Hidden infra-red spy cameras found in Ikea toilets – and they've been there for 6 YEARS

IKEA has removed cameras staff found ‘hidden’ in toilets.

The CCTV was found behind ceiling panels in both the mens’ and womens’ loos at its distribution centre, in Peterborough, Cambs.

And when staff confronted bosses at the furniture giant they admitted the lenses had been there since 2015.

A member of staff reported noticing an infra-red light through a gap in the panels when the lights were switched off. A number of cameras were then uncovered by staff.

Staff claim the cameras were allegedly installed in 2015 to help Ikea combat rumoured drug-taking among some staff.

Footage has been retrieved from hard-drives and handed to third party investigators at the Swedish firm’s distribution centre in Peterborough, Cambs.

If Ikea is found to have invaded staff privacy they will "hand themselves over to the authorities", staff were told.

Staff were so outraged by the discovery some members quit their jobs.

Ex-employee Shannon Bodily, who left the company in July, said she felt "violated" by their presence.

The former staff member  said: "I feel vulnerable, I feel violated" 

She added: "If I find out I'm on that footage I feel it will affect me an awful lot. It's already affected me.

"I would like them [Ikea] to be prosecuted.

"They can't get away with this – it's not fair and it's an invasion of your privacy in the workplace."

Another female employee of three years was so shocked that she immediately quit her job.

The mum, who is in her 20s, told The Sun: "I had worked there happily but I am so knocked by what has happened that I can't step foot in there again.

"This goes against Ikea promoting itself as a caring employee. Now Ikea's guilty of a terrible breach of personal privacy.

“The thought of being secretly filmed while going about your personal business is sickening.

"I couldn't continue there knowing I had to face bosses who may have been watching footage of me using the toilet.

"Everyone I know who works there is disgusted and outraged.”

Another source told The Sun: “Everyone is in shock.

“Staff have been offered counselling. A number of Muslim women were in tears.

“No-one can believe this has been going on.

“We were told in emotional briefings that they were trying to clamp down on any cheating in drug testing of the workforce.

“But what on earth was the firm thinking. It is a scandal.”

Workers were last night (Tues) said to be considering taking legal action.

In June, a court ordered Ikea to pay a fine of £860,000 after being found guilty of spying on staff in France.

Ikea France was accused of using private detectives and police officers to collect staff's private data.

This included illegally accessing their criminal records in order to vet applicants for jobs.

The Ingka group – which owns most of Ikea's stores around the world – apologised and condemned the practices.

According to data protection laws, CCTV cameras should only be used in ‘exceptional circumstances’ in areas where you would normally expect privacy, such as in changing rooms or toilets.

An Ikea Spokesperson said:  “We take the protection of our co-workers’ safety and privacy very seriously.

“In 2015, for the purpose of maintaining a safe workplace for all co-workers, surveillance cameras were installed in the void above the ceilings in the bathrooms and locker areas, and in the corridors outside of these rooms at the Peterborough Distribution Centre.

“Investigations into this issue are ongoing and we are working hard to remove the cameras as a matter of priority.

“We understand the discovery of these cameras may be concerning, and during this time we are offering support to co-workers on-site.”

Independent data watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, said it had not received any complaints about the issue.

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