Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Police probe camera find in Civil Service disabled toilet

Police are investigating after a hidden camera was found in disabled toilets at a busy Civil Service building in the heart of Belfast.

The camera was found by staff at the Plaza Building on Chichester Street where hundreds of people are employed.

It was discovered in a section of the building housing the Social Security Agency. The device had been placed under a sink in disabled facilities on the ground floor.

Staff contacted police who took the camera away for investigation.

A member of staff who spoke to the Belfast Telegraph said: "People are disgusted by this. It was found a couple of weeks ago and the union was told about it, too.

"The thought that somebody could be filming people using toilets at work is shocking."

The member of staff said the toilets were located in an area not accessible to the public.

Pubic sector union Nipsa confirmed it was aware of the incident but declined to comment further due to the police investigation.

A letter sent out by the union to staff said security measures had been stepped up in the building following the find. It read: "Some Nipsa committee members were made aware that a member had found a camera in the ground floor disabled toilets.

"Management immediately contacted the PSNI and Northern Ireland Civil Service internal security. The PSNI attended, took the camera away and immediately began an investigation."

The letter added: "Management advised that upon the discovery of the camera they instigated multiple daily checks of all toilets and shower areas within the plaza."

Police are said to be trawling through CCTV images in an effort to identify whoever was responsible for placing the camera in the toilets.

A spokeswoman for the Civil Service said: "The Social Security Agency can confirm a camera was found in the toilets of one of its Belfast processing centres.

"On discovery of the device, agency management immediately contacted the police and the matter is now under police investigation. This office is not accessed by members of the public. Staff have been informed and revised security arrangements have been put in place."

FACTFILE

  • Last month driving instructor Jonathan Alfred Gibson (37), from Central Promenade, Newcastle, was put on probation for three years after being caught taking 'upskirt' pictures of unsuspecting women in a shopping centre using a secret camera he had mounted on his shoe.
  •  Bangor man Colin David McCarroll (28) put a spy-cam in disabled toilets at his employers, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. McCarroll denied the charge claiming he had been set up. But last Friday he was sentenced to six months, suspended for two years, and received a sexual offences prevention order.

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