`Operation Winchester lands `Peeping Tom UK police in trouble

November 27th, 2007 - 3:24 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov.27 (ANI): Using a secret willy-cam to spy on men in a public toilet has landed British police in trouble.
According to The Sun, the officers hid the tiny device at waist height to tape evidence of blokes using the loo for sex. But it filmed thousands of innocent men as they went for a pee.
The month-long sting codenamed Operation Winchester was launched in Wirral, Merseyside, after police received complaints of men using the loos for cottaging.
Two cameras were set up by a urinal one at waist level for evidence and the other at head height to identify the offender.
Footage was then stored on DVD and used to charge six men and caution a further 32 under the Sexual Offences Act.
An off-duty police sergeant based in Liverpool was also caught and fined 13 days pay.
Undercover surveillance to detect crimes or protect public health is lawful as long as police can persuade a court the tactic is proportionate and necessary.
But gay and lesbian groups have accused Merseyside Police of being heavy-handed.
Merseyside Police have now launched an inquiry to see if the operation could have been handled in a more sensitive manner. (ANI)

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