The ArgusSecurity guards to use tiny cameras on university campus (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Security guards to use tiny cameras on university campus

The Argus: The University of Sussex student protests in November last year The University of Sussex student protests in November last year

Private security guards will be able to use James Bond-style miniature cameras under a new security agreement with university bosses.

The University of Sussex's new agreement with contractors Interserve allows security staff to wear a "continuously-recording video camera" on their lapel.

The permitted use of the mini cameras has been revealed following a successful challenge of Freedom of Information rules by student Gabriel Webber after the university initially refused to release the details.

University officials defended the use of the cameras claiming they were installed for the safety of security guards employed by external contractors Interserve.

Mr Webber challenged the university’s decision not to release more than 100 pages of their contract with catering firm Compass and security provider Interserve.

The Information Commissioner agreed with Mr Webber that the majority of the information should be released to the public.

The papers also revealed that the university’s lawyers negotiated a term in the contract that Interserve would take all “reasonable steps to prevent any protests and demonstrations” taking place on the premises.

Mr Webber claims this is in conflict with assurances by the university’s head of security Roger Morgan that students were given the opportunity to hold peaceful demonstrations and marches.

The politics and international relations student said the tactics employed by the security firm on behalf of the university were “disproportionate” and “two-faced”.

He added: “The lapel cameras, although not shocking, is still outrageous, but what is worse is that they are contracting a group to stop protest on campus when they had said publically that peaceful protest was allowed.

“The decision not to release the information was a deliberate act to stop people finding out this information, which was buried in lines and lines of this contract.”

A university spokesman said while the university takes its obligations under Freedom of Information legislation “very seriously” and always “strive to fully comply”, the law is “complex and evolving” and in this case there was a delay while the Information Commissioner determined what information was protected by commercial confidentiality.

He added: “Use of body cameras for security staff aids their personal security, especially when they are working alone, and is a best practice approach.

“Protests have not been banned on campus and nor have staff been instructed to prevent protests.

“But last year some protests were accompanied with physical attacks on staff, theft of money and possessions and extensive damage to property.

“Such behaviour is completely unacceptable and we have tasked our security staff to ensure that there is not a repeat of it.”

This article has been amended. The Argus is happy to clarify that the lapel cameras have not been used on campus yet.

A University of Sussex spokesman told The Argus this morning that security guards on campus are not currently using body-worn cameras.

This is something that was written into the contract with Interserve but has not yet been implemented as Interserve only took over responsibility for security in January.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:37am Wed 16 Apr 14

TIMBURRY says...

Surely the whole idea of protesting is to got your message across to the people, what better than on film and footage the better for both sides. After all it was peaceful.
Surely the whole idea of protesting is to got your message across to the people, what better than on film and footage the better for both sides. After all it was peaceful. TIMBURRY
  • Score: 5

9:13am Wed 16 Apr 14

JerryOnly says...

Hang on hang on. Lawyers negotiated terms in the security firm's contracts, which are:

"Interserve would take all “reasonable steps to prevent any protests and demonstrations” taking place on the premises."

Yet a spokesman said:

“Protests have not been banned on campus and nor have staff been instructed to prevent protests."

Therefore, your spokesman is a liar. Who is he representing? Is it his own lie or the official position the university is taking?
Hang on hang on. Lawyers negotiated terms in the security firm's contracts, which are: "Interserve would take all “reasonable steps to prevent any protests and demonstrations” taking place on the premises." Yet a spokesman said: “Protests have not been banned on campus and nor have staff been instructed to prevent protests." Therefore, your spokesman is a liar. Who is he representing? Is it his own lie or the official position the university is taking? JerryOnly
  • Score: 11

9:29am Wed 16 Apr 14

pachallis says...

JerryOnly wrote:
Hang on hang on. Lawyers negotiated terms in the security firm's contracts, which are:

"Interserve would take all “reasonable steps to prevent any protests and demonstrations” taking place on the premises."

Yet a spokesman said:

“Protests have not been banned on campus and nor have staff been instructed to prevent protests."

Therefore, your spokesman is a liar. Who is he representing? Is it his own lie or the official position the university is taking?
@JerryOnly - I don't see lies - IMHO it mean students can protest (peacefully) on campus but they cannot on the physical premise (i.e. they can't stop students who actually want to study from doing so).

