An employee at an aquatics center was arrested after a camera was found in the changing area for lifeguards at the facility. Upon further investigation, the police discovered the camera was synced to the employee’s phone and was used to film an underage lifeguard changing her clothes. Video footage showed that the employee placed the camera specifically to capture the lifeguard changing. The employee’s phone was found to have other images of child pornography on it when the police searched it.
Unfortunately, these types of incidents happen more frequently than most people would think. Organizations that have areas where employees, members, or the public change clothes must be vigilant in making sure privacy is maintained. Issues with voyeurism can hurt an organization’s reputation and result in costly litigation.
One important way to keep everyone at the organization safe is to perform background checks on employees and sex offender checks on members of the organization. The employee in this story had a clean background check so these checks are not substitutes for supervision. They can, however, be the first step in keeping predators out of the building. Background and sex offender checks should be done regularly in order to catch any new charges or offenses that may occur during the course of employment or membership at the organization.
These crimes happen because predators have the access and ability to place a camera somewhere it shouldn’t be. By actively supervising vulnerable areas, such as locker rooms and changing areas, some of the opportunity to commit these crimes goes away. Have staff members regularly walk through locker rooms to check for any suspicious activity. Maintenance staff should do a thorough sweep each night to check for cameras or any other illicit items. Rotate the staff members who perform these sweeps to provide accountability for employees. In this story, staff members found the camera before the employee had a chance to remove it and this facilitated his quick capture by police.