Privacy row erupts over CCTV in Wigan station toilet

The CCTV camera in the gents at Wigan North Western station which has led to complaints from lawyer Paul Thompson
The CCTV camera in the gents at Wigan North Western station which has led to complaints from lawyer Paul Thompson

A lawyer has blasted train bosses after spotting a CCTV camera inside the toilets at a Wigan railway station.

Solicitor Paul Thompson was changing trains at Wigan North Western when he noticed the security device in the far corner of the gents.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Since then Paul, who was en-route to his Glasgow home, has been lobbying station operators Virgin Trains in a bid to get the camera removed.

But he has been told by the transport giant that the CCTV does not cover the urinals.

And the company’s approach has received the backing of the British Toilets Association, which says it is aware of a number of similar systems in use across the UK.

Mr Thompson said: “I turned around and thought that this should just not be there. It’s not only a privacy issue but a child protection matter.

“When I reported this to Virgin they said it had been set up to monitor who comes in and out of the toilets.

“This looked like a 360-degree camera rather than a fixed one.

“But surely the camera could be positioned outside the toilets, to achieve the same purpose?”

Raymond Martin, managing director of the British Toilets Association, said: “There are many, many toilets placed in toilets for security reasons.

“It is not about invasion of privacy if the camera is not overlooking the stalls or urinals.”

Virgin Trains was unavailable for comment. But in correspondence with Mr Thompson, privacy team staff from the operator confirmed that the camera did not cover the urinals area.