SWIMMERS have slammed a £50,000 underwater camera system being used at Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles' pool.

Eight cameras have been installed at the centre's pool after a blind spot was revealed due to the light reflecting off the water during certain parts of the day.

Some of the cameras are underwater and other are in the pool hall, facing the water.

They have been put up after the glare from the pool's indoor lights as well as sunlight resulted in the need for two lifeguards on duty at all times.

As a temporary safety measure, the affected section of the leisure centre pool was closed during quieter times.

But residents have hit out over the CCTV system, calling for an alternative solution to the blind spot.

Jo Hinson said: "I don’t understand why cameras are needed under the water when the lifeguard sits high up on a chair and can see into the water if the sun is shinning on the water then shut the blinds.

"And why does it need eight cameras?

"It's a total waste of money and it could put people off using the pool which would then stop bringing in revenue for Tendring.

"I’m not comfortable with my children swimming and being watched on a camera by strangers.

"So I’ll be rethinking where I take them for swimming lessons."

Belinda Isted said: "It's a ridiculous waste of money, even an extra lifeguard would be money better spent."

The camera system, which was installed last week, is in line with Tendring Council's privacy policy.

A Tendring Council spokesman said blinds may have had an impact on reducing the glare, but not without reducing the lighting in the area.

He said: "The cameras will be monitored constantly on poolside by the on-duty lifeguard as part of their scanning routine of the pool.

"The footage also goes through to the duty office and is recorded in line with our retention policy.

"However, only the Dovercourt leisure centre manager, and the overall leisure centre's manager, can access that recorded footage."

The council is looking to implement a camera system at other leisure centres in line with revised national health and safety guidelines.