GYM-goers in Kidderminster have raised concerns about their privacy after CCTV was installed in a male changing room to battle vandals.
24/7 Fitness, in Foley Grove, installed the camera on to the ceiling of their male changing room as a "last resort" to try and deter people from damaging the facility including flooding it.
Gym staff have reassured members the camera only points at the room's entrance and the sinks and denied there were any privacy issues.
A user of the gym, who did not want to be named, however, told The Shuttle: “It’s completely disgusting and the only notice they have in effect is a small A4 poster in the changing rooms which is mainly covered by advertisements.
“I have spoken to staff and they tell me that they have every right to do this due to ongoing criminal damage."
Kailee Hurdiss, UK business development manager for 24/7 Fitness, said: “There is no privacy issue as the camera doesn’t show anything in the toilets or most of the changing room - it’s just the entrance to the room and the sinks which are filmed.
“The camera is in place as there have been four major cases of damage.
“People have flooded the room by blocking the sinks, as well as damaging the tiling and paintwork on the walls.
“It has cost hundreds of pounds to put the damage right and has taken many hours of tidying and fixing up the rooms.”
The gym’s sign, placed on the wall next to where the CCTV camera is situated, reads: “Warning CCTV is installed in this area.
“This is justifiable on the basis continual criminal damage to our property and the continual cost of repairing such damage.
“If you have any issues please speak to a member of staff.”
Mrs Hurdiss added: “We considered the damage to the changing room to be a serious concern and we are within the law to have the camera placed there.”
According to the Information Commissioner’s Office: “CCTV should only be used in exceptional circumstances in areas where you normally expect privacy - such as in changing rooms or toilets.
“It should only be used to deal with very serious concerns and the operator should make extra effort to ensure that you are aware that cameras are in use.
“The signs must be clearly visible and readable, and should include the details of the organisation operating the system if not obvious.”