British father calls for shopping centre boycott after he is quizzed by police for taking photos of his own daughter
By JR on Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Give a Brit a little bit of power and his/her inner Hitler comes out
A father claims he was quizzed by police under anti-terror legislation after he was spotted taking a photo of his daughter in a shopping centre. Chris White took a picture of his four-year-old daughter Hazel while she was eating an ice cream at Braehead shopping centre near Glasgow last Friday.
However, Mr White said a security guard ordered him to stop, claiming it was 'illegal' to use a camera in the centre, and asked him to delete any images he had taken on his mobile phone.
Mr White had paused to take a snap of his daughter posing on the back of a scooter seat at an ice cream bar on their way around the shops.
A Facebook campaign was launched over the weekend calling on the public to boycott the mall. It has attracted more than 19,000 'likes' on the social networking site and hundreds of comments.
Mr White said he was approached by the security guard who asked him to delete the pictures at about 4pm.
Explaining the incident on his Boycott Braehead Facebook page, Mr White said: 'I explained I had taken 2 photos of my daughter eating ice cream and that she was the only person in the photo so didn't see any problem. I also said that I wasn't that willing to delete the photos and there seemed little point as I had actually uploaded them to Facebook.
'He then said i would have to stay right where I was while he called the police, which seemed a little extreme.'
When police arrived he told Mr White there were 'clear signs' in the centre ordering shoppers not to take pictures inside the mall.
Mr White said: 'The police officer than started to say that there were privacy issues around photographs, to which I said yes and in a busy shopping centre I waited until only my daughter was in the shot. 'I explained that I was happy to show him the photos although not sure under what authority he could ask me to delete the photos.'
Mr White said police told him they 'were within their rights under the Prevention of Terrorism Act' to confiscate his mobile phone without any explanation. However officers let Mr White keep his photos but took all his details and he was then allowed to leave.
The shopping centre tonight apologised to Mr White and said it was changing its policy 'with immediate effect' so families and friends can use their cameras in the centre.
A Braehead spokesman said in a statement: 'We have listened to the very public debate surrounding our photography policy and as a result, with immediate effect, are changing the policy to allow family and friends to take photos in the mall.
'We will publicise this more clearly in the mall and on our website. We will reserve the right to challenge suspicious behaviour for the safety and enjoyment of our shoppers.
'We wish to apologise to Mr White for the distress we may have caused to him and his family and we will be in direct contact with him to apologise properly.'
Mr White said he had been overwhelmed by the public response on the issue and thanked people for their support. He added: 'Hopefully we can now move forward with a common sense approach into a situation that allows families to enjoy precious moments with their children, but at the same time ensure that such public places are areas where we can feel safe and protected.'
Supt George Nedley, of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde division, told BBC Scotland: 'As a result, a full review of the circumstances surrounding the incident and the allegations made is under way.