Woman says new CCTV camera looks straight into her living room
A woman fears for her privacy after her local council installed a CCTV camera which she says can look into her living room. Sam Watler, 54, posted a photo online of the camera atop a 15ft pole – which she says was installed without her knowledge.
She says the camera is perfectly placed to see inside her Baker Street flat in Weston-super-Mare – and can even swivel to look inside other homes too. Sam said residents of the town of Somerset had asked for security cameras to be installed after a rise in crime in the area.
But she says she assumed the camera would be much smaller – and she would be consulted on the installation. Sam said: “It’s very intrusive. I’m going to sit in my front room and there’s just going to be this camera right in front of me, behind my TV by the window.
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“The whole thing was put in place about four weeks ago without warning. We were never told before or consulted about it, there was no warning. A lady I spoke to yesterday said received a letter, but it arrived the day they installed it..
“It’s also a rotating camera, so even though they claim it will only be pointed up the street, it can certainly point to my front room. I had to lower the blinds to get a bit It’s such an ugly thing – and that’s all I can see when I watch TV now.
“I know my son is unhappy and has complained to the local council but even the shop opposite says customers have said they won’t come anymore. It’s just because this camera can be seen going in and out of the store – which apparently some people don’t like.”
North Somerset Council confirmed it has the camera and it was installed to improve public safety in the area. It came after a convenience store in the area was recently raided at knifepoint, the authority said.
Executive Member for Wards Cllr Mike Solomon insists the camera will not look into people’s homes. He added: “The camera absolutely will not be used to look into people’s homes – it is there to protect residents.
“He has already proven useful as he captured a potential suspect last week after a number of cars were torched nearby. inhabitants.”
Cllr Solomon confirmed the device uses a wide-angle lens which can be adjusted by operators inside his control room. However, the counselor’s words did not reassure Sam – who is adamant she caught the camera pointing at her house.
“Mr. Solomon’s words are not at all reassuring,” she added. “I definitely caught him watching in my house and now I feel like I have no privacy. I often look up from the TV and just see him there, and I have him. imagined looking into the apartment.”
A North Somerset Council spokesperson added: “We have installed the CCTV camera in Baker Street as part of our Safer Streets initiative. The camera covers public spaces and the area in general and will not be directed at any residence or private business.
“All of our staff in our emergency control room are DBS and police vetted and the system is operated in accordance with all applicable laws. We also hold CCTV Commissioner accreditation.
“Everyone on the street received personal letters explaining why the camera was installed and it was generally well received by residents and businesses in the area. Signs stating that CCTV is working in the area, which l uses and why have also been introduced.”