Woman says she has caught new council CCTV camera pointing into her living room

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Woman says she has caught new council CCTV camera pointing into her living room after it was installed outside her house on 15ft pole

  • Locals in Weston-super-Mare asked for cameras to be installed after a crime rise
  • But one, Sam Watler, 54, says one now points directly into her living room
  • North Somerset Council insists the camera will not look into people’s homes
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A woman says a council-installed CCTV camera can look into her living room – after locals begged for one to cut down on crime.

Sam Watler, 54, posted a picture online of the video device on top a 15ft pole – which she says was put in without her being told.

She claims the camera is perfectly placed to see inside her flat on Baker Street in Weston-super-Mare – and can even rotate to look inside other homes too.

Sam said locals in the Somerset town had asked for security cameras to be installed after a rise in crime in the area.

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But she says she assumed the camera would be far smaller – and that she would be consulted on the installation.

Sam said: ‘It’s very intrusive. I’ll sit in my front room and there will just be this camera there right in my eyeline, behind my TV by the window.

‘The whole thing was just put up about four weeks ago without warning. We were never told about it before or consulted, there was no warning.

‘One lady I spoke to yesterday did get a letter, but it arrived on the day they installed it.

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Resident Sam Watler, 54, says one CCTV camera points directly into her Weston living room

Resident Sam Watler, 54, says one CCTV camera points directly into her Weston living room

Locals in Weston-super-Mare asked for cameras to be installed after a crime rise in the area

Locals in Weston-super-Mare asked for cameras to be installed after a crime rise in the area

‘It’s a rotating camera too so while they claim it’ll only ever be pointing up the street it can definitely point into my front room.

‘I’ve had to keep the blinds down to get some privacy. It’s such a big ugly thing – and it’s all I can see when I’m watching telly now.

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‘I know my son isn’t happy about it and has put a complaint into the local council, but even the shop down the road says they’ve had customers say they won’t come in any more.

‘It’s all just because this camera can be seen going in and out of the shop – which apparently some people don’t like.’

North Somerset Council confirmed it owned the camera and that it was installed to enhance public safety in the area.

This came after a convenience store in the area was recently raided at knifepoint, the authority said.

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Executive member for neighbourhoods, Cllr Mike Solomon, insists the camera will not look into people’s homes.

He added: ‘The camera will absolutely not be used to look into people’s homes – it is there to protect residents.

North Somerset Council insists the camera, shown in Sam's picture, won't look into homes

North Somerset Council insists the camera, shown in Sam’s picture, won’t look into homes

‘It has already proved to be valuable as it captured a potential suspect last week after a number of cars were set alight nearby.

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‘This area has a lot of issues with anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping, so this camera should be welcomed by residents.’

Cllr Solomon confirmed that the device uses a wide-angle lens which can be adjusted by operators inside its control room.

However, the councillor’s words have not provided comfort for Sam – who is adamant she caught the camera pointing into her home.

‘Mr Solomon’s words are not reassuring in the slightest,’ she added. ‘I definitely caught it looking into my home and I now feel I have no privacy.

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‘I often look up from the TV and just see it there, and I’ve pictured it looking into the flat.’

A spokesperson for North Somerset Council 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 into any private residence or business.

‘All our staff in our emergency control room are DBS and Police vetted and the system is operated in accordance with all current legislation.

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‘We also hold accreditation from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

‘Everyone in the street had letters hand delivered explaining why the camera was being installed and it has generally been welcomed by residents and businesses in the area.

‘Signage saying that CCTV is operating in the area, who is operating it and why has also been put in place.’

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