Request for CCTV footage is a necessary component when it comes to everything from public liability, defamation, assaults, and much more. In other words, in any situation where an individual requires data access as evidence for a particular situation, a request for data access must be made.
CCTV footage can come from traffic cameras, standard cameras, dash and body cams, or even camera phones. When it comes to a court case, for instance, the data retrieved from a CCTV camera can be invaluable when it comes to reaching the truth. Please remember, it’s absolutely crucial that you send the request as soon as possible. If the recording is no longer available for the date and time requested, it will be impossible to retrieve the data.
Before we introduce you to how to compose the letter, it’s a good idea you check with the laws in your region first. For instance, the laws for obtaining CCTV footage will be different in the U.K than they would be in a small town in Indiana, the U.S. In general, if the incident occurred on private property, it’s up to the owner of the property whether or not you’ll get the tapes. If you run into any issues, you may need a law enforcement request, court order, or subpoena.
However, before you go through all that, make a written request to the owner of the property, stating your reasons for wanting the footage. Remember, they can’t just hand out footage to anyone who asks, as they can get into trouble for that as well.
When composing the letter, keep the tone professional and controlled. In other words, no foul language, no threats, and no overall silliness. Keep it businesslike. Be courteous in your request, and remember to end the letter with a show of gratitude to the owner for even considering your request. When it comes to filling out your letter of request, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Specific date and time the incident occurred
- Specific location
If the incident in question occurred on Federal grounds, then fill out a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA form and submit it. In fact, it probably would not hurt if you go online, download the FOIA form and attach it to your request to retrieve CCTV data letter.
Permission Request Letter Format
Formatting a permission request letter is more important than it sounds. The person who will be reading your letter is in a position of authority to grant you the footage or not. Therefore, the correct form is crucial. After all, you want to make a favorable impression and not come off as a trouble maker. As such, remember to keep the letter brief, professional in keeping with a professional tone. As for the format, use the business block style. Here, all sections are separated by a space, and begin at the left margin, with no indentations.
This is you. Use your full name, no nicknames, or internet handles. Next, add your street address, apartment number if applicable, city, state and zip code
This is the date the letter was signed and sent to the recipient
Recipient’s Contact Information
Make sure that you have the correct recipient for the permission letter, or it may not reach the intended individual. Check for correct spelling the name as well. Add their business mailing information.
The subject line tells the recipient what the letter is about. If you neglect to place a subject line, the recipient may junk your mail.
Three sections should be enough. The first section is where you introduce yourself and the purpose of the letter. The second section is where you clarify and back up your request for permission. The third section is where you thank your recipient for considering your request and leave a phone number where you can be reached if they have any further questions.
The closing is where you end the letter using such phrases as Sincerely or Best Regards. After which, you leave 4 spaces for your handwritten signature. Finally, type your full name and date.
Sample Request Letter for CCTV Footage
(Senders full name
(Date Letter Signed)
(Recipient’s Full Name
Subject: Re: (Type of Permission Letter)
Dear (Name of Recipient)
This letter is in reference to data retrieval from your CCTV cameras on (Date) at (Time). I (Your Name) am requesting this information for my personal use with regards to an incident that occurred at your (Business name) at (Location) on the said date.
As the incident occurred on Federal property, I am also attaching a filled-in Freedom of Information Act Form, or FOIC, which gives me full rights to obtain the CCTV footage.
Please provide me the CCTV footage requested, dated (Date and Time of Occurrence). This is necessary for law enforcement verification. Please contact me at (Contact Information) if you have any further questions or concerns. When the data is retrieved, please notify me of how I may acquire it from you. Thank you for your kind attention to the above matter; it is appreciated.
The process of obtaining CCTV footage varies from region to region, so check with your country, province, or state laws regarding CCTV data retrieval first. When it comes to writing your letter, be brief and professional in tone. Never come off as angry, threatening, or divisive. The individual receiving your letter is in the position of authority to decide whether you get one or not. If you do have a problem, then you will need to seek the assistance of your local law enforcement agency. Your letter must contain the date, time, and location of the CCTV camera. Finally, remember that many companies only keep their CCTV footage on file for around 30 or so days, so it’s best to write the letter as soon as possible.