Parents demand answers over Meadowbank spy camera

Police say the camera was there for legitimate reasons. File picture: Jane Barlow
Police say the camera was there for legitimate reasons. File picture: Jane Barlow
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PARENTS are demanding answers after leisure bosses said a spy camera found in changing rooms at Meadowbank sports centre was placed there to catch a sneak thief.

The Evening News revealed that the hidden device was discovered by S4 pupils from James Gillespie’s High School who dislodged a ceiling tile while larking about after a PE session on Wednesday.

Police were called in amid concerns the camera had been installed by a peeping Tom, but yesterday said they had completed their inquiry and found no crime had been committed.

Edinburgh Leisure, the council’s arms-length company which runs Meadowbank, said the camera had been set up without their knowledge the previous night by a sports club which regularly uses the centre and had suffered a spate of thefts from the changing rooms. The club – which Edinburgh Leisure would not name – had “forgotten” to remove the camera at the end of its session.

Police said the battery in the camera had run out during the evening and there had been no filming of the pupils.

But parents said they were furious that spy cameras could be placed in changing rooms with such ease and said questions needed to be answered. One father whose three youngsters are regulars at Meadowbank, said that if the battery had not run out, there was every chance children could have been filmed dressing and undressing.

He said: “This whole thing is very disturbing.

“It’s not like forgetting your wallet or something – ‘Oh, I left my spy camera in the changing rooms’? How often does this happen?

“Why won’t they name the club? Can Edinburgh Leisure guarantee there are no cameras in other venues. And do they think it’s really ok for sports clubs to attempt to play private detective like this?”

The changing rooms involved are used by both men and women, as well as school groups.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Leisure said: “Whilst this was an isolated incident we wish to reassure all our customers that all of our venues are safe and our staff remain committed that every person visiting any of our venues has the best customer experience.”

Police said they were satisfied no crime had been committed.

A force spokesman said: “Officers conducted thorough and comprehensive inquiries, including analysis of the images recorded, and are satisfied that it contained nothing untoward.

“The camera was in place for a legitimate crime prevention purpose and there was no intention to record anything that would constitute a crime.”