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Simple NQ's Toilet Camera YouTube Shock

Youtube sensation is a Simple misunderstanding, spokesperson says, it was a dummy camera

Published on June 25th 2012.

Simple NQ's Toilet Camera YouTube Shock

CAMERAS in the toilets.


A pubic inconvenience in the most private place of all.

Especially in the cubicles.

But that’s what curious customer Cristian Chesha thought he saw in the ceiling of Simple Bar on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter.

So he investigated.

And video-ed what he saw.

And then - this being 2012 - posted it on Youtube.

We installed a dummy camera in the toilets several years ago – we’ve been opened 11 years – because we had an issue with vandalism

He told Confidential about his reasons for filming it.

“I'm just naturally inquisitive. I looked up and saw what looked like two vents above the cubicle which struck me as odd. I could see something glinting behind the mesh on one, so I stood up to see what it was. I could see it looked like a lens, so I pushed the mesh back and exposed it properly. I was really surprised, so I headed out of the bathroom to wait for it to be empty (there was another guy in there at the time) before returning to take the video.”

He then beat a hasty retreat from Simple without speaking to the management and exposed them on the world wide web.

Simple NQ's toilet camera Youtube Shock 

Now it’s a sensation, a Twitter trending talk of the town.

Confidential talked to Simple Bar management.

A spokesperson said, “We installed a dummy camera in the toilets several years ago – we’ve been opened 11 years – because we had an issue with vandalism in which there was repeated tagging and graffiti in the cubicles. It was meant to act as a deterrent.

“We then did say in signage throughout the bar that there was CCTV in operation. The toilet camera wasn’t connected to anything there.”

The spokesperson couldn’t remember if the signage had expressly stated whether the CCTV was in the toilets.

We asked: "But why put up a camera to act as a deterrent when people couldn’t see it?”

The spokesperson said, “It was just part of the actions we took as part of a scheme to make it act as a deterrent. It was a long time ago.”

Simple NQ's toilet camera Youtube Shock 

The present manager of the bar didn't seem aware of the dummy camera's existence. 

Confidential had a brief delve into the legality of cameras placed in toilets.

It appears venues are allowed to put cameras in the smallest room but they have to follow strict procedures under the Data Protection Act. They must place notices that inform people using the toilets they are being filmed and they must justify their use.

Finally cameras may only be used in order to deal with serious concerns such as fights, vandalism or other illegal activities and they should not be able to record any sound. 

Anyway here’s the Youtube video. 

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35 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Richard HJJune 25th 2012.

Surely the point of a 'dummy' would be that it's visible. A well hidden 'dummy' that lies unnoticed for years really does defeat the object... Unconvinced.

StephJune 25th 2012.

None of this makes any sense. As Richard HJ said, what's the point of a dummy camera if it's hidden and if there was some signage relating to cameras then when it was taken down surely someone would have asked about the cameras.

I also don't get why someone would be inquisitive as to why there's a vent and a smoke detector in the cubicle, that's the norm in pretty much any toilet. Wonder if the person who filmed it had a bit of inside info?

1 Response: Reply To This...
SmudgeJune 25th 2012.

No, I can confirm he is just really nosey

Aaron CornishJune 25th 2012.

Why install a dummy camera that looks like anything other than a camera? Shouldn't imagine hidden 'dummy' cameras achieve an awful lot!

Richard HJJune 25th 2012.

Can you please change the headline to 'Urine Trouble'.

It would make my wee-k.

Charlie ButterworthJune 25th 2012.

Richard....you must be taking the piss

Private DickJune 25th 2012.

What about: 'One eyed monster found in gents'

Lynda Moyo shared this on Facebook on June 25th 2012.
Jaime GeeJune 25th 2012.

I think the only dummy here is Simple! Peeing myself at their ineptitude! Well, if I'm going to get filmed weeing I way as well do it for all to see!

SmudgeJune 25th 2012.

Yeah this smacks of BS. Given the attention it's getting on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and YouTube and the prevailing cynicism on most of those sites they'll have to do better than that.

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.

I think the choice of soundtrack should also be commended

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.

Erm were covert security cameras that small even widely available 11 years

1 Response: Reply To This...
JRawlyJune 25th 2012.

It doesn't say they were installed 11 years ago, just they have been open for 11 years.

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.

I take it someone's checked the rest of the cubicles?

Doesn't the story get stranger if only one cubicle has a camera (regardless of active or fake)?

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.

I don't think that Simple was even open 11 years ago because I worked at the Chapel Walks Simple in 2003/4 and it had just opened or was about to open. Porkies.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Charlie ButterworthJune 25th 2012.

It's the one in the Northern Quarter Anon....er read the story

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.

I know that's what I'm saying the worked in the Chapel Walks one and at the that time the NQ Simple was just opening :0)

Daniel CleggJune 25th 2012.

was it wired up?

