Biddulph Swimming Club Stoke on Trent
Don’t use mobile phones in the changing areas! A growing number of incidents involving inappropriate or illegal photography of children in changing and shower areas of many sports and leisure facilities are being reported.  This includes complaints from other users of the Biddulph leisure centre.  Both girls and boys have been reported for using their phones whilst in the changing room.  This must stop now! Other adult / child users of the leisure centre do not feel comfortable using the changing facilities whilst the mobile devices are being used, they do not wish to be in the background of photographs that may be added to social media sites.  Whilst I understand that the photos / videos are more than likely friends/children being silly and messing around, with absolutely no malice intended at all, this is not necessarily a view shared by other members of the public. What are the risks? Some incidents clearly involve an individual with bad intent deliberately targeting a vulnerable child to take and misuse images. These images may be uploaded to social media or shared with other likeminded individuals or groups motivated by sexual interest. Taking and sharing images like this may form part of wider bullying of the targeted young person by other young people, motivated more by a wish to cause humiliation and embarrassment. Even in the context of a shared joke among friends, without abusive intent, a young person taking and sharing inappropriate images may be committing a serious offence and risk criminal prosecution. There is also a risk of including a member of the public in the photo and sharing this to social media without their consent and thus causing embarrassment. Minimising the risks Many facility operators have put in place policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of such incidents taking place. These almost always include imposing a ban on photography of any form in these areas of the facility (regardless of rules that apply in other areas). Such bans cover participants, spectators, all staff and volunteers. It can be difficult to be sure whether someone using a mobile phone is actually taking photos or videoing their environment. In order to further deter photography in changing and shower areas, some operators have banned the use of mobiles and other equipment capable of taking images altogether from these areas. It’s important that all users, staff and volunteers within the facility understand the operator’s stance on photography. For instance, policies can be communicated through clear signage and posters. All swimmers at Biddulph Amateur swimming club have been made aware, several times, that mobile phones are not allowed to be used in the changing rooms.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  We understand that mobile phones are needed for children to get hold of parents at the end of sessions etc… so we do not want to ban them completely but we must stress that they MUST NOT BE USED IN THE CHANGING ROOMS. Responding to concerns Everyone should be made aware of what they should do if they have concerns about the behaviour of any other person in this context.  In the case of Biddulph swimming club, if you have any concerns you must report this to the welfare officers, Lucy Siddorn 07717477350 or Chris Thomas.  If anyone is suspected of taking images of children (or adults) in a state of undress, the facility manager or safeguarding lead should be informed immediately and the police consulted. For more information – see Wavepower page 59
 Biddulph ASC 2017
Biddulph Swimming Club Stoke on Trent
 Biddulph ASC 2017
Don’t use mobile phones in the changing areas! A growing number of incidents involving inappropriate or illegal photography of children in changing and shower areas of many sports and leisure facilities are being reported.  This includes complaints from other users of the Biddulph leisure centre.  Both girls and boys have been reported for using their phones whilst in the changing room.  This must stop now! Other adult / child users of the leisure centre do not feel comfortable using the changing facilities whilst the mobile devices are being used, they do not wish to be in the background of photographs that may be added to social media sites.  Whilst I understand that the photos / videos are more than likely friends/children being silly and messing around, with absolutely no malice intended at all, this is not necessarily a view shared by other members of the public. What are the risks? Some incidents clearly involve an individual with bad intent deliberately targeting a vulnerable child to take and misuse images. These images may be uploaded to social media or shared with other likeminded individuals or groups motivated by sexual interest. Taking and sharing images like this may form part of wider bullying of the targeted young person by other young people, motivated more by a wish to cause humiliation and embarrassment. Even in the context of a shared joke among friends, without abusive intent, a young person taking and sharing inappropriate images may be committing a serious offence and risk criminal prosecution. There is also a risk of including a member of the public in the photo and sharing this to social media without their consent and thus causing embarrassment. Minimising the risks Many facility operators have put in place policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of such incidents taking place. These almost always include imposing a ban on photography of any form in these areas of the facility (regardless of rules that apply in other areas). Such bans cover participants, spectators, all staff and volunteers. It can be difficult to be sure whether someone using a mobile phone is actually taking photos or videoing their environment. In order to further deter photography in changing and shower areas, some operators have banned the use of mobiles and other equipment capable of taking images altogether from these areas. It’s important that all users, staff and volunteers within the facility understand the operator’s stance on photography. For instance, policies can be communicated through clear signage and posters. All swimmers at Biddulph Amateur swimming club have been made aware, several times, that mobile phones are not allowed to be used in the changing rooms.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  We understand that mobile phones are needed for children to get hold of parents at the end of sessions etc… so we do not want to ban them completely but we must stress that they MUST NOT BE USED IN THE CHANGING ROOMS. Responding to concerns Everyone should be made aware of what they should do if they have concerns about the behaviour of any other person in this context.  In the case of Biddulph swimming club, if you have any concerns you must report this to the welfare officers, Lucy Siddorn 07717477350 or Chris Thomas.  If anyone is suspected of taking images of children (or adults) in a state of undress, the facility manager or safeguarding lead should be informed immediately and the police consulted. For more information – see Wavepower page 59