A sign prohibiting the use of recording devices is fixed to the front of every change room door at the aquatic centre.

Changes made in community centre after alleged voyeur caught in change room

Sweeps added under change room doors; community centre considering other security measures after alleged voyeur caught.

After learning about last week’s incident of alleged voyeurism at the community centre, I met with Laurie Donato, the City of Revelstoke’s director of parks and recreation, to ask her about security measures at the aquatic centre.

She told me the lifeguards conduct change room patrols every 30 minutes when they rotate positions. It was on one of those checks that the alleged voyeur was caught by a lifeguard, who asked not to be identified.

“She did a great job,” said Donato. “It was pretty big for her to catch him. Everybody was really disturbed that that happened. She was very calm, asked him for his phone. He gave her his phone and he followed her out to the front lobby area.”

Donato said they are looking to see if they should do more frequent sweeps of the change rooms.

“I don’t know if it’s realistic to do it every 15 minutes,” she said. “It makes it quite awkward for the guards. Every half hour is adequate but we have had that discussion if we need to do more frequent bathroom checks.”

She led me into the family change room where the man was found. She told me he was sliding a cell phone under the doors of a closed change room. The doors all have a small gap at the bottom that is only about an inch high; it is there to allow water from the showers to flow out. It looked almost impossible to sneak a cell phone under there, let alone take a picture, but Donato said it was still possible.

“You’d be shocked when you put your iPhone at how high up you can see.”

In response to the incident, “sweeps” were installed at the bottom of the doors to make the gap even smaller and prevent similar incidents.

Donato also pointed out that cellphones and other personal electronic devices are not allowed to be used inside the change rooms; there are signs on the door to each one saying so.

“I think everybody is more alert now and more aware of the use of these types of things in change room facilities,” she said. “If anyone feels uncomfortable, we encourage them to report it to us and we’ll follow up with it.”

 

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