A SHOPPING centre may be being over-cautious in its approach to sharing CCTV footage with police, according to the overseers of data-protection legislation.

The Information Commission Office has said there is nothing in data protection law which would prevent a security company from sharing evidence of a crime with the police.

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It comes after a man complained that security at the Orchard Shopping Centre in Didcot were delaying the release of footage of his son's bike being stolen to police officers investigating the crime.

Management require a 'Subject Access Request Form' to be filled out before the footage is released, which may take a month.

But the ICO has said that this form is only necessary for individuals who wish to obtain footage, or other personal data, of themselves and police should be able to come to a different, quicker arrangement.

A blog published last month by Steve Wood, the ICO's deputy commissioner for policy, wrote: "Organisations should remain confident that when asked for personal data to assist the police whether in an emergency, or in their ongoing community policing activities, necessary, relevant and proportionate data can be disclosed in compliance with the law."

He also reminded organisations that 'much policing activity relies on a rapid response to issues.'