AutoSpeedWatch and UK law

The following represents our understanding of UK Law with respect to AutoSpeedWatch.  We have designed the system to be compliant with and fully respect the intention and purpose of the law from that understanding.

In the UK, there are several pieces of law that affect systems such as these, including:

  • Data Protection Act and GDPR regulations
  • Protection of Freedoms Act
  • Home Office Surveillance Camera Codes of Practice
  • Road Traffic Offenders Act 1998
  • Information Commissioners CCTV Code of Practice

....but we've designed and built this system with that legislation and guidance in mind.  Unlike other systems that use continuous video streams of all approaching vehicles, AutoSpeedWatch only takes still images of the rear of offending vehicles;  this is to deliberately reduce the chances of personal identification of individuals, and not to surveil the law-abiding public.  Wherever possible we've tried to make it as un-intrusive as possible, whilst meeting the aim of improving road safety. 

Parish and Local Councils have powers to democratically address their electorate's concerns, which is why we offer the system to them.

Information Commissioner / GDPR

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) have previously confirmed to us that there is no personal information involved in the recording of a VRM (licence plate), UNTIL that VRM is combined with other personal information (such as the DVLA's registered keeper database).  As this is done by the police having received the AutoSpeedWatch VRM data, there should be no GDPR implication within AutoSpeedWatch itself.   Effectively its just the same as traditional roadside Community Speedwatch.  

However, we have received recent ICO  'further guidance' that implies the recording of non-personal data with the purpose of assisting to identify an individual may also need to be considered in itself as sensitive and potentially personal data (even if that identification is only done by the police).  We therefore continue to work within the regulations and respect this sensitivity; in the meantime, a minor feature has been disabled to ensure compliance.  Protection of all sensitive information, even if not directly classified as personal, is very important to us,  and we will continue to work within the law whilst reducing the safety threat caused by persistent speeders. 

Please also see our data policy for members of the public regarding captured offences.  Users of the AutoSpeedWatch system can see our users data policy here.


Surveillance Camera Commissioner /  Codes of Practice

The UK Home Office codes of practice for the use of Surveillance Cameras applies and you, as the installing authority (parish council etc.), need to be mindful of and adhere to those guidelines.  Again, as it is not continuous surveillance of people, but the recording of offending speeder vehicles only, the justification of cameras consistent with those codes of practice becomes easier.  Nonetheless, their deployment needs to be on a justifiably appropriate basis; i.e. that speeding is a problem causing significant risk that this system helps reduce, and the images collected managed and used appropriately.  We've more information here should you need it.


NASPLE is not applicable

Your police force may confusingly refer to NASPLE (the National ANPR Standards for Policing and Law Enforcement).  These are Home Office standards that the police must adhere to before deploying police ANPR cameras.  As AutoSpeedWatch is not an ANPR System these standards are not relevant or applicable.  The NPCC confirm that AutoSpeedWatch is not an ANPR system.  AutoSpeedWatch is an offence-triggered camera more like a "yellow box" enforcement speed camera, but without the enforcement.