Covert Camera Systems

Posted 1:15 19 December 2014

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This week we are continuing the theme of covert camera systems and CCTV in care. There have been many terrible reports about the mistreatment of not just vulnerable elderly people but also disabled people that live in residential care.

There have been numerous incidents in the news over the last few years and a Panorama program that was aired on the 30th April this year sharing specific cases of abuse. These cases were successfully prosecuted with the aid of CCTV and covert camera surveillance systems. It’s therefore not surprising that there have been calls from relatives, and some carers, for compulsory covert cameras or CCTV in communal areas. Along with the opportunity to ‘opt in’ to having a camera in the residents’ room.

The firm Neil Hudgell Solicitors arranged for a survey of 1000 people to be carried out. The results were depressing for the care industry. 80% of respondents stated that the reports of abuse in care homes frightened them. 61% of the people questioned, aged between 18 and 55 would not be comfortable leaving their loved ones in residential care. The survey was conducted across the UK. However, the survey also found 63% of people said that they would find it difficult to cope with their current family and work commitments if they also had to care for a relative on a full time basis.

Norman Lamb is reported to have said that concerns over privacy and dignity do need to be a priority, however there are times when it would be appropriate to consider the use of covert camera systems in residential care.

It is argued by those in favour of covert camera systems and CCTV surveillance that the footage would only need to be viewed by independent adjudicators or dedicated specifically trained staff when an issue has been raised, thereby reducing the risk of invading a residents privacy unnecessarily.

On a more positive note Judy Downey suggested in a radio interview on BBC Radio Merseyside that the footage on the covert camera or CCTV systems can also be used to carry out spot checks on the quality of care provided and the carers that care can then be rewarded by management. It can also be used as a training tool when a carer has been found to be less than the best caregiver.

When you use Alpha 1 Legal Services to protect your loved ones you can be sure that our investigations are carried out with the utmost empathy and discretion.

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