SCCA opposes restrictions on CCTV in shopping centres
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SCCA opposes restrictions on CCTV in shopping centres

Published: 10 Jul 2009 Author: SCCA Source: Shopping Centre Council of Australia.

The SCCA has lodged a submission with the Victorian Law Reform Commission in response to the Commissionís Consultation Paper Surveillance in Public Places.

The submission focuses on the use of closed circuit television (CCTV) in shopping centres and highlights its many benefits.

These include finding lost children; identifying bag snatchers and shoplifters; responding to emergencies; and preventing fraudulent insurance claims.

The submission also points out that shopping centres are ultimately private property and, although they allow public access, they have the right to place conditions on that access.

Often one of those conditions is the presence of CCTV. Given the many benefits of CCTV, the SCCA is concerned about suggestions in the Consultation Paper that further controls on CCTV in public places should be considered.

The Commission has not identified a single factual example of unacceptable use of CCTV that cannot be addressed under existing regulation. Nor is there any evidence that the community is concerned about CCTV.

On the contrary, a 2007 survey by the Federal Privacy Commissioner found that of the 92% of respondents who were aware of CCTV, 79% were not concerned about their use in public places and when asked to nominate where CCTV cameras should be located, all respondents suggested placing them in shopping centres.

In this age of mobile phones and the world wide web, when millions of images are sent around the world every day, it makes no sense for governments to be trying to curtail the use of CCTV given its many public safety benefits