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Swindon Town stadium toilet CCTV is blurred, club say

CCTV is a part of modern life, particularly in football grounds. Cameras are used to keep us safe, and in stadiums it is vital to keep track of crowd flow and density.

Despite that, sometimes it feels like the only place in public that you’re not being filmed is when you’re in the toilet. But at the County Ground, home of Swindon Town, female supporters are fearful that they are being recorded in the toilet as well.

ICONSPORT 154572 0055
The County Ground opened in 1892, but Swindon have come under fire recently for the placement of its CCTV cameras. Photo by Icon Sport

Are Swindon Town filming fans in the toilet?

Supporters using the female toilet cubicles in the away section of the Arkell’s John Trollope Stand at the County Ground have recently spotted a CCTV camera above the cubicles which appears to be filming them while they make use of the facilities.

Swindon Town have been quick to respond to the criticism, stating that the camera is fitted with a motion blur which means that those using the cubicles are blurred out and nothing is visible to whoever watches the footage.

The camera’s field of view extends beyond the cubicles and is positioned to get the best possible of the whole concourse. The location of these cameras has been approved by the EFL.

However, there is currently no sign telling supporters that the camera is not filming them, nor explaining its positioning directly above the cubicle.

What have supporters said?

AFC Wimbledon fan Sharon Armfield told the BBC that she was in the cubicle and glanced up, spotting the camera seemingly pointing at her.

“If I can see the camera from where I am sat on the toilet, can the camera see me?” she thought. “I know they have cameras in public areas but I was worried about safeguarding issues with kids at the ground.”

“If there had been a sign to say this camera is not pointing into the female toilets I wouldn't have been worried but there were no signs to say this,” she continued. “This information needed to be communicated before people asked the question.”

Anna Tuersley, a Swindon Town supporter, echoed Armfield’s point, saying: “It's all about context. These cameras are on the concourse to protect fans but the club needs to communicate this.”

What have Swindon Town said?

A spokesperson for the club said: “CCTV cameras are installed at the County Ground to conform with the Guide to Safety at Sport Grounds recommendations as they are an integral part of the risk-based safety and security management systems to keep fans safe when attending matches.”

“There is also a requirement to conform to data protection and safeguarding legislation. The cameras themselves have been installed in the same position for a number of years and they have been recently upgraded.”

Nonetheless, the club have said that it will review the placement of the cameras, and put up signs ahead of the next fixture to make fans aware of the cameras, and inform them they are not being filmed.


Jamie Barton

A freelance football writer and podcaster, Jamie has appeared on/in the BBC World Service, PA Media, Charlton Athletic FC and Empire of the Kop, among others. He's attended matches all around the world, from Tranmere to Tokyo, and once had his bus home from the 2022 Champions League final in Paris delayed by 28 hours.

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