Watching, watching… always watching

It seems like everyone has a device these days, and we’re always filming or photographing something. It’s the same in business – we have cameras for surveillance, dash-cams in work vehicles, cameras to capture things while out and about, body cameras to record interactions with people.

With so much footage and images taken every day by devices, it’s hard to know exactly what to capture in your recordkeeping system and when.

To get you started, we have advice on capturing and managing surveillance and monitoring records. This not only covers the types of records this includes, but also what to capture and when, how long to keep it, and how to manage it and more.

We also have another blog post on surveillance and monitoring records. But the one thing neither of those covers is examples, and as we know examples make things much easier to understand.

So here are some scenarios that can help you decide what to capture and when.

Scenario 1: Arthur, Parking Inspector

Arthur is a parking inspector for Lamingtown Department of Transport and wears a body camera that records non-stop on his 7-hour shifts.

On a shift where his day is uneventful, he probably doesn’t need to formally capture any of the footage as a record. However, he does need to keep it for 90 days as a precaution. This it to cover his agency in case the footage is needed, e.g. if someone he had an interaction with or someone he gave a ticket to lodges a complaint, which doesn’t always happen straight away.

However, if Arthur witnessed an assault, that footage would be classified as evidence. It must be captured and kept in the event of legal proceedings. This footage would need to be handed over to police, who would keep it as part of their investigation file. Arthur’s agency would also need to keep this footage as part of their records of the incident.

Note: this scenario would also apply to any kind of portable recording device e.g. body cameras, dash-cam, go-pro etc.

Scenario 2: George, Grammar School

The grammar school George works for has CCTV cameras continuously monitoring the buildings and grounds. They only need to keep this footage if a noteworthy event occurs.

For example, if someone drove their car across the school playing fields and damaged the stands, George (or someone on his team) would need to capture footage of the incident (as well as before and after) and hand it over to the police as evidence.

The police would then keep this footage as part of their investigation file. George’s agency also keeps this footage as part of their records of the incident.

Scenario 3: Lily, Parks Management

Lily’s team at the Lamingtown Parks Service looks after environment and animal management and uses drones to help them monitor large areas of state forest and also to track populations and habitats for vulnerable species, like turtles.

A lot of the footage the drone captures isn’t useful, but the footage that is useful needs to be captured.

Once Lily and her team has analysed the footage, they extract the relevant parts as separate files. Each video is then captured and managed as a core business record of the function and activity they relate to. So any footage of the beaches and oceans where the turtles live would be sentenced with other turtle conservation and monitoring records. Similarly, any footage that is used to document changes to koala habitat in a state forest would be sentenced with other koala habitat and population records.

On another note…

One thing to keep in mind about surveillance and monitoring records is that, other than for CCTV, it doesn’t matter what you use to capture footage or images, it’s the purpose that matters.

So you can apply these scenarios, our advice and the relevant record classes in the GRDS to all kinds of devices, and multiple different situations.

Always think about why the footage is being taken and what you need it for, not what device you are using.

More information

You can find more information about surveillance records and managing digital images, audio and video on the website.

Remember, you can contact us via email, telephone, blog, Twitter.

Also, just like in the movies, all names, characters, places, and incidents portrayed in this blog post are fictitious and are not based on real people or incidents in any way.

And if you’re interested in the story of Lamingtown so far, you can check out the other blogs here.

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