Police are usually enthusiastic about the benefits of CCTV surveillance, but rank and file officers appear far less happy when spy cameras are set up to catch their own misdemeanours.
A CCTV camera is being installed in a police station kitchen to catch officers who do not wash up. The fourth-floor kitchen at the police station in John Street, Brighton, has been strewn with rubbish, spilled food and dirty crockery since a recent refurbishment.
"What a waste of public money," one officer told the Argus newspaper in a text-message tip-off. "Tough on crime, tougher on causers of grime."
Brighton's new police commander, Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett, today defended the move, saying the camera would deter the "small minority" of his officers committing antisocial behaviour. "Eight hundred divisional police officers and staff have access to a new kitchen and rest room facility at Brighton police station," he said. "Unfortunately a small minority of people have been misusing the facilities, which were provided by public money.
"I have therefore had to reluctantly take the decision that, in order to protect these facilities, we will use an overt camera to dissuade people from spoiling the facility for others. I'd much rather be spending our police budget on neighbourhood policing than on any repairs which may arise in the future. No additional money was spent on the camera as it was already owned by Sussex police."
Someone should tell these cops that if they've done nothing wrong, they've got nothing to hide...