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 Police accused of wasting money after fitting CCTV camera in their own CANTEEN to catch officers who don't wash up

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PostSubject: Police accused of wasting money after fitting CCTV camera in their own CANTEEN to catch officers who don't wash up   Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Police accused of wasting money after fitting CCTV camera in their own CANTEEN to catch officers who don't wash up

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:43 AM on 19th February 2009



'Grimewatch': Police are furious that they will be watched on their breaks

Police have installed a CCTV camera in their own canteen to catch officers who don't wash up.

After numerous complaints from tidy officers, police chiefs finally decided to address the 'abuse' and have arranged for a CCTV camera to be installed above the kitchen sink.

The 800 police constables who use the kitchen have dubbed the scheme 'grimewatch' and are said to be furious at being watched over on their breaks.

The fourth floor kitchen at the police station in John Street, Brighton, has been plagued by rubbish, litter, spilled food and dirty crockery since a recent refurbishment.

Police officers were told about the plan for a camera this week by new police commander Graham Bartlett.

Police chiefs said the CCTV camera was a 'deterrent' to stop officers leaving dirty plates, cups and takeaway wrappers to litter the station kitchen.

He said: 'Eight hundred divisional police officers and staff have access to a new kitchen and rest room facility at Brighton police station.

'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.'

Des Turner, MP for Brighton Kemptown, said: 'Maybe it'll encourage the police to mend their ways in the kitchen.

'This gives a new meaning to the phrase, the Filth.'

An anonymous officer tipped off reporters about the camera, saying: 'What a waste of public money.

'Tough on crime, tougher on causers of grime.'


'The Filth': The fourth floor kitchen at the police station in John Street, Brighton, has been plagued by rubbish, litter and spilled food

Chief Superintendent Bartlett said damage to the kitchen would waste money meant for policing.

He said: '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.'

Brian Stockham, chairman of Sussex Police Federation, which acts as the officers' union, said representatives have raised the issue and plan to confront managers.

He said: 'We have had representations made to us that this is happening. It will be dealt with with local management by our local representatives.

'At first sight it seems somewhat excessive. The mind boggles as to what abuses of facilities could be monitored by the service in future.'

He said management instead of surveillance should be used to bring officers into line.

He said: 'Any abuse of facilities needs to be addressed by local supervision and management getting to grips with whatever the problem may be.

'To use CCTV as a way of addressing problems seems to me excessive.

'It is a time-consuming device which at first sight appears a modern solution but does involve time and effort to use.'

David Lepper, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: 'It seems a bit over the top to me. CCTV plays a valuable role in deterring and catching criminals. I'm not sure they need to go as far as CCTV cameras.

'I would think the public conscience of each police officer should be enough.

'Surely they could draw up a rota?'

One policeman, who did not want to be named, said: 'This is taking things too far. We use CCTV to catch criminals, not officers who take a quick break from a punishing job.

'What happens if I have a cup of tea and a plate of chips and then get a call on my radio saying I'm needed urgently?

'Do I do the washing up first or go and attend to the crime?'

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1149522/Police-accused-wasting-money-fitting-CCTV-camera-CANTEEN-catch-officers-dont-wash-up.html
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