A CONTROVERSIAL camera fitted in the gents’ toilets of a Burnley pub has been defended by company bosses.
The CCTV camera was installed in the men’s toilet at the Big Window and some outraged customers have branded the move “disgusting.”
But pub owners Amber Taverns insisted the camera was not an invasion of privacy and was fitted to halt vandalism and drug taking on the recently-refurbished premises.
One customer wrote to the Express calling for it to be taken down. She said: “I have never been so disgusted as I have been as to finding out the Big Window pub in Manchester Road, Burnley, has installed cameras in the gents’ toilets.
“I often take my little boy in for something to eat in the holidays, and to think my husband takes him to the toilet. Who will be looking at the footage of this film?
“I want to make sure my little boy is not exposed to any other person. Who knows where the tape will end up?”
But pub regulars said the issue was being blown out of proportion.
Mr Alfred Bird (54), of Nairn Street, said: “It doesn’t bother me at all. It is not like the camera is there pointing at you.
“If you are not doing anything wrong you shouldn’t be worried about it.
“I can understand why the pub has been driven to do that because unfortunately it is reflective of a minority of people who want to cause damage.”
He said the camera has prompted debate in the pub.
“It is the topic of the day. Some people feel it is illegal but I don’t have a problem with it. It is not an invasion of my privacy.
“If the camera was angled towards the toilets and someone was viewing it afterwards, then yes, but if it’s purely there to identify vandals and drug dealers then I think it’s a good idea.”
Amber Taverns director James Bear said he hoped there would not be a knee-jerk reaction from the public.
He said: “We have taken great care with the positioning of the camera so we strike the right balance between looking after the safety issues without interfering in people’s privacy.
“We understand that maybe people find it slightly intrusive but we want to assure them there is nothing to worry about.”
He explained the camera was installed to protect the toilets from persistent vandalism after the pub was given a facelift 18 months ago.
He added: “The landlady believes it is the right decision. She is doing a great job at the pub. We are sorry she has had to bear the brunt of this.”