The Home Secretary has appointed Fraser Sampson as the UK’s new independent Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner. The previously separate roles of Biometrics Commissioner and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, which were established in 2012 by the Protection of Freedoms Act, have now been combined into one full time post. Mr Sampson, who took up the post from 1 March, will promote compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code and rules on police use of DNA and fingerprints.
He said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed to cover these two distinct but increasingly overlapping roles. I look forward to working with all partners in what is a fast-moving and challenging area of balancing the public interest considerations with the rights of individuals.”
Mr Sampson was formally an Honorary Professor and Research Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University, and is a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales. Between 2016 and 2019, he was Chief Executive of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner in North Yorkshire, and has 14 years’ experience as a Police Officer for West Yorkshire Police and the British Transport Police.
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “I am pleased to appoint Fraser Sampson as the new Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner. “It is vital the Government works to empower police to use technology to keep the public safe while maintaining their trust and Fraser Sampson’s extensive experience in law and policing makes him the right person to take up this role.”
Mr Sampson’s predecessor in the Surveillance Camera Commissioner role, Tony Porter, shared his congratulations on LinkedIn, adding: “Great to welcome my successor Fraser Samson who will take up the dual role of Biometric and Surveillance Camera Commissioner. Tough job with many challenges. I wish him the best and I am sure he can rely upon the same support, challenge, advice and guidance that I enjoyed.”