But if you are looking for lies?
[quote][p][bold]JerryOnly[/bold] wrote: Hang on hang on. Lawyers negotiated terms in the security firm's contracts, which are: "Interserve would take all “reasonable steps to prevent any protests and demonstrations” taking place on the premises." Yet a spokesman said: “Protests have not been banned on campus and nor have staff been instructed to prevent protests." Therefore, your spokesman is a liar. Who is he representing? Is it his own lie or the official position the university is taking?[/p][/quote]@JerryOnly - I don't see lies - IMHO it mean students can protest (peacefully) on campus but they cannot on the physical premise (i.e. they can't stop students who actually want to study from doing so). But if you are looking for lies? pachallis
  • Score: -5

10:01am Wed 16 Apr 14

JerryOnly says...

That's not what the quotes say. Whatever your opinion and interpretation, the actual raw facts are in the above statements.

But if you're on the payroll, who knows what you'll ignore?
That's not what the quotes say. Whatever your opinion and interpretation, the actual raw facts are in the above statements. But if you're on the payroll, who knows what you'll ignore? JerryOnly
  • Score: 4

10:31am Wed 16 Apr 14

Gabrielquotes says...

pachallis wrote:
JerryOnly wrote:
Hang on hang on. Lawyers negotiated terms in the security firm's contracts, which are:

"Interserve would take all “reasonable steps to prevent any protests and demonstrations” taking place on the premises."

Yet a spokesman said:

“Protests have not been banned on campus and nor have staff been instructed to prevent protests."

Therefore, your spokesman is a liar. Who is he representing? Is it his own lie or the official position the university is taking?
@JerryOnly - I don't see lies - IMHO it mean students can protest (peacefully) on campus but they cannot on the physical premise (i.e. they can't stop students who actually want to study from doing so).

But if you are looking for lies?
No, there is a lie. The contract says that students cannot protest on campus, because Interserve are required to prevent "any protest", not just violent protests. The phrase 'any protest' includes peaceful protest, just like the phrase 'any shoes' includes yellow shoes. Peaceful protest is banned too, ergo the University spokesperson told a fib.

More revelations from my FOI request into the contracts can be found here: http://gabrielquotes
.org.uk/2014/04/14/p
esach-5774/#contract
s
[quote][p][bold]pachallis[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JerryOnly[/bold] wrote: Hang on hang on. Lawyers negotiated terms in the security firm's contracts, which are: "Interserve would take all “reasonable steps to prevent any protests and demonstrations” taking place on the premises." Yet a spokesman said: “Protests have not been banned on campus and nor have staff been instructed to prevent protests." Therefore, your spokesman is a liar. Who is he representing? Is it his own lie or the official position the university is taking?[/p][/quote]@JerryOnly - I don't see lies - IMHO it mean students can protest (peacefully) on campus but they cannot on the physical premise (i.e. they can't stop students who actually want to study from doing so). But if you are looking for lies?[/p][/quote]No, there is a lie. The contract says that students cannot protest on campus, because Interserve are required to prevent "any protest", not just violent protests. The phrase 'any protest' includes peaceful protest, just like the phrase 'any shoes' includes yellow shoes. Peaceful protest is banned too, ergo the University spokesperson told a fib. More revelations from my FOI request into the contracts can be found here: http://gabrielquotes .org.uk/2014/04/14/p esach-5774/#contract s Gabrielquotes
  • Score: 5

11:31am Wed 16 Apr 14

pachallis says...

I see my earlier posting that received many positive votes has been deleted - I assume because someone disagrees with the sentiments so I'll repost it now:

Perhaps Gabriel (Liberal Jew, blogger, Sussex Uni irritant according to his twitter feed) shouldn't be so worried about protesting students being videoed demonstrating?

Shouldn't they clearly identify themselves and be accountable for their actions? After all, if they are protesting peacefully what have they got to be afraid of by being videoed?

@JerryOnly - I am not 'on the payroll' - I am a rate-paying tax-paying resident who unfortunately was unable to go to uni - not because I didn't have sufficient qualifications,- but because my family could not afford it and I had to go straight into a job after A levels.

I am therefore envious of those that do go to university, and I think those that do should use the 3-4-7 years productively to develop skills and knowledge they can use in later life.

I have no sympathy for those that treat it as 'a laugh' or use time time to be a political irritant. If you had to really fund your degree courses yourselves rather than having a rich parents to pay for it, or just assume you can be subsidized by the state after leaving, then you might concentrate on your studies.

@Gabrielquotes - I assume you are the Gabriel mentioned in the article. I do love it when someone mentioned in an article feels they have to follow on and re-express their sentiments. No - you've been quoted - you got your glory - now the chance of others to express their views!

