A code of conduct governing the use and operation of the Cayman Islands public closed-circuit television camera monitoring system states that “no camera is to be hidden or obscured” from public view.
The code, gazetted on 19 December but approved by Cabinet members in July, states that signs will be clearly placed and visible to the public when they enter an area covered by CCTV. This includes transportable or mobile cameras that will be used from time to time in connection with the public CCTV scheme.
Those signs will identify; first, who is responsible for the CCTV scheme, second, the scheme’s purpose and third, details of who to contact about the scheme.
“The use of covert processing, including the removal or failure to provide signs, is prima facie a breach of the fairness requirement [included in the CCTV Code of Conduct],” the code states. “The installation of a CCTV camera is considered to be overt unless it is installed in a manner whereby its presence is deliberately intended to be concealed.”
There are exceptions made in the code where CCTV public surveillance is used specifically for preventing or detection of crime.
“In keeping with [the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service] policy pertaining to covert surveillance, such covert surveillance is not covered by this code of practice,” the code reads. Those instances of cover surveillance must be approved by an RCIPS officer holding the rank of superintendent or above and would also have to be agreed by the manager of the electronic monitoring centre. Only specially trained staff at the centre will be allowed to operate CCTV cameras during such operations.
“Targeted surveillance is not covered by this code and views into residential premises and office accommodations will, as far as possible, be excluded from the field of vision,” according to the code. “Every effort must be made to prevent close up views into windows of living accommodations.”
The code of conduct for the public CCTV system has been made in anticipation of a law governing the use of the public cameras, and those cameras in private areas that are being used in conjunction with the public system.
“At present, there is no statutory framework for the regulation of CCTV use, either government or privately operated in the Cayman Islands,” the code notes. Eventually, the legal specifications will be set within the Data Protection Bill, which is being reviewed by government now. “The code does not have the binding effect of legislation.”
Until the Data Protection Law comes into effect, the code of practice will govern the operations of the national CCTV system. Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs officials have said the code will provide a “solid platform” to ensure the system protects national security and the rights of individuals.
The Data Protection Law establishes Cayman’s Information Commissioner’s Office as the independent oversight body for CCTV issues related to human rights concerns.
“The office of Information Commissioner, in addition to approving a national code of practice for both public and private CCTV system operators, will investigate complaints and claims statutory breach or infringement,” the code states.
In addition, the Cayman Islands government will create a National CCTV Programme Advisory Committee which will include members of the public. The committee will meet at least twice a year to consult and advise on CCTV operations.
The Cayman Islands government will set performance criteria for the cameras and the quality of images recorded. There will be no audio recording used with the CCTV cameras.
The public closed circuit television monitoring programme will be allowed to include the use of some cameras used by private sector entities to safeguard their properties.
A memorandum of understanding would have to signed with the private camera operator to ensure compliance with the CCTV Code of Conduct.
Joining onto the public CCTV system would also require the private entity to adhere to requirements contained in any data protection legislation approved by the Cayman Islands government. This includes regulations on to whom the images captured by CCTV can be shown and how those images may be used.
The CCTV Code of Conduct also identifies the locations where all public cameras will be placed in phase one of the project installation, which has been under way since August. The list is as follows:
Bodden Town: Bodden Town Road @ Anton Bodden Drive; Bodden Town Road @ Cumber Avenue; Hirst Road @ East West Arterial Highway; Shamrock Road @ Beach Bay Road; Shamrock Road @ Condor Road; Shamrock Road @ Hirst Road; Shamrock Road @ Jayson Avenue; Shamrock Road @ Northward Road
East End: John Maclean Drive @ Farm Road; Sea View Road @ Eastland Drive; Sea View Road @ John Maclean Drive
George Town: Bobby Thompson Way @ Linford Pearson Highway; Bobby Thompson Way @ Smith Road; Crewe Road @ Lyndhurst Ave.; Crewe Road @ Tropical Gardens Road; Dorcy Drive @ Owen Roberts Drive; East West Arterial Highway @ Poindexter Road; Eastern Avenue @ Bodden Road; Eastern Avenue @ Godfrey Nixon Way; Eastern Avenue @ School Road; Eastern Avenue @ Shedden Road; Eastern Avenue @ Washington Road; Eastern Avenue @ Watlers Drive; Elgin Avenue @ Hospital Road; Esterley Tibbetts Highway @ Godfrey Nixon Way; Fairbanks Road @ Outpost Street; Harbour Drive @ Cardinall Avenue; Linford Pearson Highway @ Old Crewe Road; Mary Street @ Rock Hole Road; McField Lane @ School Road; North Sound Road @ Dorcy Drive; North Sound Road @ Shedden Road; Shamrock Road @ Bimini Drive; Shamrock Road @ Crewe Road; Shamrock Road @ East West Arterial Highway; Shamrock Road @ Spotts Newlands Road; Shedden Road @ Martin Road; Smith Road @ Anthony Drive; Smith Road @ Hospital Road; South Sound Road @ Old Crewe Road; Walkers Road @ Academy Way; Walkers Road @ Schools; Walkers Road @ South Sound Road; Walkers Road @ Windsor Park Road; West Bay Road @ Gecko Link; West Bay Road @ Helen Drive.
North Side: Bodden Town Road @ Frank Sound Road; Frank Sound Road @ Bodden Town Road; North Side Road @ Frank Sound Road; Rum Point Drive @ Hutland Road; Rum Point Drive @ Water Cay Road
West Bay: Birch Tree Hill Road @ Conch Point Road; Birch Tree Hill Road @ Finch Drive; Boatswain Bay Road @ Finch Drive; Conch Point Road @ Captain Reginald Parsons Drive; Esterley Tibbetts Highway @ Lime Tree Bay; Hell Road @ Fountain Road; Hell Road @ Miss Daisy Lane; Hell Road @ Town Hall Road; Mount Pleasant Road @ Captain Reginald Parsons Drive; North West Point Rd @ Boatswain Bay Road; North West Point Road @ Bonaventure Road; North West Point Road @ Town Hall Road; North West Point Road @ Watercourse Road; Rev Blackman Road @ Mount Pleasant Road; Rev Blackman Road @ Stadium Road; Rev Blackman Road @ West Church Street; Stadium Drive @ Birch Tree Hill Road; Watercourse Road @ Hell Road; West Bay Road @ Cemetery Road; West Bay Road @ Governors Way; West Bay Road @ Lime Tree Bay Avenue; West Bay Road @ Raleigh Quay; West Bay Road @ West Church Street; West Bay Road @ Willie Farrington Drive; West Bay Road @ Yacht Drive; Willie Farrington Drive @ Batabano Road.
Cayman Brac CCTV cameras will not be installed until phase two of the project.