Braehead row latest: Delete, or you’re out (update2)

October 17, 2011

A shopping centre group is once again under fire for claiming it can ask people to delete images, just days after announcing a photo policy U-turn.

Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) last week changed its policy to allow photography, ?for personal and non-commercial use, to be taken of families and friends, and of the shopping centre generally?.

The climbdown came after thousands backed a Facebook campaign for Chris White, who was quizzed by security staff and police about images he had taken of his daughter at Braehead shopping centre near Glasgow.

Now, having finalised the new policy, CSC says anyone who refuses to delete images deemed to be in breach of its security and privacy policy will face being thrown out of its shopping centres.

CSC owns 11 shopping centres in the UK and is a partner in three others.

The group’s new rules give its staff the right to ?ask to see the photographs or films of those people to check if they comply with this policy?.

It says security personnel will also ?ask for the photographs or films to be deleted if they are not compliant?.

However, photographers claim that security staff do not have the legal right to ask members of the public to delete images.

Writing on the Amateur Photographer website forum, Mark Singleton, from campaigning website SceneThat, stressed that guidelines drawn up by anti-terrorism police and Home Office officials state that private security staff do not have any legal right to require, or ask, that images are deleted.

Earlier this year, the Home Office held talks with the private security industry with a view to drawing up a set of guidelines to be used as part of security guard training.

In July, Detective Sergeant David Parkes – a counter-terrorism advisor at the Metropolitan Police who is involved in the talks – emphasised that ‘no power in law exists to require or ask that any images taken are to be deleted’.

In response to the criticism, a CSC spokesperson told us: ?Shoppers taking photos in accordance with the policy will be able to continue to do what they were doing.

?If we reasonably suspect a person of being in breach of the policy and they choose not to delete the photos when asked, we reserve the right to ask them to leave.?

In recent months Amateur Photographer, along with SceneThat and other photography groups, has met Home Office officials to discuss the training of private security guards.


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