UK Installs CCTV In School Bathrooms, Changing Rooms

School students in UK have to watch out before changing or washing! Someone’s watching them!

Now, students in schools must look around before they change, use the toilet or shower. Many eyes maybe watching them!

Eyes of the lenses have been watching children at schools while they go to change or shower in bathrooms, use the toilet. Yes, CCTV cameras have been installed in more than 2000 schools, in UK.

Lately, the news pertaining to installation of CCTV at schools has been a worrying and most talked about subject all over UK; anxious parents and others are taken aback by this and want to know the purpose.

A surveillance survey report indicates that they have been installed in changing rooms and bathrooms, in order to keep a watch on students.

Big Brother Watch, which is an anti-surveillance activist group, conducted a survey based on a freedom of information request, and the group had to say that the results were startling because the reports showed shocking numbers, which were much higher than anyone would have expected.

Nick Pickles, Director of Big Brother Watch said, “The report will come as a shock to many parents”. He further added saying, “Schools need to come clean about why they are using these cameras and what is happening to the footage”.

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The data show that approx. 7,806 cameras are being used in 2,107 schools, out of which 207 schools have 825 cameras in bathrooms and changing rooms; furthermore, 90% of the schools are using CCTV cameras; approx. 54 UK schools have 1 camera or more per 15 pupils, and CCTV cameras are approximated to the tune of 106,710 academies in England, Scotland and Wales and in high schools.

One of the concerns is that there’s uncertainty about the exact locations in the changing rooms and bathrooms; it’s still unclear where these cameras have been installed; not just that; the anxiety intensifies for there’s no information regarding whether they are recording while pupils are changing and who are watching the footages.

“Nowhere near the toilet cubicles”. The principal of Wildern School in southern England added when she said that the installations have been 1 camera per bathroom in her school.

She also said, “The images are not looked at unless there has been a reported problem and all images are deleted after a maximum of 30 days”.

The Information Commissioner Office (ICO) reports that having CCTVs and video recording in changing rooms and toilets is lawful, but can be exercised or installed for specific reasons; ICO’s primary duty is to uphold privacy. 

Empirically, it’s been seen, after widespread research, that CCTVs are extensively used in schools, and the use and purpose differed from one school to another. 

The report said, “With some schools seeing a ratio of one camera for every five pupils, “CCTV appears to be used as a quick fix to much more complex problems and issues that simply cannot be solved with passive surveillance.”

Conversely, the question occurs and lingers in everybody’s mind that are schools in UK that unsafe and prone to issues that surveillance has become so imperative in private areas?

The Big Brother Watch indicated that the UK’s home office has spent 78% of their crime prevention budget on installations of CCTVs, and so have the schools in UK, investing colossally on surveillance equipments since 1990; yet no one has been able to decipher if this exercise has eradicated or lowered crime rates.

In one of its studies, Big Brother Watch cited a research by Institut D’ Aménagement Et D’Urbanisme in France, and the conclusion was that burglary and theft continued unabated; in fact, there was sustained increase post installations of CCTV in 2007, in the province of the Île-de-France, although, there was a marginal fall in disorderly cases in schools, as per reports.

The appalling revelations are that over 100,000 cameras have been installed to monitor teachers and students all across Britain, wherein approximately 90% of the schools accept and support the idea of use of video surveillance.

Moreover, over 2000 school used over 47,800 cameras, with over half of them fitted inside the school premises, and the Radclyffe School in Oldham excelled all of them, with approx. 20 cameras in changing rooms and bathrooms alone.

“Placing CCTV in school bathrooms poses a worrying development in school policy and raises a number of questions,” she said. “How many parents have given head teachers permission to film their child going to the toilet or having a shower? What happens to the film afterwards? How much discussion has there been on governing bodies and to what extent have councils and councilors had any input into these developments? What problems are the schools trying to solve?” The GMB’s national officer – Sharon Holder told Newsvine while saying that her trade union was dismayed with the results.

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Tauseef Hussain is a media blogger and writes for QS Bathrooms, the on-line store for Fitted Bathroom Furniture. You can follow him on twitter @usef4u. Article provided by QS Supplies (