Warnings are being shared online after it emerged tiny spy cameras concealed inside nondescript-looking coat hooks are on sale in the UK.
It is feared the devices, which are available on sites including Amazon for less than £10 and are popular among those who wish to covertly film in their own homes, could be placed in public toilets or changing areas to secretly record people using the facilities.
While it is not yet confirmed if people have been unwittingly filmed in the UK, it comes a year after a similar warning was issued in the United States.
The Monroe County Sheriff Department was prompted to issue the words of advice after a total of three hooks with cameras concealed inside were found in public toilets in the upper Florida Keys.
Lt Alberto Ramirez said the force was hoping to identify the perpetrator by examining the footage on the hooks.
He urged the public: “If you see a hook in the bathroom, it might not be at eye level, it might be a little lower. Something that just doesn’t look right, just call us and we’ll look at it.”
Voyeurism is a crime in the UK and, if convicted, comes with a maximum sentence of two years.
Last year a customer at a south London Starbucks complained to police after finding a spy camera hidden in an air vent above a toilet in a Vauxhall branch.
Ricci Arcari tweeted video of the matchbox-sized device on after discovering it behind a grille. He said the discovery was “very distressing and totally disgusting”. The device was removed and police were investigating.
In 2015, a woman told how she felt “violated” after discovering a hidden camera in the shower of her Travelodge hotel room. Harmony Hachey, 23, had travelled to Oxford from Edinburgh for a work event, and was taking a shower when she noticed something in the vent.
She realised it was a camera and immediately informed reception staff at the Oxford Wheatley Travelodge, who confirmed she was right and informed the police.