Camera surveillance in licensed premises

Some licensed premises in the Northern Territory (NT) are legally required to have camera surveillance.

If camera surveillance is a condition of your liquor licence, you must follow the rules below.

If you don't, you will breach your liquor licence conditions.

Why have camera surveillance

Even if you are not legally required to have camera surveillance, you should consider getting it.

Camera surveillance helps keep your customers and venue safe and secure.

It can also provide you with evidence if you need to check compliance or verify any incidents.

If you voluntarily install a digital surveillance system at your premises, you might also get a discount on your annual risk-based licence fee.

Your camera surveillance system must comply with your camera surveillance plan.

You can use any licensed electrician or security technician to install camera surveillance systems at your premises.

Develop a camera surveillance plan

You will need to develop a camera surveillance plan to meet your licence conditions. This should be submitted with your application for a liquor licence.

Your plan must include:

  • a detailed description of your camera surveillance equipment
  • where you keep the equipment
  • the physical and electronic security arrangements you have in place for all equipment
  • a list of staff who are allowed to access the equipment (including footage)
  • how you will look after the equipment.

Number of cameras required

The number of surveillance cameras you need depends on the type of premises you operate.

If you have a late night authority attached to your licence that allows you to trade past midnight, you must have cameras:

  • inside each entrance
  • outside each entrance to a radius of 10m
  • in liquor service areas
  • in other areas as reasonably directed by the Director of Liquor Licensing, such as:
    • dance floors
    • passageways
    • stairwells.

Other areas identified by the Director of Liquor Licensing must have cameras covering:

  • the sales counter
  • inside the main entrance
  • liquor storage cabinets
  • storage fridges that can be accessed by the public or
  • as specifically provided in the conditions of your licence and authority.

Surveillance camera guidelines

There are specific guidelines you need to follow when operating surveillance cameras.

Your surveillance camera system and its recordings must be protected from unauthorised access and tampering.

You must display signs in all areas subject to camera surveillance.

The signs must inform patrons and staff that the area is under electronic surveillance for safety and security reasons.

You must use a logbook to record:

  • start and finish times of employees who are responsible for camera surveillance
  • start and finish times of surveillance recordings
  • information about any incidents, such as violence or people being asked to leave the premises
  • times and dates when recordings have been viewed, copied or shared, including the identities of those involved.

You need to keep a register of employees who are trained and authorised to use the surveillance camera equipment.

For each authorised person, the register must have their name, training details and role at the premises.

You can keep the register in your logbook.

Your surveillance camera system must be able to:

  • create digital recordings
  • produce images that are big and clear enough to identify people
  • operate at least eight frames per second
  • show the time and date that can be read when the image is played back on a different system
  • allow for immediate viewing or replay of earlier recorded events
  • produce clear copies of recordings that can be played back on a different system
  • continue for at least 15 minutes if there is a power failure.

You must record and keep images produced by all of your cameras for at least 14 days.

If you have a power failure for longer than 15 minutes, you should note the outage in your logbook as soon as possible.

CCTV at point of sale in takeaway outlets

From 20 December 2021, outlets must install and maintain CCTV equipment that records the point of sale for all takeaway liquor purchases.

This is so that all transactions involving the Banned Drinker Register (BDR) are captured on CCTV surveillance.

Read more on the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade website.

Rules for operators

To comply with the condition, your CCTV surveillance must capture:

  • items purchased
  • use of the BDR scanner including:
    • ID being placed onto the scanner
    • scan button being pressed
    • green screen displaying before the sale is complete
  • interactions between the customer and salesperson
  • appearance of the customer and salesperson.

It is up to you to decide how many cameras are needed to ensure the above requirements are met.

All footage should be time and date stamped, and be synced with the time displayed through the BDR unit.

You must keep all data captured by the surveillance system for at least 14 days.

Access to recordings

If NT Police or a licensing inspector asks you for access to your camera surveillance recordings, or requests copies, you must give it to them.

Last updated: 19 April 2022

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