We put up CCTV cameras to deter break-ins, and caught one of our staff stealing. Can we use the tapes for disciplinary or court proceedings?

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We put up CCTV cameras to deter break-ins, and caught one of our staff stealing. Can we use the tapes for disciplinary or court proceedings?

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Generally speaking you must use CCTV images only for the purpose for which they were recorded. If, however, cameras had been installed to deter break-ins but they caught an employee stealing stock, it would be reasonable for the employer to use the images as evidence in disciplinary and court proceedings. The test is what is reasonable, and that would depend on the circumstances. For example, it might not be reasonable to use images obtained to deter break-ins in proceedings against an employee who was caught committing a minor act of misconduct, such as smoking on the employer’s premises.

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