Surveillance equipment placed by people in your care or their relatives

Page last updated: 12 May 2022
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People sometimes worry about a loved one and their care. They might use hidden cameras or microphones to give themselves reassurance. If you find surveillance used in your service, it's important to put the interests of the person first.

Respond the same way as you would to any other concern about care

You must make sure the person still receives the same standard of care. You should do this even if the use of surveillance breaches a contract of service. The person and their family should not be put at a disadvantage because they have used surveillance without you knowing.

Follow the same procedures as you would to investigate and respond to any concern about the person's care. It's important to look into the reasons behind the decision to use surveillance. There might be a problem you were not aware of.

Consider how it might affect other people

Think about whether:

  • the use of surveillance is intruding on the privacy or rights of anyone else
  • there is anyone who should give their consent to it being used.

What you can and can't do with equipment

If you find a surveillance device someone has placed in your service, there are some things you can and can't do. It's likely to be a criminal offence if you:

  • deliberately damage it
  • remove it with the intention of not returning it
  • delete recordings.

It would not be a criminal offence if you:

  • switch it off
  • remove it and keep it safe for its owner.