Two Sefton Council CCTV voyeurs jailed

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The BBC reports that two of the Sefton Council (on Merseyside) CCTV operators who abused the cameras under their control to spy on a woman at home in her flat, have been given short prison sentences,. One of them has also been put on the Sex Offenders Register, and another employee has been sentenced to community service.

About time ! This is certainly not the first time which CCTV cameras have been abused like this.

Friday, 13 January 2006, 14:28 GMT Peeping tom CCTV workers jailed

Two council CCTV camera operators have been jailed for spying on a naked woman in her own home.

Mark Summerton and Kevin Judge, from Sefton Council, Merseyside, trained a street camera into the woman's flat.

At Liverpool Crown Court, Summerton, 37, of Kirkdale, Liverpool, admitted voyeurism and attempted voyeurism. He was sentenced to four months in prison.

Judge, 42, from Waterloo, admitted misconduct in public office and was jailed for two months.

He was cleared of voyeurism last month.

Summerton was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register

Team leader Vincent Broderick, 52, of Bootle, Merseyside, admitted misconduct in public office on the grounds that he did not see the woman when she was naked, but knew the cameras were being misused and failed to report it.

He was sentenced to 200 hours' community service.

The images from the camera, including the woman without her clothes on, were shown on a large plasma screen in the council's CCTV control room in November 2004, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Over several hours, she was filmed cuddling her boyfriend before undressing, using the toilet, having a bath and watching television dressed only in a towel.

[....]


Nevertheless, the sentences are well short of the two years maximum prison penalty which could have been applied to the offence of Voyeurism , under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 sections 67 and 68

17 Comments

Ridiculously harsh. Most men, given the opportunity, will view a naked woman for the sake of sexual gratification. It's only human nature. What a bunch of prudes!

Why was temptation put in their way ?

It is perfectly possible to site public CCTV cameras so that they cannot physically be panned, tilted or zoomed to snoop on private property.

John Crinnion - a fair point.

wtwu - a good point. It should be compulsory that spy cameras cannot physically be directed to private property.

In my town, residents adjacent to a school were given the option to have the spy cameras monitoring to school equipped with some sort of screen which would have prevented their houses being viewed. I don't know whether it was an electronic "screen" or some physical device. Not surprisingly, none of them requested this facility be implemented. They obviously had nothing to hide!!!

er...look...

everyone is a private individual

we did not/do not need people spying on us

if that spying is labelled voyeurism then suddenly it becomes a sad male fantasy
scenario

it should remain in the realm of fantasy


the notion that these workers had temptation put in their path is quite frankly offensive

think about all those knuckle draggers who assert that women deserve to be raped for dressing in provocative clothing

c'mon

this kind of shit needs to be put in the modern perspective of a global satellite based surveillance capacity

into the same bag with the way soldiers acted at abu ghriab

with the rendition program

its a marker for how humans are being programmed to have no thought for others privacy

[and security for the matter]

these people are abusing a power

that they should not have
in the first place under
in a 'free' state

we all get the idea that CCTV is everywhere but do we really grasp the true nature of the sociological implications this extent of control is having?


i mean

the stanford experiment
is so old now

and we are now post Orwellian

question:

should CCTV be placed in all CCTV operation command rooms?

in all police stations?

in Parliament & the Lords?

especially in MP's offices

should'nt the state serve the voter?


maybe we could tune in randomly to their antics

or maybe we could hold these f**ks to account

with this kind of rhetoric

Quite simply all public CCTV should be banned and private CCTV should be licenced so that the maximum area that it could cover would be the perimiter of the building/land belonging to the applicant.

This will never happen until we get rid of the totalitarians in power (nearly all of the current members of parliament of all colours) and replace them with libertarian minded people.

Some of the more cynical among you will think that this will never happen, but I guarantee that sooner or later, by fair means of foul, it will.

We cannot live in a ever increasing totalitarian regime without tipping the balance of power which, 9 times out of 10, causes civil unrest. I do not believe that we are very far off that point (10years at the most)

@ cw - George Orwell's 1984 dystopia did not keep the "proles" under surveillance, since they were not considered to be important enough.

Only the Party elite and those working for the police state i.e. all those with power, were kept under surveillance.

This is not quite what we have in the UK today, where the "proles" are to be kept under surveillance as well.

@ Jake Long - we have been calling for the licensing of CCTV operators for years, given that the technology cannot be disinvented, and that there are some legitimate uses for such systems.

It is astonishing that every Television set in the UK is centrally licenced, but that no CCTV spy camera surveillance systems are.

Such licences should be revoked if:the CCTV surveillance systems are used for:

  • voyeurism
  • snooping beyond the perimtiter of a building without an explicit, time limited, specifically targeted, judicially authorised warrant i.e. for the investigation of serious crimes
  • not properly maintained e.g. dirty lenses, video taopes re-used too many times
  • withoutn proper tamperptoof evidence trail procedures,
  • without fair and equal data access policies
  • Schemes such as traffic jam cameras should be limited in the quality of images recorded i.e. it is not necessary to pick out individual drivers' faces in order to detect if a road is congested or not..

