Questions over security at the headquarters of Norfolk County Council have been asked after an intruder filmed himself and his dog wandering through offices at County Hall.

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Four videos posted on YouTube show a man and his dog who spent at least an hour walking through the Norwich building when it was closed on a Saturday, according to the film commentary.

The man smokes and drinks, turns on a computer and a radio, looks at documents on desks and at one point, bumps into a county council worker, who does not challenge him.

In the council’s legal department NPLaw, he reads documents he finds on desks and goes into the office of head of law Victoria McNeill, where he rummages around her desk.

He then appears to write Nazi Public Law on a notepad he finds and also draws a swastika and an anarchist symbol.

Elsewhere in NPLaw he hunts for case papers and looks at a number of documents, which he then moves from one desk to another. He also walks through the business development unit, transformation team, democratic services support team, the communications unit, planning, performance and partnerships and wanders into the the office of Mike Jackson, the director of planning and transportation. Commentating on the film footage of his intrusion, at one point he writes an anarchy symbol on a whiteboard and swigs from a can of ginger beer. He also smokes handmade cigarettes, including in the offices of the drug and alcohol action team. When he encounters a worker, he simply says he is making a video tour of County Hall and then carries on with his exploration.

The man starts filming on the top floor of the Martineau Lane building and continues all the way down to the basement, but he does not state how he got into the building. He also does not show how he got out. Mike Brindle, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group, said: “We need to have confidence that the private papers of all who work in County Hall are as safe as possible. This intruder was able to wander the corridors, offices and workspaces of County Hall totally unchallenged for an absolute minimum of 20 minutes. Maybe he just took pictures, but he could have done far worse.”

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council confirmed a security review had been launched, after the council lodged a report with police on Thursday last week.

The spokesman said: “A full and thorough review of security is under way and commenced last week as soon as we became aware of this incident. The matter is now the subject of legal proceedings. We are unable to discuss current security arrangements for obvious reasons.”

A Norwich man has been charged with racially aggravated harassment following the incident at County Hall. Tom Smith, 27, of Trafalgar Street, is due to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Monday, February 4.

12 comments

  • But it will be the little guys at the security company who will get the blame! A missed, albeit illegal, opportunity to uncover the filth going on at NCC. Is this the state of investigative journalism in the UK today?

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • All those people who have had their Freedom of Information requests knocked back for the silliest of reasons could have just driven into the County Hall carpark, stopping only long enough to put a lead on their springer spaniel and they could have waltzed in to NP Law where every bit of information they could possibly want was available behind open doors on untidy desks and in open filing cabinets. When is the County Council going to stop being a disgrace? NP Law should be hauled over the coals and their "senior partner" made to resign and face her own professional body. If this happened in the law firm where I work then heads would roll. But it wouldn't, we are professionals who know what we have to do to preserve the confidentiality of the work we do. It is second nature to all of us. This man deserves a medal for uncovering this appalling state of affairs whilst being decent enough, as he kept pointing out in the you tube tours, not to cause any damage or take away any files. It is heads within the County Council building that should roll especially at NP Law.

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    Electra

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • "Thanks for making my desk famous! could do with a warning so i can tidy next time, no on a serious note what was the point?!?" This was a comment left on the first Youtube segment (presumably from a County Hall employee). I'm astounded that this is the complacent attitude of someone who is part of a public body which holds some of the most private and sensitive information of the citizens of the county.

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    harnser

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • They spy on us, so only fair, who watches the people watching us?...so they couldn't do him for breaking & entry so it's 'racially aggravated harassment' somehow now is it?, Shame we can't see this bit on video, but will look out for the court details.

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    WTH

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I would like to thank the young man who has opened the public eyes to the low moral and resulting lax practises at NCC. I watched all the video's and was astonished that the 'empty desk' policy, applying to many other less important parts of NCC, was not adhered to in the most important NPlaw office. Should this young man have been malicious, and he was not, he could have made copies or took footage of important contracts sensitive tenders or procurement and publicised it, which would have cost NCC, no us the tax payers, hundreds of thousands in legal costs, if not more. I very much hope that the judge will take the open door policy, so apparent in the video's, into account. How can someone with a dog, delivering a letter, enter NCC on the weekend and find all doors open? there was no need for it. Thank you Tom.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • "Intruder at Norfolk County Council’s County Hall sparks security review" The headline should have read:- "Council jobsworth (or Councillor) found in Norfolk County Councils, County Hall, sparks security review.

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    "V"

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I bet he found plenty of little brown envelopes.

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    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I used to be a security officer at counrty hall, and we raised so many loop-holes and they got ignored that it was a joke. Hence I left, so this is not a surprise at all

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    markt74

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • there isnt enough security during the night for the size of the building.....it takes such a long while to patrol there ! and the reason ? because the security company that they have running it wants huge profits rather than have the job done properly......the guys there have a hell of a job so perhaps the council should have another company come in to run it properly where the management will actually oversee what goes on and listen to what has bee said by the security staff there......i agree with markt74 on why he left.........same reason i didnt carry on working there or for eventgaurd !!!

    Report this comment

    terry leighwood

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • "Thanks for making my desk famous! could do with a warning so i can tidy next time, no on a serious note what was the point?!?" This was a comment left on the first Youtube segment (presumably from a County Hall employee). I'm astounded that this is the complacent attitude of someone who is part of a public body which holds some of the most private and sensitive information of the citizens of the county.

    Report this comment

    harnser

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • nplaw, although a department of NCC, operates as a solicitors' practice just as Mills & Reeve, Birketts, Leathes Prior etc do. It also acts for other local authorities, and the same principles of client confidentialty apply to it as to those private sctor firms.Should the Solicitors' Regulation Authority learn that their offices were left unlocked all weekend and that legal papers were left out on desks and other surfaces, there will be all hell to pay. I should not then want to be in the shoes of Victoria McNeill.

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    Nemesis

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I watched these videos over the weekend and I found them most interesting. Despite the emptiness of floor 8, I thought the biggest waste of space was floors 1-7. The EDP have had difficulty making this as biased as they can against the 'intruder' as he did very little wrong apart from carry out an amusing video documentary. He should be rewarded for opening Norfolk's eyes to what else is wrong with County Hall.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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