News from Sian Berry: Caught on camera… but for how long?

03 April 2017

Victims of crimes on public transport in London only have a short time to check if the crime was caught on camera and Sian Berry AM is urging the Mayor to tell people about the time limits before CCTV evidence disappears.  

Today Sian Berry AM is launching a poster she has produced showing that people only have between 3 and 28 days to report crimes such as sexual assaults and harassment before vital evidence is lost. [1]

The time that CCTV images are held for varies widely across different parts of London transport: three days for tube trains and trams but up to 28 days for train stations. Details of the different times were provided by the Police in response to a question raised by Sian Berry in the Police and Crime Committee. [2]

Sian Berry AM has asked the Mayor to publicise these time limits. [3]

In an answer provided this week, he has thanked her for her idea and promised to put the information online at the ‘Report-It’ campaign website.[4] However, people may only visit the site once they have decided to make a report and this may be too late, so Sian believes wider publicity is needed.

Sian Berry said:

“Being subject to sexual assault or harassment on public transport is horrible and the Mayor is doing a good job urging people to report every incident to the police. However predators may not be caught if people don’t know that there are time limits before CCTV evidence expires.”

“I’m pleased the Mayor has welcomed my idea and will now put CCTV time limits online at the ‘Report it to stop it’ website. But people need to know when this vital evidence will disappear before they decide to make a report.

“That’s why I’ve produced a poster today, and why I want the Mayor to do the same and put this information out across the TfL network.”

The Metropolitan Police Service has provided the following data on retention times for CCTV across the TfL network:

  • On buses: between four and ten days depending on the type of bus and hard drive installed
  • Bus stations: up to 28 days
  • London train stations: up to 14 days
  • Trams: up to 72 hours (three days)
  • DLR: up to 14 days
  • Tube trains: up to 72 hours (three days)

Notes to editors

[1] Sian Berry AM’s poster is available, please contact the press office for a copy

[2] Letter from MPS Deputy Commissioner in response to requests for information from the Police and Crime Committee, Feb 2017

[3] Communicating the CCTV retention period on public transport.
MQ 2017/2109 from Sian Berry AM.  Appendix 3, Written answers to 22 March 2017 MQs (page 151) 

The Police and Crime Committee recently received data from the Metropolitan Police Service on the CCTV retention periods for different modes of public transport. We were told that they are:

  • On buses: between four and ten days depending on the type of bus and hard drive installed
  • Bus stations: up to 28 days
  • London train stations: up to 14 days
  • Trams: up to 72 hours (three days)
  • DLR: up to 14 days
  • Tube trains: up to 72 hours (three days)

Will you communicate details of these varying CCTV retention periods to the public and urge people to report any crimes on public transport promptly before evidence is lost?

Answer from the Mayor:

Thank you for your sensible suggestion. TfL encourages the prompt reporting of all crimes and incidents on the transport network, including in the current ‘Report it to Stop it’ campaign which forms part of a programme of policing activity to eradicate unwanted sexual behaviour on London's transport network. The retention periods for the CCTV controlled by TfL are published on its website, at https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/privacy-and-cookies/cctv

The page has received over 19,000 visits in 2016/17 and information on the retention period applied to the other CCTV systems used on TfL’s services will now be added to it.

Details of these retention periods will also now be included alongside the existing advice TfL publishes (https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/safety/report-a-crime-or-incident) on how to report a crime or incident on the transport network

[4] ‘Report it to stop It’ campaign website: https://tfl.gov.uk/report-it