Yarmouth man fears traffic camera peering into his home
PUBLISHED: 09:37 09 September 2011 | UPDATED: 09:40 09 September 2011
A GREAT Yarmouth man fears his privacy is being invaded by a traffic monitoring camera which is pointed directly at his home.
Bob Stimpson, 63, said he regularly looked out of the window of his St George’s Road home to see the black lens of the camera, operated by Norfolk County Council, looking at him instead of focusing on the road.
The social learning teacher said he could not understand why the CCTV, positioned yards from his front door on the corner of Trafalgar Road and Alexandra Road, seemed to be focusing on his house.
Mr Stimpson said he had called up the borough and county councils and police to find out why the camera was pointing at his home, but he claimed all three bodies had initially passed the buck as to who was responsible.
He said the county council eventually told him the camera was there to monitor traffic and was not filming his home, but exacerbated his fears by refusing to allow him to see the footage to check.
Mr Stimpson told the Mercury: “I feel like my privacy is being invaded and I am thoroughly annoyed. Everybody seems to be passing the buck. I don’t know what is technically going on behind that camera.”
However, Graham Samways, a senior engineer with the county council’s intelligent transport system, said the camera had been programmed with “black-out” areas so it could not film areas it should not be filming, such as neighbouring properties.
He said the camera may have been left pointing towards Mr Stimpson’s home by mistake after a member of the council’s Urban Traffic Control had finished operating it.
He added no footage from the camera, one of four responsible for monitoring the traffic in Yarmouth, was recorded or used in legal cases.
Traffic signals generally run on an automated basis, but there are occasions, especially during roadworks where the system can not cope with the volume of traffic.
Mr Samways said only at these times would the team in the council’s control room watch the cameras and operate the signals manually to ensure traffic flowed smoothly.
“There is nothing to be gained from recording the properties. We can’t see it in the first place and we can’t record it anyway,” he added.