Angry UK pub customers rip CCTV cams out of toilets

Pub owner says he installed cameras to eliminate drug use


Police were called to a pub after regulars ripped out CCTV cameras that had been put up in the toilets.

The Eagle And Child pub, in Apedale Road, Chesterton, pictured, had the fibre optic technology hidden in fire sprinklers.

The landlord says the cameras were installed as part of the pub's zero tolerance policy on drugs.

Regulars angry that the cameras had been put up also called the police who have told the landlord that he must not reinstate the CCTV unless clear signs warning people they are being filmed are put up.

However, landlord Alan Knip-Smith said he won't be putting the CCTV back up.

He said: "My security has now been compromised.

"My pub has been swabbed down and it was covered in coke. I have got a zero tolerance policy on drugs. We spent Ł4,000 on the cameras.

"The cameras were not pointing in any sensitive areas. They were pointing at the main part of the toilets. The women's area didn't pick up anything. In the gents we were seeing people sharing cubicles and doing drug deals."

Pub regular Colin Timmis, aged 52, from Victoria Street, objected to the cameras. He said: "Some lads had discovered them in the men's toilets and warned us, then my wife had a look and they were in the ladies toilets as well. We couldn't believe it. The cameras were up in the sink area and there were no signs."

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "Our North Staffordshire licensing sergeant, Alison Bromley, visited the pub and spoke to the landlord.

"He had recently installed CCTV in the toilets, not in the private cubicle areas but in the communal areas where the sinks are. He was not doing anything illegal by putting them up in the communal areas. If he is going to put them up again he needs to put up sufficient signage to inform people and give them the reason why the cameras are there."

Government advice on operating CCTV states, in areas where people have a heightened expectation of privacy, such as changing rooms or toilet areas, cameras should only be used in exceptional circumstances where it is necessary to deal with very serious concerns.

In these cases, extra effort should be made to ensure people are aware of the CCTV.