Olympics 2012 organisers have been forced to spell out their policy for treating photographers at the east London construction site after an amateur claimed security guards tried to stop him taking pictures there.
Photography enthusiast Dr Patrick Green told us two security guards tried to prevent him taking pictures at the northern end of the 2012 Olympic site on Sunday 10 June.
Dr Green insisted that he was standing in a public area at all times and was first challenged while capturing shots of the building work on the former Eton Manor sports ground.
The 45-year-old said he was taking the pictures as part of a personal photography project to record the site before building work begins.
He was using an Olympus E-1 digital SLR, a 14-45mm lens and was not carrying a tripod.
Dr Green told us: ?A security guard came out of the security cabin and called out ?that isn?t allowed?. I called back that photography wasn?t illegal and he couldn?t stop me taking pictures. The guard appeared agitated and just repeated that photography wasn?t allowed. As he was behind a fence I just ignored him.?
Dr Green then tried to take photos of preparation work at the Lea Valley Cycle Circuit where, he said, security guards told him they?d already had ?a lot of trouble dealing with reporters?.
One of the guards told Dr Green that he believed he was taking a photo of him. Dr Green replied that he had actually been taking pictures of the buildings behind.
Dr Green – who lives in the capital – said the security guard warned him that police regularly patrol the area and would take down his details if he continued taking shots.
?I told him [the guard] I was just an amateur photographer. He repeated that police were liable to take my name and address and just added that he was trying to ?educate me?. After that the conversation ended and I continued taking pictures,? said Dr Green who told us that no police officers appeared on the scene.
Commenting on the incident a spokesperson for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said: ?There are absolutely no restrictions on people in public places. If they are in a public place then we?ve got absolutely no authority to stop them.?
He added: ?We have made it clear to our contractors on site that people in public places have every right to take photos.?
However, the ODA spokesperson said that access to certain parts of the site are restricted for health and safety reasons owing to demolition work, for example.
Furthermore, he warned that many publicly accessible areas ? including roads and public rights of way – will become privately owned when the ODA takes possession of the Olympic Park site in early July.
This means photographers will effectively be prevented from entering these areas, either because they are in private hands or closed to the public for planned demolition work.
?Once we take full control of the site, public areas around the Olympic Park will remain accessible for photographers but land within the Park boundary controlled by the ODA will be closed off to protect the safety of the public,? continued the ODA spokesman.
The spokesman added: ?There is a lot of interest in photographing the Olympic Park site and it is important that we carefully manage this interest to ensure safety and security remain our number one priority.?
He insisted that people in public areas that lie outside the Olympic Park boundary will continue to have ?every right to be there?.
Dr Green, who is a doctor of science, first became interested in photography as a child, rekindling his interest through a photography course in 2000 when he took it up more seriously.
Picture Credit: Dr Patrick Green
This image shows the view looking east towards Stratford International station