cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Audio surveillance

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,074
Thanks: 2,617
Fixes: 192
Registered: 06-04-2007

Audio surveillance

After discussions with Social Services we are very concerned about what is being said to my mother and what pressures may be being put on her over many issues.
I am thinking of installing some sort of audio surveillance device in her living room to get an idea of what is being said to her.
There's quite a lot of devices available ranging from those that look like USB drives to ones that look like 2/3-way power plugs. There are also those that record and those that have GSM that you can dial into.
Has anyone had any experience of using such devices? Are they worth the money? They range in prices from a few pounds to a few hundred. Any advice would be appreciated.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

18 REPLIES
matthewleggott
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 15-08-2009

Re: Audio surveillance

Can you not be present or another member of the family when they come around?
You are entitled to be there as support or even a good friend of your mothers if that helps.  We used to encourage families been involved around here in our social services department to ensure the best was achieved for everyone involved.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,074
Thanks: 2,617
Fixes: 192
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Audio surveillance

Thanks for the reply.
I don't live with my mother but it's family members who do live with her that may be causing problems.
With her failing memory it's hard to fully understand what may have been said and about what/whom, etc, so we're looking at a method to monitor and confirm things.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

matthewleggott
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 15-08-2009

Re: Audio surveillance

Ah right, not sure what to recommend.
Have you spoken to the care worker responsible for your mother and explained your side of things?
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,802
Thanks: 305
Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Audio surveillance

Is CCTV with audio an option?
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,238
Thanks: 1,130
Fixes: 3
Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: Audio surveillance

Do be aware that legally speaking, any surveillance type must be disclosed to any person or persons entering the property (such as with CCTV you have to have "CCTV In operation" signs up), recording audio without the person's knowledge and trying to use it as evidence would not be deemed admissible in a court of law, even if you are trying to do right by your relatives...
There's also the issue of recording government officials, they're not too keen on that, and sadly some of them play in that fact to get away with things they shouldn't be saying or doing...
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,663
Thanks: 763
Fixes: 1
Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Audio surveillance

In many cases the law becomes a secondary and irrelevant concern when revealing the truth of a situation.
Pandering to it can in some situations put vulnerable people at unnecessary risk.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,238
Thanks: 1,130
Fixes: 3
Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: Audio surveillance

Quote from: billnotben
Pandering to it can in some situations put vulnerable people at unnecessary risk.

If they're vulnerable, then they need to have an appropriate person with them to make sure that the risk is negated if someone with the right powers is abusing their position, technology is not a replacement for power in numbers... Roll eyes
Plus if they're an employee of a government body (councillors, DWP, social workers, etc.) recording them can open a whole heap of brown stuff for the person making the recordings if they didn't disclose the fact they wish to record conversations, but again, that can be prevented with an appropriate person in attendance...
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,828
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Audio surveillance

When I walk down the street, there are no indications of the multitude of CCTV cameras watching me.
No permission is asked or given.

Community Veteran
Posts: 17,482
Thanks: 1,482
Fixes: 17
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Audio surveillance

It seems that this has drifted slightly... from my "reading" of the o.p. ............................ the problem is with what the rellies are saying to mother... when they visit,...
not what the "officials" are saying to her... although... in thier conversations with her, things might get a bit muddy, due to mother`s forgetfullness,... resulting in the wrong inference being taken, and the wrong information being passed back to the O.P...
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 26,438
Thanks: 1,461
Fixes: 86
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Audio surveillance

Most mobile phones have the ability to record conversations but my experience of this has been disappointing with regard to quality.
Also everyone needs to be in fairly close proximity to the phone.
A dedicated Dictaphone such as this might be a solution but I haven't tried it.
All persons present could be asked if they object to a recording of the conversation being made.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead - Thomas Paine
nanotm
Pro
Posts: 5,698
Thanks: 115
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Audio surveillance

My experience with the sound operated devices has been that the cheap ones often do the same job as the more expensive models but you might find that you will require multiple units to cover the size  of room
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,074
Thanks: 2,617
Fixes: 192
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Audio surveillance

Quote from: shutter
It seems that this has drifted slightly... from my "reading" of the o.p. ............................ the problem is with what the rellies are saying to mother... when they visit,...

That sums it up except for the fact that it's relatives that live with my mother and not visiting.
My mother tells me many things that are said to and around her at home that get denied by the family members who simply state that her memory is so poor how could she remember what has/has not been said.
The simplest thing for me to do would be to confirm either way by 'listing in' to what is being said on a regular basis.
Quote from: billnotben
In many cases the law becomes a secondary and irrelevant concern when revealing the truth of a situation.
Pandering to it can in some situations put vulnerable people at unnecessary risk.

I agree with this. I have discussed it with the case worker who sees no problem. I already record all calls to the family members (yes, I do tell them as I need to cover myself as well as my mother).
Using a mobile or dictaphone has the limitations of battery/memory and would need to be left on 24/7 and are also not paricularly easy to hide and still get a good recording.
I'm thinking a GSM pen drive or mains adaptor where you 'dial in' to listen may be suitable. I could use the free minutes on my mobile to listen and can hang up if nothing much is being said. Of course, the downside is that I may miss something important.
Quote from: vilefoxdemonofdoom
When I walk down the street, there are no indications of the multitude of CCTV cameras watching me.
No permission is asked or given.

If I want to give any recordings to a third person then I'd have to ask for permission of all those being recorded first but if it's just for me to get a better insight and then discuss with the caseworker then there is no problem.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,828
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Audio surveillance

Accidentally leave a mobile with a recording function running.  Cheesy

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,238
Thanks: 1,130
Fixes: 3
Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: Audio surveillance

Quote from: vilefoxdemonofdoom
No permission is asked or given.

By living in this country you have already agreed to having the cameras watch you, and there's usually "CCTV in operation" signs put up nearby, so legally they're covered, and by walking into their view you're acknowledging they're there and are giving permission...
Anyway, as for the recording of old folk, the way I read it was the SS were telling her odd things, not family members, so, record away... Smiley