Disabled photographer in waterfront ‘terror’ threat (update)

July 29, 2010

Mike Evans photo

Picture credit: Mike Evans

An amateur photographer, who requires a carer, was stunned when security guards threatened to call anti-terror police over his photos of the Liverpool docks.

Mike Evans said guards told him he was not allowed to use DSLRs outside the city?s Echo Arena, but that if he used a compact camera or a mobile phone he was free to take pictures.

Mike, who branded the behaviour of the guards ?senseless?, took up photography in 2008, a year after being diagnosed with cancer.

He told us: ?After chemotherapy I was then diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in my spine.

‘Unfortunately this has left me requiring the use of a wheelchair and walking sticks and I have a carer to assist me.?

Mike, from Runcorn in Cheshire, said he had wanted to visit Liverpool after hearing the city had undergone major redevelopment as part its Capital of Culture status.

He had been with his carer – his brother – on a footpath next to a bus stop at the side of the arena building, which is located at Kings Dock.

But it was when the pair turned their DSLRs on the Mersey estuary that the problems began.

?We were approached from behind by two security guards from the arena, which was behind us.

?The guards proceeded to inform us not to take any pictures of the arena and that, if we ignored this request, they would ring the anti-terrorism police.?

Mike added: ?I then showed the lens cloth received free with your [Amateur Photographer] magazine? they told us that the rules on the cloth meant nothing to them.?

The lens cloth spells out that photographers have a right to take pictures in a public place.

Mike had been using an Olympus E-420, while his brother was trying to take pictures using a Canon EOS 450D during the confrontation on 15 July.

Mike insisted they had not taken any pictures of the arena itself.

A spokeswoman for the Liverpool Echo Arena told us: ‘Apologies to the gentleman… We have no issues with amateur photographers taking non-commercial images of the exterior of the buildings.’

However, she pointed out that the Echo Arena stands on private land and urged photographers to contact the venue before taking pictures of the buildings.

‘We reserve the right to approach anyone and ask them questions about what they are doing,’ she added.

The Echo Arena can be contacted on 0151 475 8888.


Mike Evans image

Picture credit: Mike Evans

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