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Glasgow Boards/Forums _ Glasgow News Blog _ Braehead In Anti-terror Photo Row

Posted by: GG 10th Oct 2011, 07:07pm

A father of a four-year-old child is seeking official apologies from both Strathclyde Police and Braehead Shopping Centre after he claimed he was questioned under anti-terror laws for taking pictures of his own daughter eating an ice cream in a shopping centre near Glasgow.

Chris White, a mental health worker, was approached by staff at Braehead Shopping Centre after he took a photograph of his daughter Hazel on Friday afternoon. Mr White was initially questioned by a centre security guard, who informed him that it was illegal to take photographs in the shopping centre.

Centre staff then called police following Mr White's refusal to delete the photograph from his camera. When officers of Strathclyde Police arrived, Mr White claimed that they were "threatening and intimidating" and warned him to pay attention when he attempted to comfort his crying daughter, whom he was holding in his arms.


According to the distressed father, he was then informed by police that they were within their rights, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, to confiscate the mobile phone containing the photograph.

Mr White commented:
QUOTE
"The officer said that under the Terrorism Act he was within in his rights to confiscate my phone for taking photos within a public shopping centre. However, he [the police officer] then said on this occasion he would allow me to keep the photos, but he wanted to take my full details."

Later, Mr White added:
QUOTE
"Had I not had my daughter with me, and the fact that we are trying to bring our daughter up to respect and trust police officers, I may have exercised my right not to provide those [full personal] details.

The police officer said the security guard was within his rights to ask me to leave Braehead and bar me from the premises."

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said:
QUOTE
"We have received a complaint about this incident. A full review of the circumstances and allegation is under way."

A Braehead spokesman said:
QUOTE
"Staff at an ice cream stall became suspicious after they saw a shopper taking photographs at their counter. The staff thought the man had also been taking photographs of them and they alerted one of the security staff.

We have a 'no photography' policy in the centre to protect the privacy of staff and shoppers. However, it is not our intention to – and we do not – stop innocent family members taking pictures."


(Thanks to Jupiter and Ashfield for first raising this story.)

QUOTE
Update on 13th Oct 2011
http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtopic=22342&view=findpost&p=3557305

See also the 'Boycott Braehead' Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Braehead/288861364476077

GG.

Posted by: Heather 10th Oct 2011, 07:48pm

I read about this in the newspapers today and could not believe that it went as far as calling in the Police. All because a dad took a picture of his wee girl eating an ice cream.

It was a downright disgrace, and the man certainly deserve's an apology from all those involved in that farce.

Posted by: wombat 10th Oct 2011, 07:57pm

rolleyes.gif i voted yes,doubt he will get an apology though dry.gif

Posted by: JAGZ1876 10th Oct 2011, 08:41pm

I bet security would have turned a blind eye if it had been a group of neds taking photo's.

Posted by: *Kenny* 10th Oct 2011, 08:44pm

Unfortunately shop premises (and therefor shopping centres) have the right to refuse anyone entry, they also have the power to set rules for those within their premises to abide by, it is not a public place. Having said this the shopping centre should publish these 'rules' clearly and in plain sight (not just on their website) if they intend on enforcing them. Even then this list does not have to be exhaustive, i.e you dont have to have a rull against slaughtering a pig in the forcourt should someone be slungout because they were doing it, breach of the peace can be anywhere

You would think that we, as members of the public, have the right not to be photographed, but you would be wrong, you have the right not to be stalked or harassed, but if someone were to take my picture even where capturing my image was its sole intent, isnt illegal. I would however have the ability to go to the police and/or to request that this picture be deleted. If you are in a public place, there is a right implied to photograph you, unless of course you are a minor. If you or anyone else feels threatened by the behavour of another person you should definately have the right to contact security/police and in this heightened state of alert where we are requested to be vigilant against those who seek to do us harm, then i was see an implicit requirement to make known anyone who appears to be acting suspiciously especially in an area that has children. Would the shopping centre not be accountable if this person was able to take photographs of a child and possibly harass a minor. Was he wearing a big DADDY sign above his head.

This brings me neatly on to my last point, yes he was taking photos of his child, yes this was all perfectly innocent, but i for one am on the side of the centre staff as well as the dad, because they have a DUTY to approach anyone who is acting suspiciously. I for one would question how this exchange took place and what was said when the disgruntled parent told the staff to mid their own beeswax, thent he dutyful security guard who then acted within their power to stick it to him, ... smile.gif QUESTION EVERYTHING, NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS!

Posted by: Jupiter 10th Oct 2011, 08:48pm

I read the reports today and sent an email to Braehead entitled,"Damage Limitation" suggesting the management review their policy on photography and also issue an apology to the man and his child and invite them back to the centre.Five minutes ago I see they have done exactly that.
I am delighted that they have finally bowed to public pressure.My remaining concern now is the stance the Police officers took.I think they may be too cosy with security staff there so it must be time for Police staff rotation.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 10th Oct 2011, 09:21pm

The police officer is talking balderdash. He has no powers to order the destruction of photographs. This requires a court order. A shopping centre can have a no photography policy if it is private property, however, this is a matter of civil law, not criminal law, and the police have no powers to enforce civil law.

Moreover, it is arguable that if the man was being held under terrorist legislation, and was instructed to delete the photographs, then that would be tantamount to destroying evidence, which is itself a serious offence.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 10th Oct 2011, 09:22pm

If an establishment concerned about security within it's premises doesn't wish photographs to be taken there, it should have a notice to this effect clearly displayed for all who enter to see.

Posted by: wombat 10th Oct 2011, 09:28pm

smile.gif they're too busy taking footage of everywan else tae bother laugh.gif

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 10th Oct 2011, 09:39pm

Right Wombat. The father should have said, "You started it!" laugh.gif

Posted by: Jazzsaxman 10th Oct 2011, 10:07pm

You couldn't write this stuff. Where on earth do they get these morons from.

Posted by: Guest 10th Oct 2011, 10:21pm

Section 44 in relation to photographers

The most commonly encountered use of the Act was outlined in Section 44 which enables the police and the Home Secretary to define any area in the country as well as a time period wherein they could stop and search any vehicle or person, and seize "articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism". Unlike other stop and search powers that the police can use, Section 44 does not require the police to have "reasonable suspicion" that an offence has been committed, to search an individual.

In 2009, over 100,000 searches were conducted under the powers, but none of these resulted in people being arrested for terrorism offences. 504 were arrested for other offences.

In January 2010 the stop-and-search powers granted under Section 44 were ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights. It held that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated in the case of two people stopped in 2003 outside the ExCeL convention centre in London, which at the time was hosting a military equipment exhibition. The Court found the powers were "not sufficiently circumscribed" and lacked "adequate legal safeguards against abuse", over-ruling a 2003 High Court judgement upheld at the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords.

The government intends to replace the powers under section 44 with new powers in the Protection of Freedoms Bill, but in the interim Home Secretary Theresa May has made a remedial order under the Human Rights Act 1998 (the Terrorism Act 2000 (Remedial) Order 2011), which has the effect of repealing sections 44, 45, 46 and most of section 47.
Problematic use of Section 44 powers has not been restricted to political protestors; according to reports, journalists, amateur and professional photographers, trainspotters, politicians and children have been subject to stop and search under suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities while engaged in lawful acts such as photography. The taking of photographs in public spaces is permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (freedom of panorama), and while the Terrorism Act does not prohibit such activity, critics have alleged misuse of the powers of the Act to prevent lawful photography.

Vernon Coaker, the Minister of State stated on 20 April 2009 that, "counter-terrorism measures should only be used for counter-terrorism purposes".

In December 2009, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) issued a warning to police chiefs to stop using Section 44 powers to target photographers, whether tourists, amateurs or professionals, stating that the practice was "unacceptable".

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_Act_2000#Section_47A.

Posted by: andyguinness 10th Oct 2011, 10:28pm

A police state is not far off. A friends son was stopped and asked not to take photographs outside a shop, he was doing a school project also one requires written permission to take wedding photographs in a public park.

Posted by: Heather 10th Oct 2011, 11:09pm

Apparently there is a notice forbidden the taking of photographs, but as Jupiter said, it was announced on the 10'0'clock news tonight the shop manager has apologised and taking photographs will be allowed in future.

I wonder if it ever dawned on the owners of the shop that they have a CCTV system taking everyone's picture without their permission. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: wombat 10th Oct 2011, 11:18pm

QUOTE (wombat @ 10th Oct 2011, 11:14pm) *
smile.gif they're too busy taking footage of everywan else tae bother laugh.gif
heather sez:
I wonder if it ever dawned on the owners of the shop that they have a CCTV system taking everyone's picture without their permission.

i totally agree heather,mind you i dont mind having my picture taken me being so handsome smile.gif


 

Posted by: Irene 10th Oct 2011, 11:42pm

I saw this on the news also and really wanted to just find somewhere where I could leave my own feelings on this as this is something I feel very strongly about. I think it is disgusting that an ordinary father should have been subjected to tactics by a state which you would associate with East German Stasi thugs. What world are we living in now? The whole place has went completely mad and now we have the heavy hand of the police on our shoulders telling us how we should behave with our own children who we are trying to bring up to respect the law.

Absolutely disgraceful! And to think that we should be expected to actually report our suspicions to clowns who just abuse their powers?

The only people to benefit from this are real criminals!!!

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 10th Oct 2011, 11:44pm

QUOTE (*Kenny* @ 10th Oct 2011, 10:30pm) *
I would however have the ability to go to the police and/or to request that this picture be deleted.

What authority would the police have? The rules for photography in private places are not within the compass of criminal law(*), and the police have no powers whatever in civil law.

Posted by: *duinemor* 10th Oct 2011, 11:45pm

I've seen this outlet with the gimmicky motor scotter seats - I won't be patronising it if this is how they behave.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 10th Oct 2011, 11:45pm

(*) Save where the photography itself is a criminal offence, as in obscene photographs of a minor, but that is a special case, and not applicable here.

Posted by: GG 10th Oct 2011, 11:47pm

Here is Mr White in his own words:


GG.

Posted by: Brian Miller 11th Oct 2011, 01:49am

Well Braehead is now one destination that is now off of our list of places to take the kids at the weekend. It just would not feel right giving money to a place that has treated this man so nastily. I think we should congratulate a loving dad for taking a stand like he has. Well done sir!

Posted by: droschke7 11th Oct 2011, 01:56am

This whole thing is ludicrous, I've even seen a sign at the Clydebank Shoping Centre banning all Photography but they also still have CCTV Cameras all over. One thing that I can't understand is, what does any of this have to do with terrorism?

Posted by: tamhickey 11th Oct 2011, 04:07am

It seems to me that the police invoke the terrorism laws as a means to curtail our rights. It allows them carte blanche to stop and search without any obvious reason, as used to happen in Northern Ireland. I would have thought the police and security guards would have more to do making sure shoplifting wasn't taking place rather than harrassing a man taking innocent pics of his daughter.
I agree with the point that others have raised about CCTV cameras being used without asking shoppers for permission, yet for the rest of us, it seems it's not allowed. This makes you wonder why staff complained about one man taking photographs when they are being filmed constantly in whichever stores they work in. Also, I have been involved in filmmaking where people have to sign a release form in order to use their image in film, and you have to apply to the various authorities involved for permission to shoot. I wonder if the staff at Braehead are given the same courtesy. It certainly doesn't apply to customers, does it?

Posted by: Jupiter 11th Oct 2011, 05:08am

I think the father Chris should be applauded for his stance and for making the whole incident public.
I think,but Ive no facts figures or data,that many individuals,members of the public would have rolled over and accepted what the no brainer security guard and Police officer said.Chris,by his actions has done a great deal in restoring rights of the individual to go about their business without fear of harrassment from petty trumped up chimps.
Give me my camera,Im going to Braehead!

Posted by: littlealison 11th Oct 2011, 05:27am

Seems like no-one is allowed to be innocent these days.

My daughter yesterday was hauled in by security in Wilkinson's in Oxford, the man insisted she had been on their camera before and been banned from the shop. Of course it wasn't her, when they checked, and she will probably get an apology, but she feels humiliated - in front of neighbours - and I told her to ask for compensation.

I hadn't been aware of a camera there before this.....


Posted by: Guest 11th Oct 2011, 06:13am

These 'security guards' are nothing more than bored underpaid jobsworths. Why don't they spend their time sorting out the violent drunks instead of picking on dads trying to have a bit of quality time with their daughters. Sad.

Posted by: irrie 11th Oct 2011, 07:33am

Morning all. Braehead has now changed this policy pics are allowed. Cheers

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 11th Oct 2011, 07:50am

QUOTE (littlealison @ 11th Oct 2011, 06:13am) *
... I told her to ask for compensation.

I was leaving a store over here when all the bells started ringing and everyone turned to see who was making off with a stolen item. I just raised my hands, laughing, in a "DONT SHOOT" pose.
The cashier had missed a tag. rolleyes.gif
I was given a voucher for §5 (90 cents short of a packet of fags rolleyes.gif )

Posted by: chas1937 11th Oct 2011, 08:06am

It happens everywhere as 2 weeks ago I was at a Dog Agility Show in a centre in Bishopton and was stopped by Security.They wanted to know had I permission but when I told them it was just my friends dogs I was photographing it was OK.So it would appear that security is on a HIGH just now as that has never happened to me before.

Posted by: thepaperboy 11th Oct 2011, 08:58am

is it no aboot time the polis went oot and did there reel job,a would like tae know wit the polis really dae noo

Posted by: jack j 11th Oct 2011, 09:25am

i bet they would have said nothing if it had been a muslim or coloured family involved

Posted by: jack j 11th Oct 2011, 09:56am

it seems it's too much like hard work to chase real criminals these days

Posted by: tombro 11th Oct 2011, 10:03am

I saw this on the Daily Record site last night and now, tonight, I'm still looking at my calendar and wondering why it doesn't say 'April 1, 2011' !

Isn't it so sad that, despite protestations for political and PC reasons from a few above, a Dad can't take a photograph of his wee daughter enjoying an ice-cream ?"

Tombro huh.gif huh.gif

Posted by: frank Hopson 11th Oct 2011, 10:08am

I am a Scot living in Poole and believe me the cops are just as stupid down here, as are some of the English judges. The cops want an easy job. Heaven forbid if they were to face 'real hard men,' My son had a similar experience in Southampton whilst photographing a young female model. I think the two cops involved just wanted a close up of the young lady.

Posted by: *greta* 11th Oct 2011, 10:09am

What is the world coming to if a dad cant take a photo of his wee girl, crazy. After all it wasent a military establishment for goodness sake. Talk about big brother.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 11th Oct 2011, 10:17am

QUOTE (littlealison @ 11th Oct 2011, 07:13am) *
My daughter yesterday was hauled in by security in Wilkinson's in Oxford

It should be remembered that these 'security guards' don't have any special powers of arrest or detention. They are just ordinary people, and have no additional legal powers over anyone. Any powers of arrest they have are no more than the so-called citizen's arrest power that any other citizen has. They have no power to arrest or hold 'on suspicion', only a police officer has that.


Posted by: PAUL DAVIDSON 11th Oct 2011, 11:10am

QUOTE (JAGZ1876 @ 10th Oct 2011, 09:27pm) *
I bet security would have turned a blind eye if it had been a group of neds taking photo's.

WELL SAID SIR/MADAM FOR ABOVE COMMENT.

Posted by: Wee-Sprokit 11th Oct 2011, 01:04pm

I have read this story in the newspaper and thought it was Rediculous that this guy was stopped from taking his daughters photo enjoying an Ice cream, Its what parents do! In fact i was Stopped from Taking a picture of my then 7mth old Grandson at the swimming baths, He was sitting in a little round 6ft baby pond and was the only one in it, Since it was his 1st time at the Baths i wanted to take a Picture, being a Proud Granny!!! but security came over and told me to Stop!! he even took my camera away and said i would get it on the way out, (which it did get) I asked him WHY?? couldnt i take a Picture?? he said because of the Paedofiles going about, taken photo's of kids ect!!! He said im NOT saying your a Paedo, but if we let 1 person do it, we have to let them all,,,,, I said does that apply to the beach??? as you never know who's taking pics of your kid ect! just got told thats nothing to do with me!!
But this story of the guy taken a photo of his daughter, who i made add was fully clothed, and no-one else was in the picture!! I think they are taking things too far, Especialy when there is camera's all over the shopping centre talking photo's and film of us, plus we cant say or do anything about it, What a sad world we're living in now!!! sad.gif

Posted by: Jupiter 11th Oct 2011, 01:45pm

Just in from Braehead,much finger pointing and laughing at ice cream stand but very few purchasing,mind you the price of the stuff is exhorbitant.
rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 11th Oct 2011, 01:47pm

QUOTE (Wee-Sprokit @ 11th Oct 2011, 02:50pm) *
he even took my camera away and said i would get it on the way out, ( which it did get) I asked him WHY??

You should be aware that he had no lawful authority or power to confiscate your camera, and no right whatsoever to take it from you. Unless there is reason to suspect your involvement in a criminal offence, even a police officer cannot do this. Next time something like this happens, refuse.

Posted by: peter9000 11th Oct 2011, 02:33pm

The suggestion that this incident falls within a terrorist alert is simply the authoriies trying to justify their dreadful behaviour. The family involved were a 'soft' target and , as has already been said, would the same challenge have been made to a group of louts taking photos?

I think that Braehead centre will be aware that thousands of photographs are taken in the centre by patrons using cameras, phones, laptops and other media equipment. The police statement made following the incident was appalling - we need common sense as well as 'Common Law' to prevail.

Posted by: Jupiter 11th Oct 2011, 02:35pm

Alex,Im glad you are taking the time to point out what can and cannot be done by these people.
I often wonder exactly what kind of selection process and training is involved.It seems to me that some firms hand out a uniform and radio and let them loose on a public who are only too happy to accept whatever they are told.

Posted by: Jim D 11th Oct 2011, 02:42pm

There is a Police Office within Braehead Shopping Centre with a number of officers based there. The Police response times would have been impressive compared to anywhere else.

As for the Terrorism Act reference? It is an Act which is widely used for stop and search purposes in England and Wales and by British Transport Police. It is not as widely used in Scotland.

From what I read, the man was not DETAINED under ANY Act. He waited with security until the Police arrived. The officers made reference to the Terrorism Act and their powers in relation to them but stated they had no intention of invoking the powers - probably as they were not within their rights to use the Act on this occasion.

I find it difficult to fathom why the officer would make such a basic mistake as to refer to alleged powers to delete the image. Most officers are FULLY conversant with the powers of search in relation to this Act, especially as it has become more and more relevent. The officer would have the power to view the image under the Terrorism Act - not delete it. I suspect that the officer did not actually state he could delete it from the camera. I have heard Supt Nedley make reference to the incident but not to any misuse of Police Powers.

As much as I agree that the security officer was a jobsworth and the matter could have been dealt with differently, If I had been the person involved I would not have contacted the media under any circumstances and thereafter turn my day out with my child into a media frenzy.


Posted by: frame 11th Oct 2011, 02:58pm

Give some people just a little power and they turn into dictators. The stupidity of these people who assume an authority they don't have is completely overwhelming at times.
As for constable plod and his mate who attended this farce... To be honest, I imagine most coppers are gifted with a lot more sense than these two.
I wonder what Taggart would have made of it all.

Posted by: Jupiter 11th Oct 2011, 03:04pm

JimD,
I agree with what you say here however having listened to the man on tv I think he took the standpoint he did to basically highlight the absurdity of a situation which culminated in the involvement of two police officers absolutely needlessly.I thought this over and on the info I read I tried to work out the course of action I would have taken and I think it would have been along these lines;
Having been summoned by security and appraised of the situation and verified no crime or offence had been committed I would have told the security guard it was not a police matter but that I would accompany the man to the exit if he was barred in order to prevent a Breach of the Peace.Result:Advice given,assistance rendered,no further action.
In other words what happened here was a mountain out of a molehill and neither the security or the police came out of it too well.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 11th Oct 2011, 04:01pm

QUOTE (Jim D @ 11th Oct 2011, 04:28pm) *
As much as I agree that the security officer was a jobsworth and the matter could have been dealt with differently, If I had been the person involved I would not have contacted the media under any circumstances and thereafter turn my day out with my child into a media frenzy.

Different people will of course have differing perspectives on what would be the best course of action. But it is certainly clear here that the involvement of the media and the consequent bad publicity for Braehead has resulted in a very public change in and clarification of their policy on photography that is unlikely to have happened otherwise. You only have those freedoms you're prepared to defend.

Posted by: Tommy Kennedy 11th Oct 2011, 04:03pm

I had a similar experience a few years ago. 'Roman soldiers' in Chester were puting on a display, surrounded by kids, including my 3 wee g/kids - me taking photos..
I was appproached by 'Park security'; telling me if it was a digi camera I would have to delete photos. I refused, said he'd send for cops - 'I'll wait' you gonna ask all these tourists taking photos to stop?'
No cops turned up

Posted by: droschke7 11th Oct 2011, 04:17pm

QUOTE (Alex MacPhee @ 11th Oct 2011, 05:47pm) *
Different people will of course have differing perspectives on what would be the best course of action. But it is certainly clear here that the involvement of the media and the consequent bad publicity for Braehead has resulted in a very public change in and clarification of their policy on photography that is unlikely to have happened otherwise. You only have those freedoms you're prepared to defend.

this appears to be a bad case of "Traffic Warden Syndrom" otherwise known as "Little Hitler Syndrom"

Posted by: Jupiter 11th Oct 2011, 04:49pm

Tommy,It wasnt the camera that drew their attention it was you dressed up as Nero with the toga and laurel crown. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Skeedaddle 11th Oct 2011, 05:00pm

It may appear harsh but there are perverts out there and sometimes overkill is the only policy that is left to the authorities to protect the rest of us, accept it, it is true.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 11th Oct 2011, 05:02pm

QUOTE (droschke7 @ 11th Oct 2011, 06:03pm) *
this appears to be a bad case of "Traffic Warden Syndrom" otherwise known as "Little Hitler Syndrom"

I've met this myself, and had a very full apology from Mothercare, after one of their employees objected to me taking pictures of my daughter buying a pram for her first baby, pictures destined for the Baby Book the family had been compiling. The excuse I was given when I challenged his reason for stopping me was, somewhat bizarrely, that I could be photographing the shelf display for a competitor. Yes, really, that's what he said.

I sent Mothercare the photo I'd actually taken, of my daughter smiling talking to another staff assistant who'd been helping her, and explaining how we'd used Mothercare when having our own children, and that naturally we had turned to Mothercare for our grown-up children's children. The next photograph I included was that of my daughter buying the same pram in another store, and the sale they had lost.

They replied quickly to say that there was no such no-photography policy as I'd been told in the shop, that they only photographs they didn't like were those associated with competitions of any kind, and they enclosed a bunch of gift vouchers for my daughter. They responded sensibly, and in this case, it looks like Braehead have too. They've held their hands up, admitted it was a mistake, and changed their policy. Have to applaud them for that display of common sense.

Posted by: d.c. 11th Oct 2011, 05:28pm

From what I recall, this ban on photographs being taken in shopping centres and some other public buildings was introduced following the Glasgow Airport terror attack. Investigations after that event uncovered the fact that those involved had been taking photos in the St Enoch Centre in the days or weeks leading up to the airport incident, and I believe it was suspected those photos might have been part of their planning to target the St Enoch Centre too. Had those men been challenged by security at the St Enoch Centre, they could probably have justifiably claimed that they were only taking family photos too, as two of them were brothers.

Perhaps management at various shopping centres leave security staff with no discretion or flexibility on the issue. They appear to be very strict at Silverburn Shopping Centre for example, where it is quite a common sight to see security stopping parents from taking photos of their kids at the fountains.

But on my last visit to Braehead, I was quite pleased with how speedily security dealt with an incident. I saw a man on the first floor level with a large zoom lens on his camera, leaning on the railing and taking photos of something on the ground floor. When I looked over to see what he might be taking photos of, I could see that his zoom lens was pointing directly towards some toddlers who were playing while their parents sat nearby on benches. I thought at first he might have been an official shopping centre photographer, but I was suspicious too that he might have had other motives, and that those parents on the lower level might have no idea that their kids were being photographed. As I looked around for a security officer, I saw one running up the escalator and straight to the photographer, who was briefly questioned, and then led away.

So it does make me wonder with this latest incident, how that father may feel if he discovered from security that someone else was also taking photos of his child without his knowledge or permission. Would he object if that stranger was treated the way he was ?

Only one side of this story has been sold to the media and although the situation could perhaps have been handled better, I think security staff are in a no-win situation when trying to protect the public, whether it's from terrorists or perverts.

Posted by: ashfield 11th Oct 2011, 06:38pm

I agree with you on the issue of the role of security staff, they often have a difficult job to do and are not the best paid in the world. It is easy to blame them when the real issue was the policy of barring photography at Braehead (and other venues).

My interest in photography goes back to my schooldays when I first developed and printed my own films. Since then I have been a keen amateur and a member of a long standing camera club. I have been looking back at some the photo's I have taken over the years and it is likely that I would have challenged if I were to try to take some of them now. The magnificent Gorbals Boys by Bert Hardy might never have been taken as would much of the work of Oscar Marzaroli. A local man here was recently denied permission, by our Council, to take photo's of flowers in a local park!

Over the piece, I learned when it was not "prudent" to take photo's. It hasn't ruined my hobby but it sure makes lie more difficult at times.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 11th Oct 2011, 07:53pm

QUOTE (d.c. @ 11th Oct 2011, 07:14pm) *
From what I recall, this ban on photographs being taken in shopping centres and some other public buildings was introduced following the Glasgow Airport terror attack.

I don't believe that's the origin, it has been happening much longer than that.

There is an irony here. After the July 7th bombings in London, the police were appealing for members of the public to send them any photographs they had taken in the vicinity, that might lead to valuable clues to the identity and movements of the bombers. Suppose the photographer father, in this instance (thankfully not the case) had in his photograph an image of someone later deemed responsible for a terrorist or similar action?

QUOTE
Investigations after that event uncovered the fact that those involved had been taking photos in the St Enoch Centre in the days or weeks leading up to the airport incident

The logic here is thin. If I wanted to take a photograph of a building, absolutely nobody would know about it. I certainly wouldn't use a look-at-me DSLR. I could be standing on the street making a call on my mobile phone. I could be using a small pen-shaped USB device to connect later to my computer. If I seriously wanted to take photographs undetected, there are too many ways to choose from.

What we seem to be seeing here is a kind of collective institutional hysteria, which can mean that the next generation will have no photographs of themselves growing up in their natural environments, doing ordinary things, because the Photo Nazis have been patrolling society's streets to prevent it, leaving us only with CCTV traces of our existence. Ironic, in a country that has more surveillance cameras per head of population than anywhere on the planet.

QUOTE
Only one side of this story has been sold to the media and although the situation could perhaps have been handled better, I think security staff are in a no-win situation when trying to protect the public, whether it's from terrorists or perverts.

It is not the job of shopping mall 'security staff' to protect the public. We have police for that. Their job is to protect the goods and property of their employers. In the old days they were called floorwalkers, nightwatchmen, or janitors. 'Security' is a PR puff expression.

Posted by: janeyteegee 11th Oct 2011, 08:25pm

WoW this is an amazing story to read,, I have to say when my sister
& I were over in '2010' we took dozens of pictures all over the place,including St Enoch Centre while shopping,,sitting in 'the queue'
at Buchanan St station waiting for the bus back to 'Kirky',, also many
of Partick with people walking bye us,,,

I've taken pictures of visiting relatives here in our many large 'Malls'
maybe we are a bit slow here as I haven't been arrested yet,,,,

Janey

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 11th Oct 2011, 09:28pm

QUOTE (Alex MacPhee @ 11th Oct 2011, 08:39pm) *
It is not the job of shopping mall 'security staff' to protect the public. We have police for that. Their job is to protect the goods and property of their employers. In the old days they were called floorwalkers, nightwatchmen, or janitors. 'Security' is a PR puff expression.

A shrewd observation that might be lost on a lot of people.
Store security personnel are exactly that.
As for the amount of CCTV cameras ... Remember the commotion when it was announced that CCTV cameras would be introduced which would also able to pick up conversation?
This is all your own protection folks.
Did they die the death, or were they softly softly introduced anyway?
Boy do I feel good knowing that where I'm living no one is interested in the integrated camera on my pocket sized X10 binoculars. cool.gif biggrin.gif

Posted by: Elma 12th Oct 2011, 04:44am

QUOTE (d.c. @ 11th Oct 2011, 06:14pm) *
So it does make me wonder with this latest incident, how that father may feel if he discovered from security that someone else was also taking photos of his child without his knowledge or permission. Would he object if that stranger was treated the way he was ?

Only one side of this story has been sold to the media and although the situation could perhaps have been handled better, I think security staff are in a no-win situation when trying to protect the public, whether it's from terrorists or perverts.

I absolutely agree d.c. How would any of the posters on here feel if it was their child who was being photographed by someone without their knowledge. The security staff at Braehead did not know it was the father, he could have been inside paying (am assuming this as I don't know Braehead) and reacted to a man taking a photograph of a child.

My grandson had a security job in a Calgary mall while going to College, he had the authority to approach anyone taking a photograph if he felt it was suspicious. He was there to protect the shoppers in the mall as well as the merchants.

Posted by: James 12th Oct 2011, 05:42am

A security guy has no right to tell somebody to stay where they are. I would walk away and if he laid a finger on me it would be assault. We lost it and the people do nothing, this man fought back, good on him.

Posted by: GG 12th Oct 2011, 07:06am

QUOTE (Elma @ 12th Oct 2011, 05:30am) *
I absolutely agree d.c. How would any of the posters on here feel if it was their child who was being photographed by someone without their knowledge. The security staff at Braehead did not know it was the father, he could have been inside paying (am assuming this as I don't know Braehead) and reacted to a man taking a photograph of a child. ...

Hi Elma, unfortunately, in this case, neither the security guards nor the police (according to Mr White) at any time attempted to establish the relationship between the adult taking the photo and the child being photographed.

Mr White made the further point that, had this not been the case of a legitimate family photograph, then both the guards and the professionals would have been at fault as they allowed him to leave with the child with their full consent. I think this is one aspect of the incident which prompted the father to action, i.e. that the authorities acted in defence of the rights of property owners (using anti-terror laws) and ignored the potential wellbeing and safety of the child.

GG.

Posted by: GG 12th Oct 2011, 07:21am

One other point I would like to raise is in the defence of the employees acting as security guards. Unfortunately, like many other jobs in the service/retail industry, this has become one of long hours, poor pay, bad conditions and inadequate training, resulting in high staff turnover rates.

Given the damage that this incident has caused to Braehead, and probably to shopping centres in the UK in general, it is IMO about time that employers valued the important role with security professionals have to play in their business models. These staff face high-value and high-risk situations daily, and have to balance the – often competing – interests of their empoyers, fellow workers and customers. It is a job which requires a professional, skilled approach, but all too often employers simply look to get the job done at the cheapest cost.

On that note, it was to note from the Independent newspaper that:

QUOTE
How did Glasgow's Braehead shopping centre – wheresecurity guards called police after a dad tookphotos of his daughter eating ice cream – blunder into such a PR disaster? In addition to Braehead's own press office, there's a PR agency (MacDonald Media) for the centre, while owner Capital Shopping Centre employs three more agencies – Hudson Sandler, College Hill and Porterfield PR. What have they all been up to?

Perhaps if the owners had spent less time and money employing so many PR agencies, and more time and resources on security staff, they would not be in the position they find themselves today!

GG.

Posted by: GG 12th Oct 2011, 07:35am

QUOTE (Alex MacPhee @ 11th Oct 2011, 05:48pm) *
I've met this myself, and had a very full apology from Mothercare, after one of their employees objected to me taking pictures of my daughter buying a pram for her first baby, pictures destined for the Baby Book the family had been compiling. The excuse I was given when I challenged his reason for stopping me was, somewhat bizarrely, that I could be photographing the shelf display for a competitor. Yes, really, that's what he said.

Alex, again another instance where the employees were acting in defence of the rights/interest of the property owners, rather than the potential (to them) safety and wellbeing of the child involved.

A similar thing happened to me in the Buchanan Galleries when the kids sat on the automated massage chairs and wanted me to put £2 in each to get them to work. I said no, naturally, and they went into a huff and said that they would not move until I paid the cash. I whipped out the phone to take a quick pic of them huffing away. A security guard was on me like a shot and told me I could not take photographs in the centre. I thanked her and said that this was "good to know", then walked away, but not before asking if she could chuck them off the seats! It helped that they are old enough to have a good laugh about it for the rest of the day!

GG.

Posted by: Jim D 12th Oct 2011, 08:06am

QUOTE (Jupiter @ 11th Oct 2011, 04:50pm) *
JimD,
I agree with what you say here however having listened to the man on tv I think he took the standpoint he did to basically highlight the absurdity of a situation which culminated in the involvement of two police officers absolutely needlessly.I thought this over and on the info I read I tried to work out the course of action I would have taken and I think it would have been along these lines;
Having been summoned by security and appraised of the situation and verified no crime or offence had been committed I would have told the security guard it was not a police matter but that I would accompany the man to the exit if he was barred in order to prevent a Breach of the Peace.Result:Advice given,assistance rendered,no further action.
In other words what happened here was a mountain out of a molehill and neither the security or the police came out of it too well.

I would have spoke to the security guard then the man with the child, established that the child was with him, made him aware of the Centres photography policy. I can just imagine the man being on his high-horse by this time. I would NOT make reference to any "powers" in relation to the image. I would also quietly say to the security officer to cut the man a bit of slack! He's enjoying time with his kids. One for the family album etc. I would then exit stage left. lol The thing was frought with danger before the police arrived. It had "complaint" written all over it.

Posted by: Jupiter 12th Oct 2011, 08:23am

JD Spot on.

Posted by: calmac 12th Oct 2011, 10:34am

Many shopping centres have had a policy preventing photography within their premises for years prior to the Glasgow Airport terrorist attack. As they are on private property, the owners are perfectly entitled to impose conditions on the use of those premises, whether that's no photography, no dogs or no radios.

However, what has happened is that that incident has given them and every other person in a uniform a trump card to play when people ask why photography isn't allowed (the other one is paedophiles). After all, who could really argue against measures enforced for our own protection?

The threat from terrorists is exaggerated by hysterical reactions from the public and the type of security theatrics which some police and other officials employ. The spectre of terrorism is used to cover all sorts of abuse of our laws and restrictions on our freedoms.

And guess who is trying to achieve that?.. the terrorists. Regarding terrorists taking photos in the St Enoch Centre, I'm not aware of, and have been unable to find, any confirmation that the terrorists who attacked the airport were found to have any photos of shopping centres or even of the airport.

As for someone pointing a zoom lens at a toddler in a shopping centre, I should really call the police today to report that last week I saw, in my local weekly newspaper and in a multiple page, full colour pull-out section, photographs of every primary school child in East Renfrewshire who'd just started the new term.

Doesn't the council realise the country is full of perverts who'll get their jollies with that sort of thing?!

calmac

Posted by: WeeGraham 12th Oct 2011, 05:32pm

Seems like just another example of common sense and mutual respect being lost from today's society. Maybe we should all just stay in and watch the telly and never go out!

Posted by: GG 12th Oct 2011, 06:45pm

QUOTE
Scottish police praised after foiling Al Qaeda toddler ice-cream plot
Toddler ice cream plot at Braehead shopping centre


Strathclyde police have been praised by Government officials after foiling a plot by Al Qaeda terrorists to take photos of a three year-old eating ice-cream in Glasgow’s Braehead shopping centre.

The plot, which detectives suspect might have been in the planning stages for up to eight minutes, would have seen a photo of the small child circulated to literally dozens of Facebook users.

A Strathclyde police spokesperson told of his pride at the efficient way in which the potential atrocity was prevented, telling reporters that the officers concerned had reacted ‘just as they’ve been trained to’ in order to bring the incident to such a successful conclusion.

The spokesman told us, “It’s at times like this that you have to rely on your training, you have to ignore the adrenaline and let the auto-pilot kick-in.”

“Sure, the officers were frightened, but if they’d stopped to think this through there could have been several photos shared across multiple social media channels, and then the terrorists would have won.”

Full story here:
http://newsthump.com/2011/10/10/scottish-police-praised-after-foiling-al-qaeda-toddler-ice-cream-plot

GG.

Posted by: Rab 12th Oct 2011, 08:24pm

QUOTE (Alex MacPhee @ 11th Oct 2011, 09:39pm) *
I don't believe that's the origin, it has been happening much longer than that.

There is an irony here. After the July 7th bombings in London, the police were appealing for members of the public to send them any photographs they had taken in the vicinity, that might lead to valuable clues to the identity and movements of the bombers. Suppose the photographer father, in this instance (thankfully not the case) had in his photograph an image of someone later deemed responsible for a terrorist or similar action?

The logic here is thin. If I wanted to take a photograph of a building, absolutely nobody would know about it. I certainly wouldn't use a look-at-me DSLR. I could be standing on the street making a call on my mobile phone. I could be using a small pen-shaped USB device to connect later to my computer. If I seriously wanted to take photographs undetected, there are too many ways to choose from.

What we seem to be seeing here is a kind of collective institutional hysteria, which can mean that the next generation will have no photographs of themselves growing up in their natural environments, doing ordinary things, because the Photo Nazis have been patrolling society's streets to prevent it, leaving us only with CCTV traces of our existence. Ironic, in a country that has more surveillance cameras per head of population than anywhere on the planet.


It is not the job of shopping mall 'security staff' to protect the public. We have police for that. Their job is to protect the goods and property of their employers. In the old days they were called floorwalkers, nightwatchmen, or janitors. 'Security' is a PR puff expression.

Excellent post Alec. Hear Hear!

Photographs have been prohibited on British airports for long before Lockerbie. I know, I worked at one. They were allowed with official permission - otherwise, how have press snappers been allowed to peddle their pathetic trade.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 13th Oct 2011, 03:08pm

QUOTE
The issue that few have spoken about is that the man was effectively suspected of wrong-doing simply because he was an older man with a young child. Even in shopping centres, it seems, we fear the bogeyman is coming for our children. Would staff have got involved had it been a woman photographing her daughter?


http://www.heraldscotland.com/bloggers/kate-higgins/that-braehead-ice-cream-pic-would-a-mother-have-been-challenged-1.1128569

Posted by: d.c. 13th Oct 2011, 05:10pm

From Strathclyde Police:
http://www.strathclyde.police.uk/index.asp?locID=1589&docID=8929

QUOTE
Statement re incident at Braehead, 7 October 2011

Rob Shorthouse, Director of Communications for Strathclyde Police said:

“It is absolutely right and proper that when a complaint about the police is made that it is fully investigated. The public need to know that their complaints are taken seriously and are acted upon promptly and professionally. This is exactly what has happened in this incident.

“Mr White complained to the police about the incident in Braehead. In his statement he set out a set of circumstances that has caused widespread debate, comment and criticism for those who he alleged were involved. Mr White chose to make his complaint public, to give interviews to the media and to seek debate on social networks.

“We are well aware that, as a result of this social media conversation, demonstrations are being planned this weekend at Braehead. We have also seen global media coverage of the incident – all of which has painted the shopping centre, this police force and, arguably, our country in a very negative light.

“It is because Mr White chose to seek publicity for his account of events and because of the planned demonstration that we feel compelled to take the unusual step of making our findings public.

“In reaching our conclusions, officers took statements from a number of independent witnesses and viewed the substantial amount of CCTV that was available in the centre.

“On reviewing all of this objective evidence, I have to tell you that we can find no basis to support the complaint which Mr.White has elected to make.

“The members of the public who asked for the security staff to become involved have told us that they did so for reasons which had absolutely nothing to do with him taking photographs of his daughter. They had a very specific concern, which I am not in a position to discuss publicly, that they felt the need to report. It was because of this very specific concern that security staff became involved. They were right to raise their concern and we are glad that they did so.

“The security staff were the ones who asked for police involvement. Again, this was not because Mr White said he had been photographing his daughter, but was due to the concerns that they themselves had regarding this particular incident.

“When our officers became involved they did not confiscate any items, nor was Mr White questioned under counter terrorist legislation. It is wrong to suggest that the police spoke to Mr White because he claimed he had been photographing his daughter, or that officers made any reference to counter terror legislation. Mr.White knows, or ought to know, why our officers spoke with him.

“Since Mr White chose to publish his version of events on Facebook, we have seen substantial traditional media and social media activity around the story. People have been very quick to offer their opinions on this issue and were very keen to accept Mr White’s story as the only evidence that was available. Clearly this was not the case.

“Social media allowed this story to spread quickly around the world. I hope that the same media allows this part of the tale to move just as quickly.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, we have fully investigated this incident and we can say that none of the independent and objective evidence presented to us by either the members of the public or the CCTV backs up the claims made by Mr White.”

Posted by: GG 13th Oct 2011, 06:41pm

Thanks for posting this, d.c.

This statement has certainly raised the stakes, not to mention poured some oil on to the dying embers of the publicity fire surrounding the affair. I think that the language and tone used in the statement is going to attract criticism on a professional level, regardless of what transpires with the incident. Personally, I would have expected a much more stoic and dispassionate response from Strathclyde Police.

GG.

Posted by: whatachef 13th Oct 2011, 08:46pm

As far as I'm concerned, Braehead have shown themselves up as a bunch of eejits. Their no photo policy is a piece of rubbish. I'm glad that this matter has come to public attention just before Christmas. If the day ever arrives when photos cannot be taken in public, it'll be a sad one for us all. If you don't want innocent photos taken of you or your kids, stay out of public places. Braehead, you've lost my custom for this Christmas I can assure you. Personally, I hope your footfall and your profits go south big time! As for Strathclyde Police, it's just more of what we've all come to expect of them.

Posted by: benny 13th Oct 2011, 09:24pm

As someone has already pointed out, Brahead is not "public", it is a privately owned shopping mall, and the owners are quite within their rights to ban photography there if they so choose. There is no law against taking photographs in the street, for example, because it is not privately owned.

The latest from Strathclyde police seems to muddy the waters even further. In addition to denying that "anti-terrorist laws" were invoked, they more or less state that the police involvement had nothing to do with taking the photograph, and that it was for some other,, unspecified, action on the part of Mr White. The mystery deepens.

Posted by: Rab 13th Oct 2011, 09:45pm

I agree GG that the tone of this release is rather irregular, but in view of the bad publicity alleged against Braehead and the Strathclyde Police, it seem that the Police were putting their version of the facts as they saw them before the public which is surely what we would expect of them, considering the allegations made against them! Mr Whites actions have provoked a possible public order event to which the Police would have to respond. Their point of view is that Mr White has given a different version of events to that of the witnesses and the Police. Surely they are entitled to defend their decisions where such ambiguity occurs. The ball has been firmly placed back in Mr Whites' court - lets hope that he can adequately justify his position. Maybe its about time we had some robust and human responses to unjust allegations, if they were such in this case.

Posted by: tamhickey 14th Oct 2011, 04:46am

So, Rob Shorthouse throws out unverified allegations against this man, who has been charged with no crime. Classic! The cops trying to make the victim look like the perpetrator. Also, how does he know for sure what the police in Braehead said to the man re terrorism laws? As the Herald article which THH helpfully provided shows, it's unlikely that anything like this would have happened had it been a woman taking the photos. Perhaps there is another side to the story, but Mr. Shorthouse, this isn't it.

Posted by: Jupiter 14th Oct 2011, 06:52am

Most of you know my background with the Police.Like other members of the public I accept Chris White for what he is,a normal intelligent dad and parent.
What I see now is something that the Police are past masters at.They are effectively calling him out.
There would have been a high level discussion on how to turn this matter so they would be shown in a better light and they have amassed all their resources to do so.
It is a tatic I have encountered many times with low level complaints against the police.
All in all pretty pathetic because what they have done is tarnished the reputation of Chris White because the question now and always will be,"Well what did he do?"

Posted by: Melody 14th Oct 2011, 08:50am

Imagine Braehead folk thinking anybody would want photographs of the place it's bad enough having to go to these places in the first place. Personally if I have to go there I can't wait to get out of it. laugh.gif Great Mausoleum of a place.

Posted by: zascot 14th Oct 2011, 09:47am

Well said Jupiter, I was wondering why they made allegations and did not give the facts. Trying to move the blame.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 14th Oct 2011, 03:51pm

Rab says in Post #73

QUOTE
I agree GG that the tone of this release is rather irregular, but in view of the bad publicity alleged against Braehead and the Strathclyde Police, it seem that the Police were putting their version of the facts as they saw them before the public which is surely what we would expect of them, considering the allegations made against them!

In the statement made by Rob Shorthouse quoted on Post#69 ...

QUOTE
... “On reviewing all of this objective evidence, I have to tell you that we can find no basis to support the complaint which Mr.White has elected to make.

“The members of the public who asked for the security staff to become involved have told us that they did so for reasons which had absolutely nothing to do with him taking photographs of his daughter. They had a very specific concern, which I am not in a position to discuss publicly, that they felt the need to report. It was because of this very specific concern that security staff became involved. They were right to raise their concern and we are glad that they did so.

“The security staff were the ones who asked for police involvement. Again, this was not because Mr White said he had been photographing his daughter, but was due to the concerns that they themselves had regarding this particular incident.

Some where down the line these very specific concerns must be made public if only to show that they did in fact exist.

Posted by: Jupiter 14th Oct 2011, 04:46pm

THH I agree 100%.Im mean what exactly would prompt a person to call security?It must have been something serious to enough to call in house security who therafter had to summon the police.I think the police statement is disgraceful in its content and intent.

Posted by: Scotsman 14th Oct 2011, 05:04pm

I have been away.... not in the Big Hoose hee-hee!! So am just catching up on this and reading through all the posts but one thing that I do not understand is that if this guy was supposed to be up to no good then why was he allowed to go on his merry way with a wee child in tow?? He was probably driving himself and the kid to the mall so if there is any suggestion that he was drunk or anything like that then why did the police not do something there and then?? While I am on this.... why did it take so long for the police to respond after the mall had already been in the news saying they would change things because of what had happened on the day.... it all looks very patchy and very iffy!!

Posted by: Rab 14th Oct 2011, 07:33pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 14th Oct 2011, 06:50pm) *
it all looks very patchy and very iffy!!

It certainly does. What we need is a proper, detailed explanation by Strathclyde Police of all the facts before them to clear the air, rather than leave us all guessing who is at fault - or not!

Posted by: ashfield 14th Oct 2011, 07:45pm

I agree with all the comments here. One thing that seems to have been missed during al the debate is the fact that this man's daughter's photograph has been spread all over the media. I doubt she will be grateful for the publicity.

Posted by: GG 14th Oct 2011, 07:59pm

Some updates:

QUOTE
Chris White last night vowed to sue Strathclyde Police

A FATHER at the centre of a row over taking a picture of his daughter at a shopping centre is to take legal action against Scotland’s largest police force.

Chris White last night vowed to sue Strathclyde Police for defamation after senior officers rubbished claims he was threatened with anti-terror laws over the mobile phone snap of four-year-old Hazel. ...

Full story here:
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/277415/Photo-row-father-to-sue-police

QUOTE
Are police attempting to smear The Braehead One

... Mr White last night told The Scotsman that the police account was “completely inaccurate” and said he would be taking legal advice to “pursue” the matter against police and a broadcaster.

In the latest development to a story which has seen Mr White held up as a champion of civil liberties, police said he was quizzed due to “very specific concerns” raised by members of the public in the Renfrew retail complex. ...

Despite reports yesterday that a report had been sent to the procurator fiscal regarding the 45-year-old, a police spokeswoman said that, while they had written to Mr White in response to his complaint, the matter was considered “closed”. ...

Full story here:
http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/edinburgh-east-fife/are_police_attempting_to_smear_the_braehead_one_ask_his_supporters_1_1909881

Comment on Strathclyde police's own facebook page:
QUOTE
... Their statement has through accident or design inferred that there are unanswered questions about Chris Whites character. “Mr.White knows, or ought to know, why our officers spoke with him” what exactly does this mean?. At best this statement is a gross error in judgment and a worse a PR disaster. This is the kind of thing that will set Strathclyde Police back with the general public and breed distrust of the police. You are only as good as your actions on your worst day, which is what you will be judged on.

https://www.facebook.com/StrathclydePolice?sk=wall

GG.

Posted by: benny 14th Oct 2011, 08:09pm

Tut, tut. "Inferred"? Surely implied is the correct word. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Gorbalsboy 14th Oct 2011, 09:03pm

A very disappointing statement coming from the police. Are they allowed to act as they wish without any fear or consequence? Where are the politicians in this matter?

Posted by: Heather 14th Oct 2011, 09:28pm

A report in todays Sun Newspaper said Chris White was quizzed by Police after he took a photo of a teenage girl who worked in the Ice Cream Parlour and she objected. The brother of the girl asked him to stop and he did, but it was another member of the public who made the complaint against him.

Posted by: GG 15th Oct 2011, 01:06am

Thanks Heather, this is the Sun story reported online yesterday:

QUOTE
Tot snap dad: I will sue cops

A dad who claims he was harassed by cops for snapping his four-year-old girl eating ice cream is to sue the force — for accusing him of being drunk.

Chris White, 45, threatened legal action as Strathclyde Police revealed he was grilled over a DIFFERENT complaint at Braehead shopping centre in Glasgow.

Furious Chris said last night: "I will be taking advice on a defamation case against the force.

"I am entirely unhappy with their statement."

Chris, of Nitshill, Glasgow, complained to police over the Braehead incident — including his allegation that officers threatened him under anti-terror laws.

He received a letter from the force in reply — which The Scottish Sun has seen — which alleged he was drunk, took pics of staff and had his flies undone when he was quizzed last Friday.

He said: "I haven't drunk for 11 years. It states my fly was undone. This was never pointed out to me at the time.

"These claims would seem to raise a number of child protection issues, but they let me walk out of a shopping centre with a child their claims would suggest was at risk."

GG.

Posted by: GG 16th Oct 2011, 06:19pm

Looks like this story is still circulating worldwide, from yesterday:

Romanian: De ce a fost interogat autorul ACESTEI FOTOGRAFII, Ón baza Legii antiterorism din Marea Britanie (Why was the author interviewed these photos, under anti-terrorism law in the UK?)
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ro&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gandul.info%2Fmagazin%2Fde-ce-a-fost-interogat-autorul-acestei-fotografii-in-baza-legii-antiterorism-din-marea-britanie-8856986

GG.

Posted by: GG 16th Oct 2011, 07:48pm

QUOTE (Jupiter @ 14th Oct 2011, 05:32pm) *
THH I agree 100%.Im mean what exactly would prompt a person to call security?It must have been something serious to enough to call in house security who therafter had to summon the police.I think the police statement is disgraceful in its content and intent.

I agree with you, Jupiter, it certainly appears to have a rather nasty intent.

Noting the mention of Facebook to complain, how is this for irony:

Strathclyde Police's top PR man thrown out of hotel after row over 'fatty steak' http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2010/09/29/strathclyde-police-s-top-pr-man-thrown-out-of-hotel-after-row-over-fatty-steak-86908-22594998/

You really couldn't make this up!

GG.

Posted by: Jupiter 16th Oct 2011, 08:02pm

You are very correct.You couldnt make it up.I left the Police ten years ago and I dont recall there ever being anyone in the position that Mr Shorthouse now occupies.(Police officers from Constable upwards were generally expected to be able to give comments and speak in public when required.I often enjoyed the cut and thrust of community council meetings,aargh!)What I cannot understand,in this age of austerity, is how Strathclyde Police can justify such a salary for any person to handle PR matters.
Im sure this is a question that should be directed to the Strathclyde Police Authority and I think I may be the person to do the asking.

Posted by: GG 16th Oct 2011, 08:30pm

Yes, Jupiter, it seems very unusual that so much public money is spent to handle public relations and yet they still do not have a functioning policy on how to effectively harness the power of social media. It's quite clear that the police online PR machine was caught napping in this incident, and has now over-reacted to try to compensate.

I read a comment on another site which kind of sums things up:

QUOTE
If the man is wrong he is just a clown and needs a good talking to. If the police are wrong, that is way more insidious. The truth needs to come out that's for sure.

GG.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 16th Oct 2011, 11:30pm

QUOTE (GG @ 16th Oct 2011, 08:34pm) *
Strathclyde Police's top PR man thrown out of hotel after row over 'fatty steak' http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2010/09/29/strathclyde-police-s-top-pr-man-thrown-out-of-hotel-after-row-over-fatty-steak-86908-22594998/

You really couldn't make this up!

GG.

Nor this:-

I worked back in Dec '63, as a temporary fill-in, as a waiter in the Lanarkshire House in Halfway Cambuslang where my mate was 2nd Chef. It had just opened that year I think and was the new place to go.
Bobby Shearer, of Rangers fame, and his wife were having steaks which I'd served them and his wife immediately complained about the steak. I said I'd have a word with the Chef (No. 1, an older English guy), went to the kitchen and, with my heart in my mouth, explained to the Chef that Bobby Shearer's wife was not happy with her steak maintaining it hadn't been cooked properly.
The Chef followed me to their table, picked the steak up from her plate and, with his hands, tore a piece off which he put into his mouth, closed his eyes as he chewed, and said to her, "This steak is perfect" then placed it back on her plate and returned to the kitchen having cleared the matter up.
Bobby Shearer stood up and demanded that his wife just shut up and follow him out (leaving the cost of the meal plus tip behind).

Posted by: Jupiter 17th Oct 2011, 12:11am

My mate and his wife were left red faced follwing an encounter with a Maitre D at a country club just outside the city.He had complained loudly to the waiter that the steak was tough.
The Maitre D eventually intervened and said with an air of authority,"Perhaps if madame was using the steak knife instead of the fish knife !Red faces all round!

Posted by: Harvey 17th Oct 2011, 11:31am

I read this story today in a Brisbane, Qld newspaper. Security personnel and police are not always the smartest folk on the block.

A few years ago after the Glasgow airport bombing incident, a couple of policemen were questioning young male tourists taking photographs of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

You couldn't make it up. Put some men in uniform and it goes to their heid.

Posted by: Jupiter 17th Oct 2011, 03:08pm

Harvey as an ex cop I take exception to your generalisation.I think it was police officers who took down the two terrorists at Glasgow Airport.As in any walk of life you will always find some who are not top kiddies.
So what about you Harvey?How do you earn your nourishment?
Joop rolleyes.gif

Posted by: benny 17th Oct 2011, 07:32pm

QUOTE (Jupiter @ 17th Oct 2011, 01:57am) *
My mate and his wife were left red faced follwing an encounter with a Maitre D at a country club just outside the city.He had complained loudly to the waiter that the steak was tough.
The Maitre D eventually intervened and said with an air of authority,"Perhaps if madame was using the steak knife instead of the fish knife !Red faces all round!


My Goad, whit a faux pas! That's oan a level wi drinkin Eldorado instead o Buckfast wi yer fish supper. Whit kinda people dae you associate wi, Joop?

Posted by: Jupiter 17th Oct 2011, 08:33pm

Benny,I agree,major faux pas.If that had been me I think I would have kept it tight.
Same place my wife ordered fillet steak well done.It came out and right off I saw it was a sirloin.
She was enjoying it ok and wasnt too bothered when I pointed it out to her.Again head waiter,"Everything ok sir?" "Yes except that fillet is a sirloin." Blind panic from him and profound apologies all round.
Meal on the house.
I seem to recall Eldorado done a nice tawny,ideal with fish.

Posted by: Phil O'Sopher 21st Oct 2011, 05:17pm

I wonder what the security guard and cops get up to in their spare time.

Posted by: GG 21st Oct 2011, 08:41pm

Probably the same as most people, Phil O'Sopher (nice name)!

I don't think we should get too hung up on what they do as individuals though as, especially at the level of involvement in this incident, the guards and police appeared to be carrying out the rules and laws. Maybe, instead, we should be more concerned about what politicians do – or don't do – as it is they who make the laws, and they who should be able to legislate to change the rules of large corporations if these are found not to be in the public interest. I don't think we have any comment from any politician on the wider issues relating to this matter ... will need to re-check. Things seem to have went quiet very quickly!

GG.

Posted by: Shirley 21st Oct 2011, 10:57pm

Actually, the law on this is very clear. It is not illegal to take photographs of people in a public place. You don't need the subject's permission, and you don't have to be a journalist etc. Shopping centres can politely ask the public not to take photos, but it is not legally enforceable. That aside, the security guard should have used some common sense in this case.

Posted by: ashfield 22nd Oct 2011, 09:05am

QUOTE (Shirley @ 22nd Oct 2011, 12:23am) *
Actually, the law on this is very clear. It is not illegal to take photographs of people in a public place. You don't need the subject's permission, and you don't have to be a journalist etc. Shopping centres can politely ask the public not to take photos, but it is not legally enforceable. That aside, the security guard should have used some common sense in this case.

Are you a lawyer by any chance Shirley smile.gif

I understand your point of view but, in law, are shopping centres public or private places ?

Posted by: GG 29th Oct 2011, 11:57am

One interesting story related to this affair is published in the Cumbernauld News today. Interesting, in my opinion, because of the last paragraph:

[The Antonine Centre manger] added:

QUOTE
"Strathclyde Police say that it is best practice not to allow photography in the general fight against terrorism, but we basically just apply a common sense approach."

Does this information sit comfortably with the police statement earlier that:
QUOTE
"... When our officers became involved they did not confiscate any items, nor was Mr White questioned under counter terrorist legislation. It is wrong to suggest that the police spoke to Mr White because he claimed he had been photographing his daughter, or that officers made any reference to counter terror legislation. ..."

Issue of photography in Cumbernauld shopping centres examined
http://www.cumbernauld-news.co.uk/news/local-headlines/issue_of_photography_in_cumbernauld_shopping_centres_examined_1_1930444

GG.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 30th Oct 2011, 05:27pm

From the newspaper report : "But he added: "We do however have a duty of care to protect our customers, tenants and staff from danger, as well as a duty to ensure that the Data Protection Act is observed."

Photographs taken for personal use are not within the scope of the Data Protection Act. It doesn't apply.


Posted by: Alex MacPhee 30th Oct 2011, 05:30pm

Karen added: "Strathclyde Police say that it is best practice not to allow photography in the general fight against terrorism, but we basically just apply a common sense approach."

Nothing wrong with common sense, but that's when it's sensible. Who determined it was "best practice" here? After the July 7th bombing, indeed after any such incident, it is common for the police to appeal to those in the vicinity who may have taken photographs to submit them as clues and evidence. How stupid is that?

Posted by: GG 31st Oct 2011, 12:24am

QUOTE (Alex MacPhee @ 30th Oct 2011, 05:53pm) *
From the newspaper report : "But he added: "We do however have a duty of care to protect our customers, tenants and staff from danger, as well as a duty to ensure that the Data Protection Act is observed."

Photographs taken for personal use are not within the scope of the Data Protection Act. It doesn't apply.

Well spotted, Alex. I didn't notice that. And this is from the management who are supposed to instruct their security guards ... no wonder they get it wrong! In this context, when we consider the manager's next comment:

QUOTE
“Our staff have been trained to look for unusual photography, photography of shop fronts, of clearly unrelated children and of security and fire equipment.

“In such circumstances our staff will politely enquire as to the photographer’s reason for taking those pictures and our subsequent actions will depend upon the photographer’s response.’’

Then, presumably, if a customer/photographer was to tell him, or his staff, to mind their own business as the DP does not apply, he/they would call the police?

GG.

Posted by: GG 31st Oct 2011, 12:34am

QUOTE (Alex MacPhee @ 30th Oct 2011, 05:56pm) *
Nothing wrong with common sense, but that's when it's sensible. Who determined it was "best practice" here? ...

Exactly! Here we have one centre which has three different policies regarding the taking of photographs, depending on which level/area the photographer takes a photo. Madness! Surely there should be industry-wide guidelines and regulations encompassing best practice, rather than leaving it to individual managers or centres?

GG.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 31st Oct 2011, 01:21am

QUOTE (GG @ 31st Oct 2011, 12:50am) *
Then, presumably, if a customer/photographer was to tell him, or his staff, to mind their own business as the DP does not apply, he/they would call the police?

Quite so.

Not every breach of the Data Protection Act is a criminal offence, and the police have no powers whatsoever to act in civil law, only criminal law. The obvious examples are where other crime, tax evasion, and the like, are involved ; but mere photography, where photographs are not to be associated with other information that might be covered by the DPA, do not fall within the scope of the DPA, so the police, even if called, have no powers to act. The obvious exceptions would be if there was indecent photography involved, say, of a minor, but the police would have powers in any case that did not depend on the DPA, for such cases. (Don't take my word for it : all this can be verified on the Information Commissioner's Office web site.) Police powers extend only to criminal law, not civil law.

What's crazy about this is that most people support the efforts of the police in matters of criminal law. If someone wants to take pictures for terrorist or criminal purposes, no one will know about it. It makes perfect sense to allow members of the public to take normal photographs every single day because these photographs could turn out to contain vital information should something dreadful happen. I can think of several 'missing children' enquiries where the police asked for members of the public to submit photographs of the area of last sighting. If no photographs are allowed, the only photographs to be taken will be those no one knows about and will almost certainly be unwilling to surrender. It may sound a bit like a paraphrase of the pro-weapons lobby that 'if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will carry guns', an argument I find unconvincing in general ; but in this case, banning photography would be incredibly counter-productive. And who'd want to be the person whose interference with photography turned out to be the person who prevented vital clues for the police being recorded?

Posted by: GG 31st Oct 2011, 06:51pm

That's a very interesting point, Alex, regarding the use of public photos as evidence. Also, there are already very sophisticated high-resolution still and motion cameras which can be fairly easily concealed when in use, so anyone who really wants to take photos, say of storefronts in a shopping centre, will probably have no problem doing this surreptitiously.

Here's an example of your point regarding evidence gathering:

QUOTE
Appeal over Jeep used in attack, 1 July 2007

Police have appealed for information regarding the vehicle which was used in a terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport.

They want to hear from anyone with information about the green Jeep Cherokee, registration number L808 RDT.

Assistant Chief Constable John Malcolm, of Strathclyde Police, said he was keen to know where the car had been in the last few weeks and days.

He also appealed for any photos and videos taken by members of the public during and before the attack
. ...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6259032.stm

That said, it must be difficult for security staff in high-traffic public areas to make so many decisions, and be right all the time. As one of the Cumbernauld managers said, a common sense (not to mention polite) approach is what's probably required to make things work. One thing the 'Brahead incident' has done, I think, is to make people think a bit more about the range of issues involved.

GG.

Posted by: Alex Saville 1st Nov 2011, 10:57am

One point that has not been raised in this matter is the power of Security Guards.
In fact, they dont have any more power than anyone else.
Member's of the public have the right of Citizens Arrest, however, they had better be sure they get it right as the consequences of them making a mistake can mean they are charged with breaking the law.
Security companies go to great lengths to give the public the impression that they have powers of arrest, which, other than Citizens Arrest, they dont.
Some paint their cars with battenberg patterns replicating police vehicles to give the impression they are official.
There is also a trend to put orange flashing beacons on the roofs, which is illegal as they are not on the list of permitted vehicles that are allowed to do so.
They dress their employees in uniforms that seek to give the impression that they have authority, which again, they dont.
If, for example, a security guard asks someone who has left a shopping mall or store to return because he/she or the Store/Mall believe they has committed an offence, the security guard has no right in law to force anyone to do so.
If they lay a hand to restrain the, in the Guard/Store/Mall's eye's, suspect, they are in danger of being charged with assualt.
If they do this to someone who is innocent then the roof could fall in on them.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, come Christmas Shopping time and the mall's themelves advertise on TV with video of their clients shopping.
Where does that put Strathclyde Police and the various shopping malls policy on photograph's then?
Can the answer be 'Do as I say, not as I do?'
Alex


Posted by: Jupiter 1st Nov 2011, 01:02pm

Alex, a very informative post the contents of which members of the public should make themselves aware.An ordinary member of the public can only make an arrest if he or she sees a criminal act being committed and a security guard for example cannot make an arrest on the say so of someone else, another witness,although I have no doubt that this does happen.
Twice I have walked out of supermarkets and the buzzer has gone off.Now I have never stolen anything so clearly there is a malfunction.Twice I have declined the invite to go back in the shop by a security guard and that has been the end of the matter.
Our local supermarket has a buzzer at the door which goes off frequently and very few folk bother with it.Co-incidentally the buzzer at the Marks and Spencer store at Braehead goes off if you look at it sideways. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Shirley 1st Nov 2011, 08:07pm

Alex, thank you also from me as I must also admit that was not actually aware of the legal aspect of the powers of these vast armies of private security staff. Not that I am likely ever to come into conatct with them but you never know as I do frequent the shopping malls. It does kinda make you wonder that none of these lobbying groups haven't tried to get them powers of arrest or at the least detainment. Shoosh! Might start something! biggrin.gif

Posted by: GG 5th Dec 2011, 07:24am

Looks like the 'photo fiasco' had no long-term effect... ?

QUOTE
... Capital Shopping Centres, which owns Braehead, near Glasgow, claimed its shops were welcoming “record” visitor numbers but declined to provide figures.

Warning of more exits from the UK high street
http://www.scotsman.com/business/warning_of_more_exits_from_the_uk_high_street_1_1991108

GG.

Posted by: GG 22nd Mar 2012, 12:38am

Looks like this story is set to re-appear in the media tomorrow after it was announced that the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland (PCCS) recommended that the police need to issue an apology to the man who was stopped taking photos of his daughter in Breahead shopping centre.

QUOTE
An amateur photographer who was stopped after taking pictures of his daughter eating an ice-cream says Scotland's police watchdog has urged the Strathclyde force to issue an apology. ...

Full story here:
http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Photographers_complaint_triggers_police_apology_call__news_311934.html

GG.

Posted by: Rab 22nd Mar 2012, 10:59am

Looks like this story is set to re-appear in the media tomorrow

I hope not GG. The story is as dead as a dodo now with so many counter allegations and conflicting evidence.nothing new has appeared and it seems doubtful the Police will take it any further. Best let it drop. (Made me wonder - is there a man alive who has never forgotten to do up his flies?)
Rab.

Posted by: ashfield 22nd Mar 2012, 11:04am

Gulp.......thanks for that Rab ohmy.gif tongue.gif

Posted by: Scotsman 22nd Mar 2012, 11:22am

Ignoring ashfields comment....?? Rab I have to disagree with you on this one because I think there have still to be answers given about the allegations the police made about this man. Even the police complaints people think that he has a case and that is saying something!! I hope we do hear more about it in the press as it is the only way that the police will be made to be brought to task for what they said about this man. I am going to search to see what I can come up with in the online newspapers....

Posted by: ashfield 22nd Mar 2012, 12:22pm

Don't you worry about not understanding my post Scotsman, I'm sure Rab (to whom the post is addressed) will know what it's about.

Posted by: Jupiter 22nd Mar 2012, 12:31pm

I agree with Scotsman here.It might be dead for many but the man concerned will not take that view.If the police acted improperly and if that has been established then the man requires an apology.Nothing less will do.He isnt asking for monetary compensation.
This kicked off for no good reason I could see.Security then called the Police who should have known better than to get involved.If anything the man was in breach of Braeheads policy on photography and he should have been told to desist or leave the premises.

Posted by: Rab 22nd Mar 2012, 10:17pm

'Security then called the Police who should have known better than to get involved'
Jupiter, absolutely correct. But the facts of why they did are still in dispute!

My point is that this is a dead duck as far as the rest of us is concerned! I agree that the man has a grouse with Strathclyde Police, but they deny any wrongdoing based on what they were told before they took what action they did. The chap can pursue it for whatever result he wishes, for as long as he wishes but whats it got to do with us? I for one will not lose any sleep over the eventual outcome whichever way it goes. I'm sorry that it causes so much angst for others. Lifes too short! Far more interested in my reduced pension. I don't belieeeeeeeve it!!

Posted by: GG 22nd Mar 2012, 10:26pm

Strathclyde Police has just given a short response to a request from a reporter at the Amateur Photographer magazine for the http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Photographers_complaint_triggers_police_apology_call_update_news_311934.html mentioned above. A police spokesperson said:

QUOTE
"The PCCS (Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland) have asked for clarification surrounding witness statements. At this time we have not been instructed to apologise to Mr White."

Personally, I think that the police will be forced to apologise to Mr White. Apparently, the police's own witness statements contradict later claims made by the force that Mr White appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

GG.

Posted by: Jupiter 23rd Mar 2012, 03:27am

Rab,talking as an ex cop I can assure you that there are many officers out there who get themselves embroiled in the stupidest, sometimes serious scenarios which results in the hierarchy going into overdive to extricate them from it.Ive seen it many times and this has it written all over it.The police are masters of the bluff and they will do everything to turn circumstances to show themselves in a good light.As for not caring;well the next time it could be you or me.

Posted by: Scotsman 23rd Mar 2012, 04:43pm

Thanks for your honesty Jupiter.... its police like you that we need on our streets because so many now seem to lack common sense and respect when it comes to dealing with Joe Public.

I totally agree with you that we should all care because any one of us could be in a situation that gets a bit out of hand like this one looks like it did.

Posted by: ashfield 23rd Mar 2012, 07:43pm

QUOTE (Jupiter @ 23rd Mar 2012, 03:32am) *
Rab,talking as an ex cop


Jupiter, I presume you know that Rab is also an ex cop unsure.gif

Posted by: Jupiter 23rd Mar 2012, 10:26pm

Ashfield , at the present time I dont recall Rab intimating that he was an ex cop .Re my post Rab will no doubt know where I was coming from.

Posted by: Alex MacPhee 23rd Mar 2012, 11:26pm

QUOTE (Rab @ 22nd Mar 2012, 10:22pm) *
My point is that this is a dead duck as far as the rest of us is concerned!

The problem is, it won't be. However much you may wish to put the actions of the police in this case into the past, this type of issue will continue. There will be others, whether police or CPSOs or shopping mall floor walkers, who will continue to harass amateur photographers by trying to assert non-existent or inappropriate laws against perfectly lawful behaviour. This is not an isolated incident, and if you look at the history of it, you will find for instance that the magazine Amateur Photographer has been reporting on instances of intrusion into and perversion of civil liberties in this field for a good number of years now. That's why this case is not 'dead', and why an apology, publicly made, is needed here. There needs to be a very public reinforcement of civil rights and civil liberties, which are being trashed by the kind of mindless hysteria brought about when some sections of society see someone out on the streets carrying a camera.

Posted by: Jupiter 24th Mar 2012, 09:59am

Alex, I buy and sell compact digital cameras and can often be found fiddling about with them.
Yesterday it was a Fujifilm 12.2mp camera and I was in of all places,Braehead at the top of the escalator in M&S waiting for my wife who was browsing about.So there I am trying to work out the remote function on the camera when two security guys appeared at my side.They never said anything,waited a few minutes and then walked off.Coincidence,who knows.If there had been anything worth snapping I would have but as it was I just left.

Posted by: GG 24th Mar 2012, 12:10pm

Jupiter, when you think of it, one could wonder why – in the light of the huge initial publicity this story got – none of the country's newspapers have followed up on Braehead's promise to change its photography policy. This could easily be done by sending a reporter and a child to the 'mall' and have the reporter take a couple of snaps of the kid.

However, the fact is that the country's media, en masse, dropped this story literally overnight after the police made their official statement. Even now, only Amateur Photography magazine has followed up on claims that Scotland's police watchdog has urged Strathclyde Police to issue an apology regarding claims the force itself made which appear to contradict witness statements.

GG.

Posted by: GG 24th Mar 2012, 12:16pm

QUOTE (Alex MacPhee @ 23rd Mar 2012, 10:31pm) *
... That's why this case is not 'dead', and why an apology, publicly made, is needed here. There needs to be a very public reinforcement of civil rights and civil liberties, which are being trashed by the kind of mindless hysteria brought about when some sections of society see someone out on the streets carrying a camera.

Couldn't agree more, Alex. And while we're at it... where are our politicians in this matter? We have three layers of political representation in Scotland – local authority, Holyrood and Westminster – yet they all appear happy not to enter the debate, publicly at least.

GG.