    Instead of CCTV cameras on buses or on trains, there should be more human staff e.g. conductors, train guards and platform staff..

    It would be far better to have far fewer.properly run and properly funded systems, than the plethora of privacy invasive ones which do not actually detect or deter crime or terrorism, which is what we have at the moment..

    Does anyone know of any good links that explains the laws surrounding this area?

    I was positive that laws were already in place to prevent CCTV from looking at private property not under your ownership/control. But that isn't the case, I take it?

    @ Bjørn - here in the United Kingdom we do not have either a Privacy Law or a written constitution.

    The Building Regulations allow you to have up to 16 external CCTV cameras on a building, up to 4 per side, of a size which
    are no longer manufactured: the current models, including the pan / tilt / zoom gear, are all much smaller than the permitted maximum size. The Building Regulations say nothing about what the CCTV cameras can or cannot see. There is no limit on CCTV cameras inside a building, even ones which have a view through the windows to neighbouring properties.

    Home Office subsidised public CCTV schemes have, in the past, had to consult with the neighbours, as a condition of getting the money, but only on a voluntary Code of Conduct basis, which is not legally enforceable. The Home Office is not currenlt spending money this way, and there are plenty of schemes which were never subsisdised by them.

    Only if there is a provable sexual motive for the snooping, like in this case, does the Voyeurism offence apply.

    The strongest legislation which applies to thr private sector or individuals is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, which may, if you are rich enough to afford High Court lawyers, possibly protect your valuable performance art from unuthorised snoopers, but only after the fact, and if it is for commercial gain.

    Even rich and famous people have no protection from papparazzi photographers or videographers, so what legal remedies do you think the rest of us have ?

    Police and intelligence service use of "directed surveillance" under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, for the targeted investigation of serious crimes , comes under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, with some supervision by the Surveillance Commissioner, but he has chosen not to insist that mass surveillance schemes should be treated this way.

    The Data Protection Act and the Information Commissioner have been discussed above.

    Links to most of this legislation are in the left hand column of the home page of Spy Blog.

    At least in Britain we can be assured that CCTV is being put to good use. Like here for instance:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/01/31/nfeed31.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/01/31/ixhome.html

    I have a nieghbor with a camera on a 20 ft pole that can and does point in to my garden. I am just starting the process of sorting the situation out (I hope) as he insists he has the right. Judging by the above I have a problem

    @ Dave Ellis - "camera on a 20 ft pole"

    That could well require Planning Permission, even if the same camera attached physically to the outside of a building would not.

    If your neighbour is unreasonable and refuses to prevent the camera snooping on you and your property at home, then, perhaps together with any other neighbours so affected, you could apply to your Local Council for an Anti-Social Behavior Order.

    There are several groups of people up and down the country with similar concerns, thinking about doing this, but none have yet come to pass.

    Thanks

    So far I have information that he is outside the law on the following

    1) Data protection act
    2) Freedom of information
    3) Article 8 of the human rights act

    He is also breaking the CCTV code of practice. In addition you are quite right he does require planning permission, I have been asked to write to the Planning Enforcement Officer. He will have to apply for retrospective planning permission, bearing in mind the above laws etc when I object he is unlikelt to get it.

    I will attempt to speak to him shortly in to try for a compromise ie shorten the pole. To be honest he is unlikely to agree to anything exept the status quo so it will be the planning dept. I will let you know what happend perhaps it will help others in a similar situation

    Is Council allowed to spy on thir employee by public CCTV System, with out knowledge of employee

    I'm a documentary maker - am wondering just how many bored CCTV operators are turning their cameras on bedroom windows? B

    While muggers and joy-riders walk free. What a shit-for-brains country. Hate it and leave it.

    Maybe the woman committed an offence of exhibitionism? After all, what does it
    take to close the blinds?
    The law quotes "reasonably expectation of privacy" - What? in a room with the
    curtains open and the lights on?

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    Recent Comments

    • Ian Bee: Maybe the woman committed an offence of exhibitionism? After all, read more
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    UK Legislation

    The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

    The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

    Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

    UK Legislation Links

    UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

    UK Commissioners

    UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

    UK Intelligence Agencies

    Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

    Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

    MI5 Security Service
    MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

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    Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

    cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
    Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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    Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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    Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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    National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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    Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

    Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

    It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

    For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

    Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

    Campaign Button Links

    Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
    UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

    NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
    NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

    Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
    Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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    FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

    Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
    Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

    Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
    Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

    Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
    Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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    Open Rights Group

    The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

    Tor - the onion routing network
    Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

    Tor - the onion routing network
    Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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    Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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    BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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    NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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    Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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    Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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    Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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    Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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    No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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    I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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    Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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    Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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    Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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    WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers