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East Lancashire school named in CCTV ‘watch’ listings
12:00pm Friday 14th September 2012 in News
AN EAST Lancashire school has been named as one of 207 in the UK using CCTV cameras in the toilets or changing rooms by a campaign group.
Richard Varey, head of Blessed Trinity RC College in Ormerod Road, Burnley, said the two cameras highlighted by ‘Big Brother Watch’ were not in the changing room/toilet areas.
He said they were positioned outside an arched entrance to view the handwashing basins in the boys’ and girls’ washrooms.
Another Lancashire secondary, Moor Park in Preston, is among 30 in the North West accused of having CCTV in toilets or changing rooms.
Mr Varey said: “The report is inaccurate. There are 32 cameras in school.
“There are none in toilets or changing rooms. The two that are mentioned are situated outside open archways into the boys’ and girls’ changing rooms and view the handwashing area only.
“They do not look into toilet cubicle or changing room areas and cannot be manipulated to do so.
“They have not been viewed since I came to the school after Easter. The only time I looked at CCTV footage was at the request of a pupil over an inc-ident in a corridor.
“The cameras are there to promote good behaviour, be available if requested by staff or pupils, and to film thieves or vandals who may come onto school premises.
“They can only be viewed by myself, my deputies and the assistant manager in charge of the system and are wiped automatically if the footage is not called for after a short time.”
John Ferris who is, the Lancashire County Council's building design boss, said: “Security and the safety of pupils are why schools have CCTV. The majority of secondary schools in Lancashire have these systems.
“In recently built schools, and following guidance from the Department for Education, central washroom areas are covered by cameras but never toilet cubicles and changing areas.”
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