The head of Cranbrook School has sent an apologetic letter to parents after it emerged the school had sanctioned the use of ‘illegal’ surveillance equipment following a spate of thefts.
Despite the cameras breaching the law by not being identified with the use of signs, the grammar’s headmaster Dr John Weeds claims they were only used for deterrence rather than to ‘entrap’ potential thieves.
In the letter, Dr Weeds explained that since the installation of the covert equipment there had been no further thefts this year.
However, the school denied the cameras recorded any criminal activity and said no police action had been taken against any suspected thieves.
The school denied any internal disciplinary measures had been taken or that the thefts were the work of pupils at the school.
In his letter Dr Weeds said: “… in response to a lengthy series of thefts last school year, the school upgraded its security equipment in a public corridor area.
“In doing so, it sought to act in the best interests of its students whose property and personal effects were seriously at risk.”
Dr Weeds said the thefts had included a number of valuable personal items from student bags and two desktop computers.
He added: “I am pleased to say that this issue has now been resolved and that there has been no repeat occurrence this year.
“There was no intention to conduct surveillance. Our aim in relation to CCTV and the like is always to deter potential thieves and not entrap.
“All cameras around the school and in boarding houses are now fully identified by signs. It is clear that some colleagues were upset by the school’s actions and I am sorry this was the case.”
The school confirmed the cameras in question have since been removed and there were no plans to reinstate them if further instances of theft were to occur.