Row over photo in shopping centre


A family day out ended with Chris White claiming he was quizzed by police under anti-terror laws after taking a photo of his daughter

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A Facebook campaign is calling for people to boycott a shopping centre after claims a man was questioned by police for taking photographs of his own four-year-old daughter.

Chris White took a picture of Hazel eating an ice cream in the Braehead shopping centre, near Glasgow.

A security guard told him it was illegal to take pictures in the centre.

A spokesperson for Braehead said it wanted to "maintain a safe and enjoyable environment" for shoppers.

Mr White told BBC Scotland he was approached by a security guard after photographing his daughter "looking cute on the back of a vespa seat at an ice cream bar" at about 16:00 on Friday.

He said the security guard asked him to delete any photos he had taken from his mobile phone.

Terrorism Act

Mr White explained that he had already posted two photos, in which his daughter was the only person in the shot, to Facebook.

The police were called and Mr White was told there were "clear signs" saying no photographs were allowed.

Chris White took this picture of daughter Hazel in Braehead shopping centre Chris White took this picture of his daughter in Braehead

Mr White said that one officer claimed that under the Prevention of Terrorism Act he was within in his rights to confiscate the mobile phone on which the photos were taken.

He said the police officers took his details and he was eventually allowed to leave.

By Monday morning, more than 4,000 people had "liked" the campaign page which had been set up on Facebook.

Supt George Nedley, of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde division, said: "I can confirm we have received a complaint regarding this incident and one of my senior officers has spoken to Mr White regarding this.

"As a result a full review of the circumstances surrounding the incident and the allegations made is under way."

A spokesman for Braehead said: "Staff at an ice cream stall in Braehead became suspicious after they saw a male shopper taking photographs at their counter.

"The staff thought the man had also been taking photographs of them and they alerted one of the centre's security staff."

He added: "The member of security staff approached the man and politely asked if he had been taking photographs. Because of the nature of the incident, police became involved and also spoke to the man.

"Our priority is always to maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for all of our shoppers and retailers. The member of our security staff acted in good faith.

"We have a 'no photography' policy in the centre to protect the privacy of staff and shoppers and to have a legitimate opportunity to challenge suspicious behaviour if required.

"However, it is not our intention to - and we do not - stop innocent family members taking pictures."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 263.

    Another over-zealous official and abuse of powers. Unfortunately, we should not be surprised. People I know have been stopped in the street for taking pictures along a road. What possible harm could that bring? This won't stop until we collectively make sure MPs know that we are sick of this 1984 style of officialdom.

  • rate this

    Comment number 262.

    My local town centre has a range of shops and as far as I am aware none of the shopkeepers have ever been aggressive, petty minded and down-right ignorant as the "security" guard highlighted in this story. I would recommend you leave the out of town shopping centre where it is and visit your local shops.

  • rate this

    Comment number 251.

    The whole situation is getting out of hand. Challenge a security guard and you are being abusive; challenge a policeman and you are charged as a terrorist. The shops in Braehead can now look forward to reduced takings in the lead up to Christmas and as for the Christmas Grotto - Braehead may as well not bother, as no-one will want to take their child if they cannot take a photo.

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    I took a photograph of the Christmas decorations in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre last year and was told to delete the photograph by a security guard. I refused! I later complained and was given an apology stating that the guards should use common sense when dealing with issues like photography (re: security). The guard was "retrained". I guess common sense isn't something that was used here!

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    Until I read this story I have shopped regularly at Braehead. To clarify some assertions above - There are no signs that I have ever seen there banning photography. We have taken photos of our children at that same stand with no problem. But given the ludicrous behaviour of their staff and the stupidity of their followup actions, we will not be going back.


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