CCTV on underground network

Request ID: FOI-3530-1819
Date published: 07 May 2019

You asked

Hi, Please can you tell me how many CCTV cameras are on each Underground line and whether they are recording at all time during the line's hours of operation. If they do not record at all times, please can you indicate for how long they record. Please list each Underground line separately. Please can you tell me whether every carriage on an Underground train has a CCTV camera recording at all times during the train's hours of operation. Please can you tell me on how many occasions over the past five calendar years TfL has provided CCTV footage to assist a police investigation, and if possible, how many times an investigation that has included TfL CCTV footage has led to a prosecution. Thank you, Sophie

We answered

Our ref:           FOI-3530-1819/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 24 March 2019 asking for information about CCTV on London Underground.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold some of the information you require.

All station cameras record 24/7. There are a total of 13,211 station cameras, the breakdown by line is as follows:

Bakerloo – 1156
Circle & Hammersmith – 230
Central – 1984
District – 1781
Jubilee – 2202
Metropolitan – 1474
Northern – 1948
Piccadilly – 1930
Victoria – 506

Not all trains have on train CCTV. Those that do record the CCTV do so during the hours of public operation.

In accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to release information regarding which trains do not have CCTV or which lines power down their systems as this information is subject to statutory exemptions to the right of access to information, under Section 38(1)(b) of the Act. Disclosure of this information to you has to be regarded as a disclosure to ‘the public at large’. This information could potentially be obtained and utilised by individuals who may have hostile intentions and wish to use this information to cause disruption, commit crimes or breach the security of the London Underground network. The London Underground system is an attractive terrorist target for several reasons. London Underground part of the nation’s critical infrastructure by virtue of its central importance to the functioning of London and its economy. Disclosure of information could compromise security and safety preparedness on London Underground’s network and could place members of the public and TfL staff at risk.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued a Decision Notice regarding the application of section 38 to withhold information, we believe the same arguments can be applied:

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2017/2013536/fs50633090.pdf

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities, but in this instance the public interest in applying the exemption, in order to minimise risks to operational resilience, security and safe operation of the London Underground network, the welfare of staff and members of the general public, outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

A breakdown of the number of requests made by third parties for the disclosure of London Underground CCTV can be found here:

https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/audit-and-assurance-committee

The relevant paper was Item 12 considered by the Audit and Assurance Committee at its meeting this March. It includes a table showing the number of requests for CCTV (paragraph 8.1).

We do not hold information relating to the police investigation of offences which include details of whether or not CCTV formed part of the evidence.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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