
It’s a violation of HRA article 8 and it is covered under the right to privacy. Also if your perception is that you are feeling harassed by this and they have not informed you that they will do this and they do not have a reason (reasoned excuse) they are breaking the law
LegalS - 22-Oct-20 @ 8:52 PM
I have a neighbour in the street who harasses many people, he has CCTV on the outside of his house but its been noted that he has a camera in his living room on a tripod facing the streetsurelt this is against the law?? And against regulations to privacy???
light77 - 8-Oct-20 @ 7:58 AM
my neighbourhas put a camera in his garden but it one of these ones that has a 360 view also ot about 10ft up his wall do he gets a good view of everythingi do in my garden his there a hight restriction I thought it is at the most 8 ft am I wrong
blueboy123 - 28-Sep-20 @ 6:16 PM
I install CCTV for a living andthe general guidelines installers go buy is that the centre of the cameras field of view has to be on your property - this can flow over in to public areas or neighbors houses. Secondly you can't tell from just looking at a camera on a house what it can see unless you work with them routinely. some cameras have a very narrow field of view and cant actually see a lot. and unless they are spending 4 figures they are only going to be using HD cameras and you cant pick up much detail after 10 meters, a common set up is two cameras at the front of the house on opposite sides covering the front of a house, to the neighbors opposite it may look like the cameras are aimed at there house when in 90% of cases their field of view stops at the road. im not saying you don't get some people who are spying with their cameras but if they been installed professionally they wont be. also PTZ's (the cameras that move) generally they are programmed to move on their own either following a pattern or reacting to movement, - don't assume some one is sitting their following you
andurilmat - 21-Sep-20 @ 8:00 PM
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