Londoners are to consulted over plans to share Transport for London’s network of live traffic cameras with the Metropolitan Police.
The Met must currently make separate data requests every time it requires information collected by TfL’s London Congestion Charging Zone and London-wide Low Emission Zone cameras.
Allowing the Met direct access to footage and data collected by the cameras was a key commitment in the Mayor’s re-election manifesto at last year’s elections.
Despite being part of the mandate on which he was elected, the Mayor has decided the initiative should be the subject of a wide-ranging public consultation.
A briefing document prepared by officials says the proposal “is significant and may be controversial” with some sections of the public.
The document, published online today, says granting the Met direct access to the network would save time and aid the force in both reactive and proactive investigations.
The only other way to provide the Met with the same level of data would be to install a separate network, an option the document says “would be vastly more expensive” than sharing TfL’s.
City Hall wants “a broad spectrum of Londoners and others to participate in the consultation” which will launch next month.
To achieve this the consultation will be supported by a large scale publicity campaign and include public meetings with the Met and Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.
It is hoped these events and the wider consultation will highlight areas of public concern and allow the Met and TfL to “clarify proposals where there are misconceptions.”
The Mayor’s decision to consult on the proposals has been backed by London Assembly Member Darren Johnson.
Mr Johnson said: “I really welcome the Mayor’s decision to consult properly on this sensitive issue. It’s important that TfL and the Metropolitan police clearly set out exactly what data will be shared, who will have access to it, how it will be used, and what safeguards will be put in place to prevent abuse.
“It is also important to engage properly and at an early stage with privacy groups, and I hope the Mayor really will take on board the feedback from the consultation and be prepared to amend his proposals at the end of the process.”