Beds, Herts & Bucks

Police CCTV in cell toilets not pixelated

Toilet Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption A lack of toilet paper was also identified as an issue

A police force has been criticised for allowing detainees to be filmed while in a custody cell toilet.

Images taken at the Watford police station cell were not pixelated on screen and detainees could be seen, inspectors found.

A lack of toilet paper was also identified as an issue, although the force was praised for the amount reading material it provided.

Hertfordshire Police said there was an "oversight" that went against policy.

The Prison and Constabulary Inspectorate carried out an unannounced inspection at the Watford custody suite in May.

'High risk'

Guidelines state all toilet areas in cells should be pixelated on CCTV viewing screens.

An inspectorate spokeswoman said detainees "should be able to use a toilet in privacy", although the rest of the cell should be covered by cameras.

"CCTV cameras are important so that custody staff can monitor detainees, many of whom might be at risk of hurting themselves or others," she said.

A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said: "The pixelation had been removed from the camera that covered one particular cell as the person in the cell at the time ran a high risk of self-harming and custody staff needed to ensure their safety.

"There was an oversight and the pixilation was not put on immediately afterwards - which policy dictates should have happened."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites