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Hidden Cameras

Everything You Need to Know About Covert Recording, Undercover Cameras and Secret Filming
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The complete and authoritative guide to the use of hidden cameras to expose abuse or wrongdoing.

Secret filming is no longer the preserve of specialists, professional journalists and private investigators. Drawing on the author's own experience producing undercover documentaries and wearing secret cameras, this book explains covert recording for the general public, including specific advice on the practicalities of using a phone or covert camera to record evidence. It considers the legal and ethical issues and provides vital information for anyone who may use or encounter secret filming, including the people or organisations that might be filmed, regulators, social workers, local government officials and anyone who may encounter it in court. It also looks to the future of covert filming and the implications of technological advances, such as drone cameras.
  • Published: Feb 21 2016
  • Pages: 224
  • 216 x 157mm
  • ISBN: 9781849056434
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Press Reviews

  • John Sweeney, BBC reporter

    In the wrong hands, secret cameras can ruin lives - but they can also prove wrong-doing and do good. BBC Panorama producer Joe Plomin takes the reader through the ethical minefields in this ground-breaking book.
  • Alison Holt, BBC Social Affairs Correspondent, Royal Television Society Specialist Journalist of the Year, 2015 and Winner of the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, 2015

    Joe Plomin is one of the most thoughtful and dedicated journalists with whom I have had the honour of working. These are qualities that shine through in this book. The stories based on his years of using secret cameras to expose wrongdoing make this a very human exploration of covert filming. It is a master-class not just in how to use the technology, but also in the ethical considerations and careful thinking that should lie behind every decision to switch on a hidden camera.
  • Paul Mason, journalist and broadcaster

    No one understands secret filming like Joe Plomin. This book is essential reading for all those trying to hold power to account in the digital age.
  • Lynne Phair, independent consultant nurse

    The Journal of Dementia Care
    I recommend that everyone, whether in favour, sympathetic or fundamentally opposed to covert filming, read this enlightening and incredibly human story. Plomin mixes his experiences and stories of his own undercover work with the history of covert investigative journalism from its infancy in 1997 to the present day, referencing the revelation of such injustices as the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 summit protests seven years ago. Importantly, too, he relates the stories of families, so worried about the care of their love ones that they resort to hidden cameras. There is also information for anyone with thoughts of undertaking covert filing about how to ensure it is bout legal and ethical, as well as consideration of where surveillance may be in the future. The book is easy to read, balance, professional and heartfelt. it is a very important contribution to the debate on this emotive subject.
  • Jane Buswell, independent nurse consultant

    Nursing Older People
    Hidden Cameras is eminently readable and takes you through the history of undercover reporting, what equipment to use, and the ethical and moral issues that are raised when secretly filing vulnerable people and their carers. The section on what to do with footage obtained by secret filming is particularly thought-provoking. Covert filming is always a last resort that families feel they have reached when their concerns about quality of care have not been addressed... This is an excellent book written by someone who has been instrumental in the use of undercover cameras an secret filming. This subject is here to stay, and we need to understand and debate its use.