Public space surveillance (CCTV) in Hackney

Public space surveillance (PSS) cameras:

  • dissuade crime and anti-social behaviour
  • provide evidence to help prosecute offenders
  • help the emergency services


CCTV monitoring

There are different types of systems available on land managed by us:

  • CCTV in or around areas we manage, such as council housing estates
  • CCTV in public places
  • temporary or permanent CCTV

The system used by us involves a linked system of cameras with full pan, tilt and zoom controls, which we can operate remotely from our control room.

The clarity of the pictures is excellent and the systems can work in pitch-black darkness, bringing images up to daylight level.

Features include night vision, computer-assisted operation and motion detection facilities which can track movement to obtain better images.

We have several types of camera and use them in many different ways. For example, some are solely trained on fire and security doors. Others for reversing lorries. Some measure waste heaps, while others count traffic. There are also cameras that enforce traffic violations. Others to prevent and detect crime and antisocial behaviour.

We have 387 cameras on highways and in other public places. They are primarily used to help with people’s safety and security. We also have another 1,980 cameras on housing estates and blocks. We use some of these housing estate and block cameras to monitor people’s safety and security. We use others to monitor public assets, such as doors, and to ensure the buildings are well managed. We also have cameras in council buildings used for the same purposes.

If possible, we’ll use any installed camera to help with people’s safety and security when their property and welfare are at risk. We keep recordings for 28 days before deleting them.

Deciding where to place CCTV cameras

CCTV on housing estates

We operate a PSS camera system on many of our housing estates. This is part of an initiative to reduce crime, the fear of crime, and antisocial behaviour. We started modernising and refurbishing estate systems in 2019.

See Estate Refurbishment Programme 2023 to 2024 (google docs).

Most estate cameras are fixed. The system keeps their images for 28 days before being automatically overwritten. Operators in our 24-hour control centre regularly monitor and patrol these cameras. They have direct links to the police, including radio communication. This allows for real-time image sharing during live incidents. Additionally, 13 concierges will have images displayed on site. The images will assist in their duties on the relevant estate. All our operators are SIA licensed and fully trained. Only authorised staff and police can view the CCTV images.

If there are CCTV cameras near you that you think might be useful to stop antisocial behaviour you can contact us at our control centre.

If you live on a Hackney housing estate and the police cannot fully investigate an incident involving CCTV images, contact us. We can provide extra resources to assist in investigations. You will need to provide the crime reference number and full details of the incident.

If you think one of our cameras is faulty or vandalised, email Include the camera number, estate block, fault details, and if possible, a photo. The team will check it. You can find details of reported camera faults in our monthly statistics.

See how to report crime or antisocial behaviour on your estate.

Public space surveillance (PSS) statistics

In the last year, we have received 3 complaints about PSS cameras, and 5 letters of thanks from partners and the public.

CCTV coverage in Hackney

See map of CCTV coverage in Hackney (PDF 4mb).


Some people regard surveillance cameras as an infringement of personal liberty. We believe in respecting everyone’s right to privacy. Our public space surveillance cameras are carefully positioned to respect people’s privacy. They don’t overlook any areas where you would expect privacy.

See privacy impact assessments for public area surveillance cameras (PDF 240kb)

See public space surveillance cameras policy (PDF 96kb)

See body worn camera equipment (BWCE) policy and privacy impact assessment (PDF 176kb)

See vehicle borne camera equipment policy (PDF 438kb)

See code of practice (PDF 639kb)

Obtaining camera images to assist with civil claims

We deal with your insurance company or solicitor if it’s a non-criminal traffic matter. If it is a criminal related offence, we deal with the police. The police have a direct process with us to review footage in the course of a criminal investigation.

Before releasing any images, we need to ensure that the request is legitimate and genuine.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, third parties can make requests for any one or more of the following purposes in the given circumstances:

  • providing evidence in criminal proceedings (Schedule 2 Part 1 5(3))
  • providing evidence in civil proceedings or tribunals (Schedule 2 Part 1 5(3))
  • prevention of crime (Schedule 2 Part 1 2(1))
  • investigation and detection of crime (may include identification of offenders) (Schedule 2 Part 1 2(1))
  • identification of witnesses (Schedule 2 Part 1 2(1))

Third parties must show adequate grounds for disclosure of data within the above criteria. Third parties may include, but are not limited to:

  • police
  • statutory authorities with powers to prosecute, (for example Customs and Excise, Trading Standards, etc)
  • solicitors
  • claimants in civil proceedings
  • accused persons or defendants in criminal proceedings
  • other agencies with a genuine purpose

CCTV freedom of information (FOI) requests

We don’t provide video images in response to FOI requests. Under the FOI Act (Part 2, s.21 ) we don’t have a legal duty to supply them if they are available via another route. In this case they’re available in accordance with our publication scheme. The payment required is specified in, or determined in accordance with the scheme.

Subject access requests

If you’ve made a subject access request application under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it’s unlikely to succeed. The chances of us recording any personal data in our images is extremely low. We zoom out our cameras to record a wide angle overview of roads. We will handle any requests made. However, the delay in dealing with requests could cause video images to be overwritten. Applicants may be unable to use them as evidence.

How cameras help reduce crime

The government believes cameras deter ‘opportunistic’ crime. In this type of crime, people take advantage of a situation on the spur of the moment. The cameras are also leading to many more convictions after crimes are detected. Anyone caught committing an offence on public space surveillance cameras is likely to plead guilty. This would save time on long and expensive trials. Often captured are incidents such as:

  • robbery
  • road traffic offences
  • theft
  • fly-tipping
  • drug-related incidents
  • other antisocial behaviour or suspicious activities

Make a complaint

If you’d like to make a complaint about our public surveillance cameras, contact the PSS manager at the address below.  We deal with all complaints in accordance with our complaints procedure.

Speed cameras and red light cameras

Transport for London (TfL) operates speed cameras and red light cameras. We are not responsible for them and don’t hold any information on them.

They’re installed across London in places where speed or running red lights led to serious injuries or deaths. The presence of these cameras has resulted in a decrease in both collisions and casualties on those roads.

You can find more information by visiting Transport for London – Safety cameras.

For freedom of information enquiries email TfL at For general enquiries, email

Page updated on: 31 January 2024

Civil Protection Service


Stoke Newington Town Hall
184 Stoke Newington Church Street
N16 0JR

Opening times

  • The Civil Protection control centre is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week