IMHO you have only have the right to peaceful protest. If you did so then I wouldn't see any problems from the uni or the security staff. As it is you 'irritants' think you have the right to attack people and damage property because you are 'in the right'.

I think you should grow up, get rid of the 'chips on your shoulders'; get back to studying; and leave the university to run things.

You are so lucky being able to be at university!
I see my earlier posting that received many positive votes has been deleted - I assume because someone disagrees with the sentiments so I'll repost it now: Perhaps Gabriel (Liberal Jew, blogger, Sussex Uni irritant according to his twitter feed) shouldn't be so worried about protesting students being videoed demonstrating? Shouldn't they clearly identify themselves and be accountable for their actions? After all, if they are protesting peacefully what have they got to be afraid of by being videoed? @JerryOnly - I am not 'on the payroll' - I am a rate-paying tax-paying resident who unfortunately was unable to go to uni - not because I didn't have sufficient qualifications,- but because my family could not afford it and I had to go straight into a job after A levels. I am therefore envious of those that do go to university, and I think those that do should use the 3-4-7 years productively to develop skills and knowledge they can use in later life. I have no sympathy for those that treat it as 'a laugh' or use time time to be a political irritant. If you had to really fund your degree courses yourselves rather than having a rich parents to pay for it, or just assume you can be subsidized by the state after leaving, then you might concentrate on your studies. @Gabrielquotes - I assume you are the Gabriel mentioned in the article. I do love it when someone mentioned in an article feels they have to follow on and re-express their sentiments. No - you've been quoted - you got your glory - now the chance of others to express their views! IMHO you have only have the right to peaceful protest. If you did so then I wouldn't see any problems from the uni or the security staff. As it is you 'irritants' think you have the right to attack people and damage property because you are 'in the right'. I think you should grow up, get rid of the 'chips on your shoulders'; get back to studying; and leave the university to run things. You are so lucky being able to be at university! pachallis
  • Score: -18

12:58pm Wed 16 Apr 14

mhaiti says...

pachallis wrote:
I see my earlier posting that received many positive votes has been deleted - I assume because someone disagrees with the sentiments so I'll repost it now: Perhaps Gabriel (Liberal Jew, blogger, Sussex Uni irritant according to his twitter feed) shouldn't be so worried about protesting students being videoed demonstrating? Shouldn't they clearly identify themselves and be accountable for their actions? After all, if they are protesting peacefully what have they got to be afraid of by being videoed? @JerryOnly - I am not 'on the payroll' - I am a rate-paying tax-paying resident who unfortunately was unable to go to uni - not because I didn't have sufficient qualifications,- but because my family could not afford it and I had to go straight into a job after A levels. I am therefore envious of those that do go to university, and I think those that do should use the 3-4-7 years productively to develop skills and knowledge they can use in later life. I have no sympathy for those that treat it as 'a laugh' or use time time to be a political irritant. If you had to really fund your degree courses yourselves rather than having a rich parents to pay for it, or just assume you can be subsidized by the state after leaving, then you might concentrate on your studies. @Gabrielquotes - I assume you are the Gabriel mentioned in the article. I do love it when someone mentioned in an article feels they have to follow on and re-express their sentiments. No - you've been quoted - you got your glory - now the chance of others to express their views! IMHO you have only have the right to peaceful protest. If you did so then I wouldn't see any problems from the uni or the security staff. As it is you 'irritants' think you have the right to attack people and damage property because you are 'in the right'. I think you should grow up, get rid of the 'chips on your shoulders'; get back to studying; and leave the university to run things. You are so lucky being able to be at university!
That's a strange statement. I and pretty much everyone I know who went to uni were self funded - no money from families. Yes we got student loans, but by and large those are paid off now. We worked while at university as that's how we were able to afford to study. Sorry your circumstances didn't allow you to go, but from my experience very few students were funded by their family.

My view is that the issue is the Uni spokesman's statement directly contradicts a contractual agreement between the Uni and the private security firm.

Also, if I was filmed covertly I would want to know what was done with that film; was it stored somewhere? how long for? will it be shared with anyone else? Nothing to do with having anything to hide, I am just concerned with the whole, 'accept the fact that we're filming you / bugging your phone / checking your emails as we're only after the bad guys' line that big organisations and governments seem to be using at the moment.

