Photo rights meeting cancelled amid lawsuit threat (update 6.40pm)
October 14, 2011
The shopping centre photo row is set to deepen with news that amateur photographer Chris White may take legal action after police yesterday publicised a ?specific concern? reported to them.
White has tonight confirmed to Amateur Photographer (AP) that he has lodged a complaint with the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland and will talk to his lawyer next week with a view to suing Strathclyde Police.
In a candid interview with AP, White – a mental health trainer – said: ‘If I do not defend myself – even though there is no criminal charge – it potentially has a massive effect on my work prospects.’
He said he has received a letter from police claiming officers were told he had been seen talking to himself, was under the influence of alcohol and taking a photo of a female shop assistant with his trousers undone.
‘My last drink was on Burn’s Night 2000,’ said White who denies he was talking to himself.
‘At no stage was I aware my zip was undone.’
He said police have also claimed his daughter ‘appeared to be distressed’.
Police have so far refused to elaborate, publicly, on the details of the ‘specific concern’ mentioned in their statement.
White questions whether police would have allowed him to walk out of a shopping centre drunk, with his trouser zip down, talking to himself and with a child in distress.
Earlier today a meeting White was due to have with Braehead shopping centre management to discuss its new photography policy, was cancelled.
Police were called to Braehead near Glasgow a week ago, after security staff raised concerns over White, who had taken pictures of his four-year-old daughter.
In its statement Strathclyde Police yesterday pointed to a ‘very specific concern’ raised by members of the public ‘which had nothing to do with him taking photographs of his daughter’.
Late last night Chris White confirmed to AP: ?In light of the comments made [in the police statement] and now the police have said their was no criminal act, I will be taking further legal advice and may take further legal actions action against the parties involved.?
Today White was due to discuss the centre?s new photography policy which is set to be rolled out to 10 other UK shopping centres.
A Braehead spokesman told AP that the meeting is not likely to take place for at least another week as the centre?s general manager is away.
However, a spokeswoman for Braehead?s owner, Capital Shopping Centres, insisted that the photo policy review ?is still going ahead?.
She said today’s photo rights meeting was ‘postponed’ by mutual consent. ‘We corresponded [with White] yesterday and we both agreed not to meet today, but we have agreed to meet to discuss our photography policy at a later date.’
Police refuse to elaborate on the concerns raised by members of the public.
The Scottish Express reports that police have written to White accusing him of ?being drunk and having his trouser zip open?.
A Braehead spokesman refused to say whether there were concerns about him ‘being drunk or otherwise’.
White was not available to comment on this at the time of writing this lunchtime.
He has previously denied any wrongdoing and refutes the latest allegations in the Scottish Express report.
The Braehead spokesman told us: ?We cannot comment on the outcome of the police investigation.
?However, following our own investigations, Braehead stands by the actions of our member of security staff and by the actions we have subsequently taken.?
He said the centre apologised to White on Monday ?with the information we had at the time?.
Capital Shopping Centres changed its policy, to allow photography, after the incident sparked a Facebook campaign that has attained more than 20,000 ?likes?, and global media coverage.
Last night White was overwhelmed with calls from the media and appealed for privacy to allow time to spend with his wife and daughter.
Last month, we revealed that an amateur photographer is in talks with Lancashire Police over a possible cash payout after he sued the force for wrongful arrest.
More to follow…