Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Security guards still like to harass photographers

While it may be true to say that past incidents have resulted in the police becoming better educated regarding the law regarding photography in public places, it seems that private security guards (aka ‘jobsworths’ or ‘thugs’ depending on who you speak to) remain ignorant of his subject, and still think that seeing someone with a camera pointing in their direction gives them carte blanche to assault them, seize their gear, and demand to see any pictures they have taken.

For the record, they have no such authorities, and are potentially committing offences if they do.

I’ve mentioned this before here and here for example, and thought we were moving into better times.

It seems not: Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

A photographer in a public place was called a “lunatic”, “detained” by private security guards and had the police called on him after he videoed a wall outside the Port of Tyne.

Footage posted to YouTube by 24-year-old media production graduate Alan Noble shows two security guards employed by the Port of Tyne remonstrating with him on a traffic island next to a roundabout by the port’s entrance.

One guard, with blue eyes, grey hair and wearing a blue fleece and lanyard clearly marked with “Port of Tyne”, can be clearly heard on the video.

He told Noble: “You’re taking photographs of an area under the protection of the Department for Transport and if you don’t move you’re going to be arrested.”

Here are the videos:

I’ve been harassed too

For the second time, I was recently subject to similar harassment while out for a walk with my camera.

I had stopped to take some pics (actually, I had stopped to see if I could photograph something in the distance with long lens).

A massive 4×4 passed me, pulled up along the road, then reversed back to me.

The window slid down, and the driver asked “Can I help you?”

Not knowing who this stranger was, I replied “No”, and asked that he “Go away.”

He then gave me the Third Degree and a hard time as he was the owner of the house I happened to be standing outside at the time I was looking through the viewfinder, and he demanded to know why I was taking pictures of his house.

Of course, since I wasn’t taking pics of his house, and told him so, this just upset him more as he seemed convinced I was lying.

He got even more ticked off when I pointed out I was in a public place and could take pics of whatever I could see.

I don’t have a mobile phone, but honestly would have called the police, as his attitude was threatening.

And all because he happened to pass me in the street, looking into my camera while standing at his house.

The first time?

Years and years ago – I was thrown out of Princes Square, a tacky shopping centre in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street.

I’d gone along on the opening day just to take some pics of the new place, and was quickly approached by two security guards. They didn’t even ask what I was doing, merely asked me to stop taking photographs and leave (implied, “Or else”). Since the centre is private property, I had no problem with the request.

I was a little shocked and surprised though, being more used to places like the Metro Centre in Gateshead, where they positively want folk to take pics and publicise the place.

In the days of film cameras, they even had a stall that sold disposable cameras to people who had not brought their own!


March 4, 2016 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , ,

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