It seems that Barratt’s contractor is not responding to emails, phone calls and refusing to sign for recorded delivery letters from residents. We’re following this up and will post further updates here as we get them. In the meantime, by all means email or write to the contractors but hang onto any cheques until we have clarification on what they’re up to.
Who’d have thought it? Unprofessional, unscrupulous behaviour from Barratt Homes associates. Beggars belief!
For advice on your rights and how to find out if you’ve been filmed check out the comments section at the bottom of this post! You have a right to a copy of any images they have captured of you!
And…. let us know if you contact the contractors, and keep us up to date with your progress by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org….. we’re here to help!
Do you remember what you were doing on Longton Road on Thursday March 5th? If you don’t, I’d wager that Barratt Homes and their associates do. How is that possible I hear readers ask? No respectable company would knowingly associate with illegitimate, unnoticed and unsigned surveillance of a local community in breach of the ICO CCTV code of practice and Data Protection Act would they?
Once more I have to disappoint readers and advise that, yes, on behalf of Barratt Homes, contractors carried out what can only be described as covert surveillance without following the required rules and regulations. So…… on March 5th, without your knowledge or consent, you were being filmed !
To make matters worse, when a resident confronted the contractor with legitimate concerns about non-compliance with regulations set out by the Information Commissioners Office, the contractor became aggressive, insisting he would carry on, even thought he knew he was clearly breaching the regulations.
Ironically, although this contractor was illegitimately recording us for Barratt Homes planning application, when he thought his conversation about his non-compliance with regulations might also be recorded, he swiped the iPhone from the residents hand, knocking it to the ground. Luckily the iPhone was only slightly damaged, but this didn’t stop the contractor swearing at the resident. Fortunately other residents were on hand, and the incident wasn’t allowed to escalate.
As readers of the earlier blog entires in this site will be aware, Barratt Homes have been caught out presenting traffic data to the Councils Planning Department that completely misrepresents the facts. So, it appears that Barratt Homes have now commissioned another traffic survey, and this time lets hope they construct a fair and reasonable representation of the traffic flow through the area ( as they should have the first time).
However, the contractors “Traffic Sense Ltd” are of the opinion that it’s ok to conduct such a survey by attaching cameras high up on lampposts and not to inform anyone of their activity. This is not only contrary to the ICO’s code of practice and Data Protection Act to which they must adhere, but it seems they may not have had the necessary permission from the Council to use the lampposts for such surveillance either.
One camera in particular was causing residents and staff concern as it was at the height of the adjacent house’s bedroom window. Petrol station staff voiced concern that the camera may have been placed there by criminals recording events at the petrol station and ATM.
What Mr Roberts ( the contractor ) should have adhered to, is the cctv code of practice where in section 9 at page 36/37 it clearly states:
“9.1 Letting people know
You must let people know when they are in an area where a surveillance system is in operation.
The most effective way of doing this is by using prominently placed signs at the entrance to the surveillance system’s zone and reinforcing this with further signs inside the area.
Clear and prominent signs are particularly important where the surveillance systems are very discreet, or in locations where people might not expect to be under surveillance. As a general rule, signs should be more prominent and frequent in areas where people are less likely to expect that they will be monitored by a surveillance system. This is particularly important when an ANPR system is being used that covers a large area.”
The Keep Our Meadow Green residents committee have consulted the Information Commissioners Office and are taking the necessary action to bring this rogue surveillance company to account.
I’m afraid the arrogant, aggressive and probably illegal behaviour of this contractor is consistent with the approach we have seen from Barratt Homes throughout the planning application process. If this is the standard of contractor we can expect in the area in the event that planning permission is granted, its worrying.
Please do get behind the cause and encourage everyone affected to lodge their objection on the Council planning site. Even if you have already objected, please feel free to post another objection.
Finally, if you believe you or your vehicle may have been recorded on Longton Road on Thursday March 5th and you did not see the cameras or highly visible warning signs ( because there weren’t any ), then get in touch with us at email@example.com.
I travelled west along Longton Road at about 1515 in BLACK BMW REG XXXXXX . I was therefore probably illegally videod in the vicinity of the BP garage opposite Meadow Lane. Can you advise what action I might take to help the cause?
