The University operates non-audio closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras on and around campus to help take care of both people and property.
Why are there CCTV cameras?
Because of the unique residential nature of Otago, the University has a responsibility to make sure students are well cared for. CCTV cameras on and around campus are there to help deter criminal behaviour, identify and prosecute offenders and improve safety. They are not there to police and discipline non-criminal student behaviour.
Who oversees the cameras?
The cameras are overseen by the Proctor’s Office. Camera feeds are sent from the cameras to the Campus Watch Control Room and the footage is held securely in the Proctor’s Office for 30 days then overwritten. Only approved staff can view CCTV footage in line with the University’s CCTV policy. The University’s Privacy Officer (University Registrar) ensures the privacy of individuals is protected and will investigate complaints of Privacy Act breaches.
Where are the cameras?
There are cameras on campus, in and around Unipol, and in residential colleges. There are also cameras in the public streets around campus as shown on this map:
How do I report a crime and ask that CCTV footage be reviewed?
Contact the Police (111 in an emergency, otherwise 03 471 4800) to report a crime. Let the Proctor’s Office know on 0800 479 5000. OUSA’s Support Centre provides support and advocacy too. Phone them on 03 479 5449.
If there were CCTV cameras operating the Proctor’s Office can review the footage to help identify the offender, based on:
- A request from the Police: If a crime is reported to the Police they may request CCTV footage in connection with their investigation using a Production Order or Search Warrant.
- An incident report to the Proctor’s Office with request to review CCTV footage: Go to the Campus Watch reception 24/7 to report a crime and complete a “Request to Review CCTV Footage” form. When making a request to review CCTV include the time and location of the incident. Requests to review CCTV footage are normally approved unless:
- there are no cameras operating the area, or
- the timeframe is too broad.
How do I appeal a decision to review CCTV footage?
If a request to review CCTV footage is declined and the reason doesn’t meet the criteria above you can mail the Director, Student Services at email@example.com and ask for the decision to be reconsidered, explaining your reasons why.
What do I do if my privacy has been breached?
Individuals have rights under the Privacy Act 1993. Read about the Privacy Act on the Privacy Commissioner’s website.
If you believe your rights under the Act have been breached you can make a complaint to the University’s Privacy Officer (the University Registrar) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include details of your complaint and what rights you think have been breached. Every complaint is thoroughly investigated and you’re advised in writing of the outcome.
What's the CCTV policy?
It’s a University wide policy that explains how CCTV cameras are being used and protects the legal privacy rights of individuals. The policy was approved by Council after feedback from students, staff and independent legal advice. Other University policies, like the Ethical Behaviour Policy also apply to the use of CCTV cameras.