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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 June, 2003, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Council bans camera phones
3G handset
Many new handsets can take photographs
Mobile phones that can take pictures have been banned from public children's areas in the Coleraine Borough Council area.

The council said the multimedia phones could be used by paedophiles to photograph children.

Leisure services director Jim Curry said the ban was being put in place to protect children.

It follows similar decisions by other councils across Northern Ireland.

Mr Curry stressed that parents would not be prevented from taking pictures at birthday parties held on council property.

He said: "The banning of the mobile is not in any reaction to any incident that happened at any of the facilities.

"The mobile phones and digital cameras and video cameras can present problems in certain areas of leisure centres, particularly where they have access straight onto the internet.
I think it is right and proper that we should look at how we should protect and safeguard our children
Teresa Devlin
NSPCC

"The council decided to review its policies and ban those phones and cameras in certain areas of those facilities."

A spokeswoman for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children praised the council's decision.

Teresa Devlin said: "I think it is right and proper that we should look at how we should protect and safeguard our children. We offer guidlines to anyone in leisure facilities through our child protection unit. Our view is that, if you have guidelines in place, hopefully that would prevent abuse.

"Our view is that, if you have guidelines in place, hopefully that would prevent abuse."

As the camera phones become more popular, local authorities and some businesses are starting to restrict the places they can be used.

All camera phones allow images to be sent to other phones, copied to a website or e-mailed to others.


SEE ALSO:
Phones banned from pools
03 Jun 03  |  Europe
Paedophile fear prompts phone ban
20 May 03  |  Manchester
Furtive phone photography spurs ban
04 Apr 03  |  Technology


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