Bar boss defends broadcasting TV images live from toilets into pub

Bar boss defends broadcasting TV images live from toilets for the entire pub to see saying it stops drug dealers

  • Customer accused Showtime bar of broadcasting images from toilets in the pub
  • Images show Huddersfield sports bar restrooms with TV screens overhead
  • Owner Ian Snowball claimed CCTV was ‘safety net’ to protect against ‘drug dealing and drug taking’

A popular bar has been accused of broadcasting footage of its toilets on TVs for the whole pub to see.

Showtime sports bar in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, has come under fire from one disgruntled customer for its methods.

Images taken from inside the venue show screens underneath the ‘Restrooms’ sign which appear to have live feeds of inside the ladies’ and gents’ bathrooms.

But management at the bar say they are ‘immensely proud’ of their safety and security systems, which they claim are designed to catch ‘drug dealers’ and overcrowding.

A disgruntled customer has accused Showtime sports bar in Huddersfield, West Yorks, of broadcasting images from inside the gents’ and ladies’ toilets on screens for the entire pub to see

The unhappy punter contacted a local paper to complain about the bar, which is opposite the University of Huddersfield.

‘I have noticed something that I felt was rather alarming that you may or may not choose to make your readers aware of,’ he told The Examiner.

‘The image I have taken Saturday teatime shows the owners of the premises are recording footage of both the gents’ and ladies’ toilets and, what’s more, then broadcasting it live to the whole pub via a TV above the toilet entrances.

‘Personally, I feel that this is a severe breach of privacy, and everyone that I have spoken to since witnessing this is of the same opinion and cannot believe that it is allowed to happen.’

Ian Snowball, who runs the bar with his son Adam, said: ‘In regards to toilets, ordinarily these are places where drug dealing and drug taking is prevalent, as a venue operator you can then elect to either bury your head in the sand or do something about it.

Ian Snowball, who runs the bar with his son Adam, claimed the CCTV was a ‘safety net’ to protect against ‘drug dealing and drug taking’

‘We are a proactive venue so meet challenges like this head-on.

‘We are also looking to attract families with children and during the Covid era, we were obliged to manage the toilets to ensure that they did not become overcrowded.

‘The CCTV system provides a safety net for the young and vulnerable, in addition to working towards compliance with Covid legislation and safety.

‘Because of our systems, we have quickly found drug dealers and the occasional male going into the ladies, and on each occasion, we have been able to catch and ban them permanently with the use of our facial recognition system.

‘We are immensely proud of our safety and security systems, in addition to which, most of our guests also appreciate and respect the way we run our venue in regards to safety.

‘Equally, we acknowledge our practices and principles will not meet with the approval of everyone but again, as can be seen from this response, we do listen and pay attention to what everyone says, even if, at the end of the day, we do not agree.’

Adam added: ‘The fact that we have cameras and screens is on our website home page – it’s no secret.

‘Pictures are not taken. A 3D image of a face is captured and entered onto the database, along with a time and date.

‘Environmental health officers were adamant about toilets capacity during covid restrictions and customers and staff have no realistic way of ensuring this capacity is not exceeded – our solution being the only real-world solution that worked.

‘Only myself, the designated premises supervisor and data controller, have access to this CCTV system and provide footage to the relevant authorities as and when requested.’ 

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