FOI 13062019-1- Police Surveillance Tools


I am concerned about intrusive surveillance technologies that my local police force and forces around the UK might be using.

Because of the lack of available information about what surveillance tools the police are using, our community will have no idea if and how they are being monitored as they go about their everyday lives.

I share the concerns of Liberty and Privacy International that this surveillance tech threatens everyone’s basic right to privacy, and can cause us to change what we do, where we go and who we go with.

If the police are using these tools solely to investigate serious crimes, and if they think what they are doing is lawful, then they should be open and honest with the public about what they are doing.

I am aware that tools such as automated facial recognition and algorithms for predicting crime have also been proven to discriminate against certain groups of people. Therefore, I believe that there needs to be public consultation to discuss these risks.

The police should not be using technology which affects our community so negatively, eradicating our privacy in public spaces and also online.

As my elected Police and Crime Commissioner, please can you tell me which, if any, of the following tools and tactics are being used by our local force:

  • body worn video cameras
  • facial recognition
  • hacking
  • IMSI catchers
  • mobile phone extraction
  • predictive policing
  • social media intelligence

If the police are using any of the above, please let me know what impact assessments have been carried out to make sure their use doesn’t negatively affect people’s rights and freedoms.


  1. And can you guarantee that intrusive police tech will not be used in the future without proper safeguards and public consultation in place to ensure our fundamental rights are protected?



Following a search of our paper and electronic records, it was established that the information requested is not held by the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

The Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) and Northamptonshire Police are two separate legal entities. Information regarding operational policing matters is the responsibility of Northamptonshire Police, therefore the OPFCC does not hold any of the information you have requested. Northamptonshire Police’s Information Unit may hold some of the information you are seeking.