Bispham 'vandals' spark huge row over CCTV of children online

CCTV footage of young children accused of vandalism outside a Bispham shop has ignited a row over privacy after it was shared to Facebook.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 12:50 pm
CCTV footage was shared online by the Bispham business.

BM Furniture in Moor Park Avenue released footage of the accused children after saying its sign was vandalised last Friday.

Facebook users then identified the children by sharing details of their primary school – leaving their mum furious.

Shazia Yasin, 42, from central Blackpool, questioned whether anyone should be allowed to share CCTV images of children online, and said: “It was my son’s ninth birthday, I took him to Bounce Play Centre in Bispham with my two other sons aged eight and ten.

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“We were all waiting for a taxi, I must have gone into the toilet when this happened.”

Shazia said BM removed the picture after she gave the firm “earache”, though a written post – including comments – remained online. She said: “People can still comment about it to each other, it’s so wrong. How do I know who has saved this video, who has saved pictures of my kids in their phone?

“We have taken their gadgets off them for a few days so they think about what they did and never repeat it again. As a mother I won’t cover their mistakes.”

BM Furniture said it had reported the incident to police and was forced to replace its wrecked sign. It said: “We released the CCTV footage and images of the boys as we wanted them identifying. We hoped the footage would attract the attention of the parents, who we assumed would be shocked at their children’s behaviour and get in contact with us to try and put things right.

“If they had messaged us immediately saying ‘Hey, these are our kids, we’re really sorry, how do we sort this out?’ the post would have been taken down and the matter would be put to bed.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office said through a spokesman: “Recording and sharing CCTV images of any identifiable individuals needs to be done in line with data protection laws.

“Particular care needs to be taken when processing the personal data of children, and data protection law emphasises that they need specific protection.”