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FASLANE PEEPING TOMS SPIED ON US UNDRESSING; Girls' fury at Navy CCTV scandal.

Byline: ANNA ADAMS

TWO girls hired as waitresses at the Faslane nuclear base have accused "peeping Tom" naval ratings of spying on them as they undressed.

And now Danielle Murphy and Claire Smith, both 29, are demanding compensation from Royal Navy chiefs for invasion of privacy.

Navy top brass have already launched a major investigation into the accusations, especially since the men involved should have been keeping a watch on the high-security base.

But, instead, they allegedly used the MoD's CCTV system to spy on the girls changing out off their skimpy costumes after hosting a boozy Caribbean party.

The girls were hired by party organisers Millennium Promotions to waitress last month after the mess at the base in Helensburgh was transformed into a tropical paradise.

But the carnival atmosphere turned sour when the horrified women, who are both from Glasgow, realised they were being spied on as they changed into their civvies.

A senior MoD source said the scandal had serious implications for the military base which houses Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent.

He said: "To misuse CCTV cameras in this fashion is a serious breach of security. It is unthinkable that workers would jeopardise security for the sake of titillation."

MoD police have seized the CCTV footage, which naval lawyers are now examining. A friend of the girls said: "Danielle and Claire were absolutely devastated when they found out that they were being spied on.

"It made their flesh creep to think that someone was filming them while they changing.

"They are very professional and have worked a lot of high-profile parties and events and this type of thing has never happened before.

"The girls were very worried about their reputations because they work at a lot of these events, which is why they consulted a lawyer."

She added: "They were also shocked that this kind of lewd and illegal behaviour could happen right under the nose of some of the most important Naval staff in Britain."

There is a dedicated committee at Faslane which organises entertainment for the troops.

Staff are said to be furious that the men may have put future parties and events in jeopardy.

A Navy source said: "The parties are an important part of life at Faslane, but it will be difficult to get women to come to the base if we have a reputation of being a bunch of randy peeping Toms."

An MoD police spokesman said the allegations had been taken very seriously.

He added: "I can confirm we received a formal complaint from two girls who were working at the base that night. We are investigating and will submit a report to the Procurator Fiscal.

"It is something that we have taken extremely seriously and our report will be submitted very soon."

But a spokeswoman for the MoD confirmed that the men had not been disciplined.

She added: "The claims are being looked at very thoroughly. The workers have not been suspended and we have no plans to do so until the investigation has been concluded."

The scandal is just the latest in a stream of security lapses at the base.

Last year, security at Faslane was under serious scrutiny when it was revealed that civilians could gain access to the base with a storecard instead of MoD identification.

And earlier this year, a Navy worker was caught smoking heroin in the engine room of one of the nuclear submarines.

TWO intruders were arrested by MoD police yesterday after trying to break into the Devonport naval base in Plymouth, Devon, where one of Britain's Trident nuclear submarines is having a refit.

a.adams@sunday mirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

BACK TO BASE: How Britain's nuke subs use Faslane; HIGH SECURITY: Navy's nuclear base at Faslane where the party was heldVICTIM: A naked Danielle was one of the girls spied on
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 17, 2002
Words:639
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