‘Arrested’ photographer: Security chiefs issue statement

February 22, 2011

Security chiefs insist they were correct to stop a photographer taking pictures of a leisure complex despite him having committed no offence, and a complete absence of warning signs.

Earlier this month amateur photographer Simon St. Clare told how security guards prevented him taking shots of the outside of the Xscape complex in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

The 36-year-old said he felt like he had been ‘arrested’ by the guards who held him until police arrived.

‘Both guards stepped forward and placed their hands on my arms? When the two police officers arrived they took my details and then let me go,’ he told us.

However, police officers wasted no time in telling security staff that the photographer was ?legitimately allowed to take photos of the building?.

Following what it describes as a ?full investigation? Xscape management concluded that security personnel ?acted appropriately?.

In a statement issued to Amateur Photographer Xscape said staff acted on the basis that the photographer had been asked not to take photos at another centre in Milton Keynes.

The incident has forced Xscape managers to draw up a photographic policy and put up ?No Photography? warning signs banning the use of cameras and camera phones.

The policy, published on the centre?s website, reads: ?The venue is private property, owned by Xscape Milton Keynes Partnership. For purposes of security, data protection, customer safety and brand protection, the security team at the venue reserve the right to approach any person engaged in photographic activity.?

The new policy also gives management the right to charge a fee for commercial photography of the building.

Simon was using a Canon EOS 20D DSLR during the incident on 7 February.

Xscape managers were not available to explain how taking photos of a building breaches ?data protection?.

Simon St Clare could not be reached for comment.