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The existence of CCTV material should always be considered as a reasonable line of enquiry in a police investigation and investigators will usually view / review any CCTV that they are aware of before making a decision as to whether the footage is relevant to the investigation.

If you are aware of the presence of a CCTV camera at a location where a crime / vehicle collision took place, we would suggest you make the police aware of this when you report an incident / collision.

Please also see the Government website in Related Information regarding requesting CCTV footage of yourself.


Many people install CCTV at their properties as a home security measure as it's an effective tool in fighting crime. Where CCTV is in operation and it only captures your home and garden then it will not be covered by the Data Protection legislation. However, if it captures any images outside the confines of your household, such as the street or other houses, the images will be subject to the Data Protection legislation and you will be required to register as a 'data controller' with the Information Commissioners Office.

Steps should be taken to ensure the CCTV is positioned correctly to avoid complaints or in some cases, accusations of violation of privacy or harassment. You may wish to put up a sign on your property informing people that CCTV is in use, although this is not mandatory unless your system records images beyond your own boundary.

In the first instance, it would be advisable to speak to your neighbour to see if it is possible to move the camera so that it does not point at your property. If this is not possible and you want to take further action you would need to seek legal advice from a solicitor.

See the links in Related Information for further guidance on the use of domestic CCTV systems.


CCTV cameras are used extensively in England and Wales and contribute to public safety and security and in protecting both people and property. They may be used for several purposes including:

  • the prevention, detection and investigation of crime
  • apprehension and / or prosecution of offenders (including images being entered as evidence in criminal proceedings)
  • public and employee safety
  • staff discipline.

When using CCTV cameras in public places there is a duty to comply with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. One of the main principles of the Code is that the use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy, with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified.

In situations where there is a particularly high expectation of privacy, such as changing rooms or toilets, the use of CCTV should only be done to address a particularly serious problem that cannot be addressed by less intrusive means. The use of such cameras should also be subject to review at least annually to ensure that it remains necessary.

If cameras are used then the shop/business should display a sign informing members of the public that cameras are in use, allowing an informed decision by the person using the premises.

If you feel that your rights have been violated then you may make a complaint to the manager of the organisation or the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (please see link in related information for information about the Surveillance Camera Commissioner)


Informing the Police

You should contact the police using the non-emergency 101 number although if you consider the situation an emergency then use 999. The police may not send an officer out and you may be dealt with via the telephone. They will give you a crime reference number – you'll need this when you contact your insurance company to inform them what has happened or if you want to claim back your vehicle tax. The police will tell DVLA about the theft and if the vehicle is found.

If there is any evidence, for example, CCTV or items left behind by the thieves that may contain fingerprints then inform the police. Use gloves when handling any item for fingerprint examination and do not handle it any more than necessary.

If the thieves are arrested and charged with the offence then in appropriate circumstances they will appear before the court and be dealt with.

See Q622 for more information on your rights as a victim of a crime.

Informing your insurance company and the DVLA

Inform your insurance company of what has happened as soon as possible and keep them informed of any developments. They will explain what you need to do and how you can make an insurance claim.

If your insurance company pay your claim you need to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) you no longer own the vehicle. You can do this by:

  • completing section 9 of your registration document (V5C) and sending it to the DVLA together with a letter stating when the payment was accepted and including details of the insurance company, or
  • online via the link below:

You will then need to send the remaining part of the V5C to your insurance company. If your insurer ask you to send the whole of the V5C to them, send a letter to the DVLA providing details of the insurance company, the date of the claim and the following information about your vehicle:

  • registration number
  • make
  • model
  • colour

You must also include your signature.

DVLA contact details are as follows:

Customer enquiries: 0300 790 6802
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 7 pm
Saturday, 8 am to 2 pm

or write to:

Vehicle customer services
SA99 1AR

If your vehicle has a private registration number and you want to keep it, you must get it back before you tell the DVLA you no longer own the vehicle – see the section below.

Obtain a refund on your car tax

The DVLA will cancel your car tax as soon as you tell them you no longer own the vehicle – if necessary this includes cancelling your direct debit.

Private registration numbers

You can only get a private registration number back if the following apply:

  • You must have reported the theft to the police.
  • DVLA must have recorded the vehicle as stolen for at least 12 months but no longer than 3 years.
  • The vehicle must have been taxed and had an MOT at the time of theft.

Note that you can't get a personalised registration number back if you claimed on your insurance and told the DVLA you sold the vehicle to your insurer.

If your vehicle is recovered and you or your insurer decide to sell/destroy it, you must complete form V317 (see link below) and send it to the DVLA if you want to keep/transfer a private registration number.

You won't automatically receive a tax refund – you'll have to apply for one using form V33, which you can obtain from the DVLA via the contact details shown above.

Once you've got your private registration number back you can tell the DVLA you no longer own the vehicle – see Informing your insurance company and the DVLA.


Unfortunately it is up to you as the registered keeper to satisfy the issuer of the ticket that it was not you or your car at the time and place where the alleged offence occurred. Here are some suggestions on how to deal with it.

  1. You could consider taking a photograph of the rear of your vehicle that may show that it was not your car. Hopefully there will be small differences between your car and the cloned one.
  2. Legally manufactured number plates must have the details of the manufacturer on them so that may also be a way of distinguishing the vehicles, providing the photograph is of a high enough quality.
  3. If you park your car in a car park whilst at work the operator may have CCTV evidence to prove that your car was there at the time of the alleged offence.

If this is a regular occurrence (and especially if the tickets are from your local area) contact your local police.

Number plate cloning and car cloning are becoming a growing problem (though it is still on a relatively small scale in the scheme of things), but the Government is looking at ways of reducing it.


Yes you can, but there are certain things that you need to consider:

  • The camera must as far as possible only be able to film within the vehicle and the area immediately surrounding it. You must ensure that no private property or other place where a person can reasonably expect to have privacy is captured by the camera or you could find yourself pursued for damages through the civil courts.
  • If you intend that the equipment will be powered by the car's battery make sure the work is carried out by a professional so as to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation and doesn't flatten the vehicle's battery.
  • It is also advisable to contact your insurance company to inform them.
  • As an additional security note, if you install expensive CCTV equipment in your car, you should ensure that it is placed in a discreet position to avoid the equipment being stolen.

Please also see the Secured By Design website in Related Information.


One of the most effective ways to prevent crime re-occurring is to report it. Please see question in related information for details on how to do so.

If you are the owner or manager of a historic place, the Heritage Crime Prevention Measures guidance offers various actions you can take to make your building/site more secure. Please be aware that many of the actions may require consent from your Local Authority Conservation Department beforehand.

The Heritage Crime Prevention Measures provides guidance on reducing the threat of crime to historic buildings and sites throughout England. Some of the measures suggested include -

◾ Use of CCTV
◾ Monitor exits
◾ Use of physical security e.g. locks, bolts, fencing
◾ Raise public awareness of heritage crime throughout the community
◾ Remove temptation; any valuables should be moved off site if unoccupied
◾ Set and display rules.

Please see links in related websites for further information and to view the full guide.

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