Golden Wonder security firm silent after photography fiasco

January 25, 2012

A security firm at the centre of a row after its guards banned photographs of a crisp factory has refused to confirm whether the officers involved have resigned.

Last week Amateur Photographer (AP) reported how two security guards prevented a photographer from taking photos of the Golden Wonder factory in Scunthorpe for a project on local industry.

The photographer?s video of the 17 January incident has since been watched more than 76,000 times on YouTube.

On Monday, Golden Wonder management told the BBC?s Look North that the guards in question had ?resigned?.

However, Kingdom Security Ltd ? whose officers patrol the Golden Wonder plant ? has refused to comment publicly, or confirm whether the two officers in question have left their jobs.

This is despite repeated calls and emails to their head office yesterday by AP.

In the Look North programme, broadcast on Monday evening, local MP Austin Mitchell, branded the entire incident as comical.

?Guards don?t have the power to stop anyone taking photographs in a public place?,? said the MP for Great Grimsby who is a keen photographer and campaigner on photo rights.

He added: ?The whole business is comic rather than dangerous… It could be there had been security allegations and that Golden Wonder is in fact producing exploding bags of crisps which could be dropped on enemy lines ? so that in a war they could be used as a secret weapon.?

Mitchell blamed poor training for the guards? ignorance of the law. ?The firms that employ them [security guards] need to make clear what they can and can?t do and that people have a right to take photographs. All it takes is a bit of common sense.

?The photographer was right to assert his rights…

‘Unfortunately they [the guards] lost their temper and it became very funny.’

Last year, photographers welcomed guidance aimed at private security guards which is designed to target such overzealous behaviour.

The guide, Photography and Hostile Reconnaissance, was drawn up by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), with input from the UK Government and counter-terrorism police following months of talks between the Home Office, police and photography rights campaigners, including AP.

The BSIA urged its 570 members to distribute the new photography rules to more than 75,000 security officers they represent nationwide.

However, Kingdom Security Ltd ? which is based in St Helens, Merseyside ? does not belong to the BSIA, according to the association?s website.

AP also took part in the Look North programme.

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