Police Threatened Dad With Terror Law For Taking Photos of Daughter
(DAILY RECORD) A DAD says he was threatened by police under anti-terror laws – for taking a picture of his wee girl eating ice cream.
Chris White was pulled up by a security guard and police were called after he snapped his four-year-old daughter Hazel on his phone in Braehead shopping centre, near Glasgow.
Chris was asked to delete the photos and banned from the mall.
Police also warned him they could confiscate his phone under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
He said yesterday: “I just couldn’t believe what was happening to me.”
Chris, 45, took the snap of Hazel as she sat at an ice cream stall in Braehead.
Later, when he was carrying her through the centre, he was stopped by a security guard.
Chris added: “He said I had been spotted taking photos in the shopping centre which was illegal and then asked me to delete any photos I had taken.
“I explained I had taken two photos of my daughter eating ice cream and that she was the only person in the photo, so I didn’t see any problem.
“I also said I wasn’t that willing to delete the photos and there seemed little point as I had uploaded them to Facebook.”
The security guard called police and two officers arrived within minutes.
Chris, a mental health trainer, of Glasgow’s southside, said: “My daughter was crying by this stage.
The older officer was quite intimidating. He said there had been a complaint about me taking photos and that there were clear signs in Braehead saying no photographs were allowed.
“I tried to explain I hadn’t seen any clearly displayed signs and that I had taken two photos of my daughter.
“As I was trying to explain, he said I was interrupting him and that I should remain quiet until he had finished speaking to me.
“At one stage, I was reassuring my daughter everything was OK, only to be told I wasn’t listening by the officer.
“The police officer started to say that there were privacy issues around photographs, to which I said I’d 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.
He said that under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, he was quite within in his rights to confiscate my mobile phone without any explanation for taking photos within a public shopping centre.”
The officers allowed Chris to keep his phone but they took down his details, including his name, place of birth, age, employment status and address.
He added: “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 details.
“The police officer said the security guard was within his rights to ask me to leave Braehead and bar me from the premises.”
Hundreds of people have signed up to an internet campaign calling for a boycott of Braehead.
There have even been calls for a “flash mob” of Braehead. There have even been calls for a “flash mob” protest at the centre.
Chris said: “I am appalled at how going shopping and taking a photo of your daughter can lead to being intimidated in this way.”
Chris has complained to police about how they handled the situtaion.
Superintendent George Nedley said: “A full review of the circumstances surrounding the incident and the allegations made is under way.”
A spokesman for Braehead said: “Our priority is to maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for shoppers and retailers.
“We have a ‘no photography’ policy 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.”