Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Transport for London

1.  INTRODUCTION1.1  As a major organisation and heavy user of over 10,000 CCTV cameras spread across its rail network, stations and roads in London and the fleet of 8,000 buses all equipped with CCTV cameras, Transport for London (TfL) welcomes the opportunity to submit written evidence to this inquiry.

  1.2  TfL has a lawful obligation to provide a safe and efficient transport system in London and as such uses and maintains a number of data sources relating to the transport system to meet this obligation. TfL actively works with its stakeholders, passenger groups and the Information Commissioner to ensure that it holds, processes and discloses information in a transparent, proportionate, fair and lawful manner.


  2.1  CCTV systems in particular are used successfully by TfL for both transport system management and delivering a safe and secure environment for those who travel on London's transport system. In addition to its own rail and bus networks, TfL has helped fund CCTV cameras on some National Rail stations and trains serving London as well as paying the Metropolitan Police £60 million and British Transport Police £50 million for resources to provide a safe transport network. For example, we use on-bus CCTV to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour on buses and have worked in partnership with the Metropolitan Police to deal with individuals perpetrating crime on the bus network. This has led to over 1,000 convictions of individuals on the bus network and helped to deliver a more safe and secure environment for our passengers and staff.

   2.2  In addition, the CCTV coverage of TfL's network proved invaluable to the police and Security Services in the aftermath of the incidents of 7 and 21 July 2005. It provided valuable intelligence to the Security Services and gave vital assistance in the investigation and prosecution of individuals involved in the incidents. The CCTV coverage of the network remains an essential component of protecting the system from terrorism and providing essential intelligence to the Police and security services to support this.


  3.1  TfL also works with the police services in London in order to assist with the investigation of crime and disorder on and around the network and will, where it is lawful provide data to assist the police to investigate crime. There have been a number of recent high profile serious crimes that have been successfully solved with the assistance of data provided by TfL. There are clear procedures in place to govern the transfer of such data and ensure that any transfer is undertaken in a manner that is transparent, proportionate, fair and lawful.

  3.2  TfL takes its responsibilities as the Data Controller of the personal data and CCTV images of our passengers very seriously and will not release data without careful consideration of the implications for Londoners. However, where the release can be undertaken in a transparent, proportionate, fair and lawful way and will benefit London—particularly by making a direct contribution to the safety and security of our passengers—we will work with partners to ensure that this is delivered effectively.

  3.3  Our procedures are developed using legal advice, guidance from the Information Commissioner and our approach has been ratified by TfL Board. We continue to develop these procedures and protocols and they will be continually reviewed in line with case law, legal advice, and any updated guidance that is issued by the Information Commissioner. The bus operators who control in excess of 50,000 on-bus cameras have strict procedures that are agreed with TfL on handing the data and any disclosures made to the police and law enforcement agencies is done a transparent, proportionate, fair and lawful way. These procedures are regularly reviewed by TfL in line with our own. The operators receive regular visits to ensure compliance with these. We strive to balance the benefits we can deliver to our passengers with regard to safety, security, reliability and service responsiveness with the important privacy demands of our passengers.

  3.4  In a TfL survey (carried out by MORI) of 1,003 respondents in December 2006, 87% of people said they supported increasing CCTV coverage and believe it will help to improve passenger safety on trains and in stations.


  4.1  Overall, TfL believes that the use of CCTV data in a transparent, proportionate, fair and lawful manner allows us both to effectively protect our passengers and staff, and information about them, and provide a more safe, reliable and effective transport system for London.

April 2007

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008
Prepared 8 June 2008