Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Body: Office of the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner
Appointing Department: Home Office
Sectors: Judicial, Prison & Policing, Regulation, Science & Technology
Location: Flexible
Skills required: IT / Digital, Legal / Judicial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £125,000 per annum
Time Requirements: Full time


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The Home Secretary has appointed Fraser Sampson as the government’s new independent Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, replacing the two part time posts of the Biometrics Commissioner and Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

The recruitment campaign was conducted in line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. The statutory responsibilities and duties for both roles will remain the same.

Fraser Sampson, who took up his post on 1 March, will promote compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code and rules on police use of DNA and fingerprints.

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.

Fraser Sampson 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.

Fraser was formerly an Honorary Professor and Research Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University. He is a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales. Between 2016 and 2019, he was Chief Executive of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner in North Yorkshire. Between 2006 and 2019, he was the Chief Executive and General Counsel for the Police & Crime Commissioner in West Yorkshire and the Executive Director of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority. He was also a police officer for West Yorkshire Police and the British Transport Police, between 1982 and 1996.

The Biometrics Commissioner and Surveillance Camera Commissioner roles were established by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which introduced the regime to govern the retention and use by the police of DNA samples, profiles and fingerprints, and to promote appropriate overt use of surveillance camera systems by relevant authorities in England and Wales.

Date: 09/03/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    19 & 20 October

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Home Secretary is seeking to appoint a single Biometrics and Surveillance Commissioner.

The Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner role aims to promote police compliance with the rules on the collection and retention of DNA, fingerprints and surveillance cameras respectively. The roles were created by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA), which set out the regime for police use of DNA, fingerprints and the regulation of surveillance cameras. We have decided to appoint a single person to both roles because of the confluence of existing and emerging regulatory issues around police use of automated facial recognition.

The post will cover the duties of the Biometrics Commissioner and the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, while the Government is considering reforms in this area. Candidates will have experience of working successfully at a senior level, ideally within a legal, law enforcement, regulatory or criminology environment or within academia such as the study of criminal justice, ethics, human rights law or criminology. Whatever your background, you will appreciate the importance and opportunity that this role presents. Excellent communication skills, decisiveness, independence and unquestionable integrity will be essential.

Person Specification

It is essential in your supporting statement that you provide evidence and proven examples against each of the selection criteria in Part One only of the person specification, in so far as you are able. These responses will be further developed and explored with you if invited for interview, together with the other criteria listed in Part Two.

Part one – Essential skills and experience

  • Proven experience of exercising sound judgment when balancing complex information and competing interests, accompanied by an understanding that such judgments can be open to scrutiny and challenge.
  • Proven track record of demonstrating effective communication in a variety of forms to diverse and challenging audiences such as politicians and the media.
  • Evidence of leading and delivering high quality services in public or customer focused environments, including analytical casework, and of driving results at a senior level and in a multi-stakeholder environment through influence and persuasion.
  • Evidence of building productive working relationships with a wide variety of senior stakeholders, including demonstrating an ability to protect public interest by guaranteeing professional and technical competence.
  • Evidence of demonstrating a clear understanding of, and firm commitment to, the promotion of diversity and equality of opportunity.


  • Experience of working at a senior level in a legal, law enforcement, regulatory or criminology environment.
  • Experience of working at a senior level in academia (for example, in the study of criminal justice, ethics, human rights law or criminology).

Part Two – Personal Abilities and Behaviours

  • Enthusiasm and demonstrable interest in the role that biometrics and surveillance can play in protecting the public and a sensitivity to the civil liberties issues which may arise.
  • An ability to command respect and demonstrate both the independence and authority to establish credibility with Ministers and key stakeholders.
  • High standards of corporate and personal conduct, including a sound understanding of and strong commitment to equal opportunities, public service values and principles of public life, enabling you to act impartially and uphold the role of Commissioner.


Additional Information

We value and promote diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity for all. Appointment will be made on merit following an open, fair and transparent competition.

How to Apply

The closing date for applications is 23:00, Monday 10 August 2020.

Please submit the following 4 documents, clearly labelled, by email to:

  1. A comprehensive CV (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) setting out your career history and including details of any professional qualifications.
  2. A short supporting statement (maximum two sides A4, minimum 11 font) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for the role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the experience, qualities and skill areas identified in the person specification.
  3. Please complete and return via email the forms at Annex B, relating to referees, conflicts of interest and nationality.
  1. In addition, please complete the Diversity Form at Annex C. Please click on the link to the Public Appointments website for further information on recording whether or not you have a disability.

Please include the heading (Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner) in the subject box.

Please submit your application documents as 4 separate attachments.

Please note the following:

  • We cannot accept applications submitted after the closing date.
  • Applications will be assessed on the documentation provided. Please refer to the advert and checklist to ensure you have provided the necessary documentation We will assess it based solely on documentation provided.
  • Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt.
  • Feedback will only be given to unsuccessful candidates following interview.
Annex B - Supporting documentation 2020 - Final
Home Office Privacy Notice - Final
Diversity Monitoring Form Accessible (6)
200709 - Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner - Recruitment Pack - FINAL
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