The fact that they didn't share this information or the clause in the contract regarding protest smacks of a cover up. As you're all for transparency, "Shouldn't they clearly identify themselves and be accountable for their actions?", how do you explain the university keeping this secret until challenged. You could almost say that if the university had a fair and non biased contract in place then why wouldn't they make it public sooner...
[quote][p][bold]pachallis[/bold] wrote: I see my earlier posting that received many positive votes has been deleted - I assume because someone disagrees with the sentiments so I'll repost it now: Perhaps Gabriel (Liberal Jew, blogger, Sussex Uni irritant according to his twitter feed) shouldn't be so worried about protesting students being videoed demonstrating? Shouldn't they clearly identify themselves and be accountable for their actions? After all, if they are protesting peacefully what have they got to be afraid of by being videoed? @JerryOnly - I am not 'on the payroll' - I am a rate-paying tax-paying resident who unfortunately was unable to go to uni - not because I didn't have sufficient qualifications,- but because my family could not afford it and I had to go straight into a job after A levels. I am therefore envious of those that do go to university, and I think those that do should use the 3-4-7 years productively to develop skills and knowledge they can use in later life. I have no sympathy for those that treat it as 'a laugh' or use time time to be a political irritant. If you had to really fund your degree courses yourselves rather than having a rich parents to pay for it, or just assume you can be subsidized by the state after leaving, then you might concentrate on your studies. @Gabrielquotes - I assume you are the Gabriel mentioned in the article. I do love it when someone mentioned in an article feels they have to follow on and re-express their sentiments. No - you've been quoted - you got your glory - now the chance of others to express their views! IMHO you have only have the right to peaceful protest. If you did so then I wouldn't see any problems from the uni or the security staff. As it is you 'irritants' think you have the right to attack people and damage property because you are 'in the right'. I think you should grow up, get rid of the 'chips on your shoulders'; get back to studying; and leave the university to run things. You are so lucky being able to be at university![/p][/quote]That's a strange statement. I and pretty much everyone I know who went to uni were self funded - no money from families. Yes we got student loans, but by and large those are paid off now. We worked while at university as that's how we were able to afford to study. Sorry your circumstances didn't allow you to go, but from my experience very few students were funded by their family. My view is that the issue is the Uni spokesman's statement directly contradicts a contractual agreement between the Uni and the private security firm. Also, if I was filmed covertly I would want to know what was done with that film; was it stored somewhere? how long for? will it be shared with anyone else? Nothing to do with having anything to hide, I am just concerned with the whole, 'accept the fact that we're filming you / bugging your phone / checking your emails as we're only after the bad guys' line that big organisations and governments seem to be using at the moment. The fact that they didn't share this information or the clause in the contract regarding protest smacks of a cover up. As you're all for transparency, "Shouldn't they clearly identify themselves and be accountable for their actions?", how do you explain the university keeping this secret until challenged. You could almost say that if the university had a fair and non biased contract in place then why wouldn't they make it public sooner... mhaiti
  • Score: 4

1:16pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Fairfax Aches says...

Students need a jolly good wash and a cuff round the ears to boot. Clear off back to your studies, or get a real job!
Students need a jolly good wash and a cuff round the ears to boot. Clear off back to your studies, or get a real job! Fairfax Aches
  • Score: -2

1:34pm Wed 16 Apr 14

pachallis says...

@mhaiti - thanks for your response.

I wish my offspring had gone to uni without financial support from me!

I'm actually not worried if anyone videos me covertly or blatantly or what happens with the images. If I am doing anything illegal or being violent or damaging property then I deserve everything.

Personally I am not even worried if anyone reads my emails,or taps my phone line, or follows my twitter feed. It would probably be mostly extremely boring (i.e. me doing the shopping in Tescos), or it would be something that I felt strongly about and would stand by (i.e. my comments here).

If someone is so embarrassed by what they've done or are fearful of prosecution (i.e. being violent or damaging property), then I can understand their concern.
@mhaiti - thanks for your response. I wish my offspring had gone to uni without financial support from me! I'm actually not worried if anyone videos me covertly or blatantly or what happens with the images. If I am doing anything illegal or being violent or damaging property then I deserve everything. Personally I am not even worried if anyone reads my emails,or taps my phone line, or follows my twitter feed. It would probably be mostly extremely boring (i.e. me doing the shopping in Tescos), or it would be something that I felt strongly about and would stand by (i.e. my comments here). If someone is so embarrassed by what they've done or are fearful of prosecution (i.e. being violent or damaging property), then I can understand their concern. pachallis
  • Score: -5

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree