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Suspected voyeur arrested at Northern Ireland swimming pool

By Luke Barnes

Published 05/10/2016

Scene: Orchard Leisure Centre
Scene: Orchard Leisure Centre

Police have arrested a suspected voyeur after an incident at an Northern Ireland swimming pool.

Staff at the Orchard Leisure Centre called officers last Thursday after they observed a man acting suspiciously in the changing rooms.

He spent 30 minutes entering different cubicles and walking around the changing facilities, it was claimed.

Staff started to patrol the facilities as part of the centre's safety protocols. Leisure Watch, a safeguarding scheme that the centre is part of, was also informed.

When the man returned on Friday, staff quickly contacted police.

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said: "Police arrested a man on Friday September 30 on suspicion of attempted voyeurism. He was later released on bail pending further police enquiries."

Officers returned to the leisure centre on Saturday to interview witnesses and secure potential CCTV evidence.

Parents praised staff for their quick response to the worrying incident. One told the Ulster Gazette: "It was very clear that something serious was going on, but also clear that the centre staff were dealing with it in a very professional and serious manner.

"I use the pool every week with my children and I have to say I am always impressed by the staff. It feels a safe environment to bring my children to."

A spokeswoman for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said: "The staff promptly followed protocol to react and report the incident.

"Staff are committed to the safety and the wellbeing of all visitors and to ensuring that all visitors have an enjoyable experience."

Councillor Sam Nicholson added: "As I understand it, the Orchard Leisure Centre management and staff reported a male member of the public who was acting suspiciously within the village changing area, resulting in the PSNI questioning the individual and arresting him on suspicion of attempted voyeurism.

"The Orchard Leisure Centre management and staff should be praised for their quick actions and due diligence on this matter."

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