Charlie ButterworthJune 25th 2012.

Daniel Clegg read the story...honestly you picture gazing illiterate types

1 Response: Reply To This...
Daniel CleggJune 25th 2012.

Charlie, Simple 'say' it was a dummy camera. If the guy recording the find hand given it a proper check, he would have been able to find out if it was a dummy or not, as dummy cameras are not wired up. Obviously it wont be wired up now, but my question still is, was it wired up before? Why else would they use such covert tactics as a hidden camera?

Rob DunnJune 25th 2012.

F*cking perverts!

HildarocksJune 25th 2012.

Great Guerrilla marketing 'Simple' ; ) best bit of WOM i've seen for ages 'it doesn't matter what they are saying...as long as they are talking about you' aye aye aye??

1 Response: Reply To This...
SmudgeJune 25th 2012.

Ha ha! You'd have to know Chesha to realise how brilliantly laughable that statement is.

Joshua BrookesJune 25th 2012.

Lol @ Charlie Butterworth

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.


These look good. I'd like to see one in action before i buy one though...

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.

Happening all over Manchester. This video just appeared from the toilets of Common... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h00wYizRMQ4

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.

Someone teach Common how to hold a camera whilst shooting video won'tcha.

Noeleen FletcherJune 25th 2012.

This is rediculous there has to be a 'simple' answer. This is success business, the directors and staff work hard to build a reputation why would they jepodise it. The business is one which has been established 11 years and is continuing to flourish in a recession.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 26th 2012.

That's why the second simple shut earlier this year then.

AnonymousJune 25th 2012.

“We then did say in signage throughout the bar that there was CCTV in operation. The toilet camera wasn’t connected to anything there.”

Erm...so the toilet camera wasn't connected to the CCTV covering the bar - that doesn't mean it wasn't connected to its own recording system.

AnonymousJune 26th 2012.

There is, of course, another possibility....

Some dodgy third party put it in there. It could easily be controlled over wifi and not part of simple's infrastructure at all.

AnonymousJune 27th 2012.

is this something the police should be investigating???

AnonymousJuly 1st 2012.

Walk into most public toilets and there are cameras. It's a sign of the times when certain sections of society are using them for "shooting up" or having sex. So long as they don't point towards urinals or cubicles, I don't see the issue.

Simple NqJuly 3rd 2012.

#Peegate - What a week it's been at Simple…

Firstly, we'd like to say a HUGE thank you to all our amazingly loyal customers who have shown their belief in Simple and our staff this week - we truly appreciate your support. Most importantly, we'd like to apologise for any confusion, distress or upset caused by the story and the allegations.

Now the dust has settled on "Pee-gate" and after speaking to our valued customers, we'd like to clear a few things up amid all the confusion that was caused last week and explain the truth to those who might still be unclear about what really went on - and to those who may not have even heard a peep about "Pee-gate" whatsoever...

Back in 2001, when Simple first opened its doors, the Northern Quarter was an entirely different place to what it is now (as some of you may remember) and we experienced problems with people using our male toilets for drug use, repeated vandalism and graffiti attacks - all of which the Greater Manchester Police were alerted to. To deter the drug users and vandals, we had a camera installed and had prominent signs displayed around in the venue informing customers of the cameras when they were in use.

A member of the public filmed an 'expose' on the inactive camera and questioned in the video why the camera was there, implying we were 'spying' on our current customers. As the video went viral, the local media quickly picked up on the 'story' and our Facebook page was inundated with comments on the video and it's purpose.

We reassured all those concerned that at the time of the vandalism, years ago, the camera was faced away from the toilet towards the facing wall (where the graffiti was taking place) so we could not see anybody using the facilities but we could identify the offenders. Once the vandalism and drug taking ceased to be a problem, and the toilets were refurbished, the camera was disconnected and has been inactive ever since.

In hindsight, we realise the camera should have been removed when it was disconnected. However, with any independent business, a non-urgent job such as this can easily be pushed down the internal list of priorities. Rest assured, the inactive camera has been removed. Whilst we're on the subject of hindsight… the word 'dummy' was used instead of the word 'inactive' in some media communication. This was a mistake on our part as this led to further confusion.

We'd also like to thank the owner of our surveillance company, Nortec Visual Management Systems, Martyn Partington, who reaffirmed the facts:
"I can confirm that since we installed a new CCTV system at Simple over two years ago, the camera in question was inoperable then and still is now."

However, the truth about the camera could have been lost amongst the noise and, as our valued customers, we wanted to make sure you knew the truth and the quash any unnecessary worries you might have.

Simple has been around for 11 years now and, as corny as it may sound (!), it's YOU guys that keep us around so thank you for your ongoing support.

We'll see you soon at Simple…

Basil SinghFebruary 27th 2013.


This type of Hidden Cameras provides you with an additional group of eyes.

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