Photographer in shock over park pics ban
September 18, 2009
A photography enthusiast says he was made to feel like a criminal and had to call a doctor out after police stopped him filming in a Cheshire park.
The 58-year-old has pledged never to return to Town Hall Park in Runcorn after being treated like a ‘suspected paedophile’, according to the Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News.
It is understood that a member of the public had made a complaint to a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) after the photographer was seen near a children’s play area.
The photographer, who declined to be named to avoid ‘further humiliation’, told the newspaper: ‘I’ve been taking photographs there for 35 years and have recently moved on to taking videos,’
‘I was filming when the PCSO told me to stop.’
The PCSO reportedly asked him for ID, and ran his name through a computer, but the officer declined to view the captured images because he was pushed for time, according to the report.
The photo enthusiast was told that if any more complaints were made he would be arrested and his camera gear seized.
‘I feel vilified and persecuted even though I was just a private citizen going about my business.
‘When I went home I was in shock and had to call the GP out.’
A police spokesman told the newspaper: ‘A local police community support officer was on patrol in the park on Friday [11 September]. ‘Whilst on patrol he saw a man filming near the children’s play area and advised him about how his actions could be construed. At no point was the man told to stop filming.’
At the time of writing, a spokesman for Cheshire Police had not yet responded to our request for comment.
Keep an eye on this story for further updates later today.
The news comes in the week that a retired senior policeman called for an end to society’s ‘paranoia’ surrounding paedophiles after he was banned from taking pictures of his grandson at a football match.
? For the full story visit Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News