An incident has occurred where an individual in a private business committed an offence (common assault/battery).

As expected the police seem fairly unmotivated or interested however a quick Google search reveals the persons highly active online, consistently promoting themselves in the light of 'positive behaviour', 'be kind to each other' & 'inclusive, understanding, loving' (you know the type).

My question is if the police do not follow up or action anything as all information identifying the person will be forwarded over, would it be unlawful to send the CCTV to their employer?

I am personally leaning towards the answer is yes, if crimes would it fall under?

This person behaved when entirely unprovoked (I'm keeping details understandably few for obvious reasons) but I can assure you there was no reason for them to behave in this way.

So would this be unlawful to forward the details on if it came to it?

  • 4
    Who owns the CCTV system and captured the footage? It would not be unlawful for the owner/operator of the system to forward it for the prevention and detection of crime, but it MAY be unlawful for a third-party to do so.
    – Matthew
    Nov 28, 2022 at 1:20
  • Hey @Matthew the CCTV is owned by the company it was within, I was the operator however left the company a short while back (however was still called in to grab footage from the system so still somewhat operator?) More than anything it would be to obtain conformation that this is the person we're seeking from our two witnesses identifying the person online however would want to be certain.
    – Ldweller
    Nov 28, 2022 at 8:36
  • 1
    It's not entirely clear what the situation is from your description, but it's more likely to be a civil matter. If you take material from the workplace without permission, it's possible for your (ex-)employer to sue you (as well as dismissing you if you still worked there) although police would not normally be involved. That said, it sounds like you're keeping it secret from your ex-employer and just want this other person's employer to look at the video and then sack them without police etc being involved? It's very hard to say how that scenario will play out.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 28, 2022 at 11:59
  • Hi @StuartF I appreciate the response and how it can be read like that. We would absolutely be open in our discussions orlf our intentions to the boss and seek authorisation to do so. Its not about getting them sacked or vindictive in that manner. Moreover for someone who's entire life is built around being a 'good person' being held accountable if the police show no interest on pursuing
    – Ldweller
    Nov 28, 2022 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


Under Schd. 2 Pt. 1, S2(1) of the UK Data Protection Act 2018 it is not a offence to process personal data for any of the following purposes:

  1. The prevention or detection of crime
  2. The apprehension or prosecution of offenders

2 (1) The listed GDPR provisions and Article 34(1) and (4) of the GDPR (communication of personal data breach to the data subject) do not apply to personal data processed for any of the following purposes—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,

(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders


to the extent that the application of those provisions would be likely to prejudice any of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c).

Therefore it is likely that video evidence from the CCTV can be sent to the person's employer and would not be a breach of the GDPR, since you are arguably acting to ensure both (a) and (b) are carried out.

  • So (a) is irrelevant because the crime was already detected. Then (b) clearly authorizes sharing the footage with law enforcement in order to prosecute the offender. However, sharing the footage with the offender's employer would be outside the legal system, and would not seem covered by (b). Therefore, sharing with the employer would likely be ILLEGAL.
    – amon
    Nov 29, 2022 at 9:17
  • It is at least arguable that (b) incorporates potential private prosecutions, which the employer is entitled to pursue against their employee. Putting the evidence in front of them would allow them to make an informed decision. It may be that the employer decides to do nothing - but the act of sharing it for the purpose of a potential private prosecution is not unlawful.
    – Matthew
    Nov 29, 2022 at 9:56
  • Hmm. I have severe doubts whether the cited section would authorize sharing with another company (or if it authorizes anything at all – seems to be more like an exception from certain data subject rights when giving data to authorities). I think a legitimate interest balancing test would have to be conducted here, weighing the interest in denouncing the suspect to their employer versus the suspect's rights. I don't think the balance would weigh in favour of sharing unless the suspect committed the assault in a work context, e.g. wearing an uniform. In any case, vigilantism is uncool.
    – amon
    Nov 29, 2022 at 10:37
  • It's really a situation where I would pay a lawyer for advice (if it is worth it to me). This could be anywhere between completely legal (and if you don't want your boss to know that you're a criminal, then don't commit the crime), and you being responsible to pay damages if the guy loses his well-paid job. Not something I would bet on if it's my money at risk.
    – gnasher729
    Nov 29, 2022 at 23:02

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