CCTV Surveillance Advice for Sensitive Government Sites

CCTV Surveillance Advice for Sensitive Government Sites

Government statement raises concerns over the use of Chinese Surveillance Technology

In a statement released at the end of 2022, the UK government raised national security concerns over the use of Chinese surveillance technology on sensitive government sites.

Bedroq are seeking clarity from the government announcement and working with CCTV leaders at a national level. We are helping customers understand their exposure and manage the risk by through auditing, applying security controls and, if appropriate, replacement options.

Speaking to police leaders at the NPCC CCTV meeting in December, SCC Fraser Sampson made it clear that UK police must take any security threat very seriously. He also highlighted that any use of CCTV must engage the trust and confidence of the general public, which is reliant on police forces themselves having trust and confidence in the technology they are using.

Security risks for sensitive sites

The initial government statement that has provoked this conversation came from the Cabinet Office on 24th November 2022, where Oliver Dowden gave the outcomes of a review conducted by the Government Security Group.

The review highlighted the current and possible future security risks associated with the installation of visual surveillance systems on the government estate, particularly where technology is produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China. This would include surveillance equipment manufactured by Hikvision and Dahua.

Considering these security risks, along with the increasing capabilities of such systems, the UK government have recommended additional controls are put in place.

‘Departments have therefore been instructed to cease deployment of such equipment onto sensitive sites…Since security considerations are always paramount around these sites, we are taking action now to prevent any security risks materialising.’ – Oliver Dowden, The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Meanwhile, departments have been advised that no such equipment should be connected to core networks and that they should consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades.

Sites that are not officially classified as sensitive have also been advised to conduct their own reviews and consider whether they should take action to mitigate any security risk. SCC Fraser Sampson gave the advice that common sense should prevail in the definition of sensitive sites. It may be safer to assume that all police sites count as ‘sensitive’, given that guidelines may change in the future.

Bedroq support high security and sensitive sites across the UK. If you would like to discuss the outcomes of this government statement further, or need our assistance in conducting a site audit, please contact us.