We have been contacted by numerous residents outraged by this incident. In the next few days, we’ll publish details of the various options available to individuals who believe they have been affected by this. In summary, you are entitled to
(a) ask the contractor for an explanation and;
(b) should you not be satisfied with the explanation, to then lodge a formal complaint with the ICO and;
(c) you can ask the contractor to examine their data and provide you with all footage they have captured of you.
In the first instance you might like to take step (a) and ask them for a personal explanation of their actions. As a residents committee we have written to them and will update the site as we go along. We are also compiling a list of people who would like the contractor to examine their data and provide copies of the specific recordings. This not only includes vehicles but also children coming from and going to school.
To write to the contractor in the first instance, here is the address and example text.
Traffic Sense LTD, UPPER HOUSE , CLAWDDNEWYDD , RUTHIN, DENBIGHSHIRE LL15 2NL
I understand that you are registered with the ICO and have the Registration Number Z1705697. On 5th March 2015, several of your company’s CCTV type cameras were mounted discreetly on lamp posts in Longton Road, Trentham Stoke on Trent. There was no visible signage advising of surveillance in the area, which I understand to be in contravention of the ICO’s code of practice for CCTV.
Prior to a formal complaint to the ICO, I am writing to you asking for your comments on this incident and I understand that I should receive a reply from you within 28 days of your receipt of my letter.
How to help the cause and protect your own data!
You have the right to request closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of yourself. The CCTV owner must provide this within 40 days, and can charge up to £10.
You need to make a request in writing to the owner of the CCTV system in this case Traffic Sense Ltd.
You should tell them you’re requesting information held about you under the Data Protection Act, and provide information to help them identify you, like:
• your full name and address and contact number
• a specific date and time and location (you can mention all three locations in one request if you believe your data has been obtained.
• a description of yourself and the clothes you were wearing.
• details of the vehicle you were driving or in.
The CCTV owner decides how they provide the footage, and can edit it to protect the identities of other people.
The first request can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org as there is no cost in this initially. It puts them on notice that you are requesting the data images. The rules are a little blurred on this, but they should write or email back and request more details from you if they feel you haven’t provided enough information for them to identify and retrieve your data images, and or request a fee which can be NO MORE than £10. They have 40 days to provide the data images but the 40 days only starts once they have received the fee and have sufficient information to deal with your request.
You are entitled to be told if any personal information is held about you and if it is, you are to be given:
• a copy of the information in permanent form;[CD or DVD]
• an explanation of any technical or complicated terms;
• any information the organisation has about where they got your information from;
• a description of the information, the purposes for processing the information and who the organisation is sharing the information with.
You can set your email settings to inform you that the request has been received and read. You can do this in Microsoft Outlook by setting your delivery option in the option tab. Other email systems will have their own way of setting this.
If you want to shorten the process you can send it by recorded delivery and include the £10 fee, but make sure that you have included sufficient information for them to identify you on the footage so that they can supply you with the data images.
Here is a template letter/email that you can use for the initial REQUEST to email@example.com
We must warn you at the outset, that this will be a long drawn out process, as it does create a lot of work for the company who we suspect will put every obstacle in your way to try and refuse you access to your data images. If after 40 days you have not received a reply then the Office of Information Commissioners advice is to write to them again, reminding them of their obligations under the Data Protection Act.
Here is a template letter that you can use for the REMINDER.
If following this letter/email, no reply is received, then your next course of action is to raise a concern with the Office of Information Commissioners. This process is explained below (FINAL STEP)
If Traffic Sense write back to say that they don’t have the information/data images which you believe them to have, then you need to write to them again.
Here is a template letter that you can use for the WARNING.
If following this letter, no reply is received, then your next course of action is to raise a concern with the Office of Information Commissioners as described below.
You can raise the concern online by logging onto https://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/ . This takes you through the process. If you don’t have access to a computer, or are having difficulties that your friends or family can’t resolve, then please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get someone to help guide you through the process.
You can find more information on the Office of Information Commissioners at https://ico.org.uk/ .
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