Female swimmers fear nude footage of themselves could be posted on the internet after Tooting Leisure Centre installed CCTV cameras in the ladies' changing rooms without warning.

Human rights groups have branded the cameras, which are intended to catch thieves, a violation of privacy and have urged the Government to clamp down on surveillance.

Management say the cameras only point at the lockers, but could not explain how they would avoid picking up footage of women strolling to get their clothes in a state of undress.

Dorota Sharma, a 45-year-old IT manager, said: “It worries me that an image of myself undressing could be viewed by someone.

“If such a thing is collected anyone with a little bit of technical knowledge could access it. It very quickly could be on YouTube or Facebook. I find it very offensive.”

On Thursday our reporter counted a total of four cameras in the female changing rooms and four in the pool-side private cubicle area.

It is understood some of the cameras have been there for two weeks but this week there were no signs to inform the public.

Installing CCTV in changing rooms and toilets is not illegal, but Government guidelines state it should only be in “exceptional circumstances” and that those filmed should be made aware.

Anita Coles, policy officer at Liberty, said: “This disturbing development undermines human dignity and personal privacy – it also highlights the urgent need for Government to regulate the use of CCTV.”

Leisure centre manager Tracy McNeela said there was “no question” of people being filmed dressing and said the move came in response to customer feedback.

She added: “The cameras only cover the lockers, they cannot be moved and cannot physically capture images of areas where people get changed.

"The cameras are not monitored in any way and images are only accessed by the manager if a locker is broken into or at the request of the police.”

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