Mystery CCTV ‘spying’ on Harold Hill resident

A Harold Hill resident says a CCTV camera installed facing the property where he lives is making life a misery.

Vinny Edmunds has been staying in his ill sister’s council house opposite Daventry Green in Harold Hill part-time since the beginning of April, before moving in full time in June.

About three months ago a CCTV camera was installed below a street light opposite the house and it appears to be filming the property.

Havering Council, which operates the camera, has declined to explain why it has been put up, merely stating that the device is there “to deter criminals”.

Invasion of privacy

Vinny, 45, said: “It came in about three months ago. Since then I’ve been trying to find out why it’s there.

“My neighbours have been asking what it’s there for. They’ve looked at it and can see it’s pointing at my door.

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“It’s an invasion of my privacy and I can’t do anything about it. I want to know why they are investigating me.

He added: “It seems like it’s just there to try to control me. I haven’t given my consent to be spied on.”

Nick Pickles, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “Councils should only be using CCTV where it’s part of a clear plan to deal with a specific problem.

“It’s beyond belief that a council would install a CCTV camera to watch quite literally over people walking out of their front door and refuse to say why the camera is there.

“Now crime statistics are public information, Havering Council should be able to easily point to what disorder it is trying to stop.

“All too often, cameras are used as a substitute for policing and measures that actually prevent and reduce crime, so residents need to know this isn’t surveillance that monitors their homes and does nothing to improve their area.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We operate a number of cameras across the borough to deter and catch flytippers, other criminals and protect our residents.

“These move around the borough, so these people should expect to be caught and prosecuted.”