A disabled photographer who was branded a potential terror threat by an overzealous security official is to receive a personal apology from bosses at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
The formal apology comes a week after Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine first exposed the fiasco, sparking wider coverage in newspapers and on BBC Radio.
Last month Mike Evans, who requires a wheelchair and a carer, was taking pictures on the Liverpool waterfront when a security guard threatened to call anti-terror police.
Echo Arena General Manager Tim Banfield this morning asked AP for help in contacting Evans so that he could issue a personal apology.
In a victory for photographers? rights, the venue?s management pledged to re-brief security staff after admitting that the guard in question overstepped the mark.
But they warn that future stops on surrounding land are likely, as part of the arena’s security policy.
They concede that on public highways close-by, guards have no right to confront photographers.
Evans’ photographs – which included an image of a boat on the River Mersey – suggested that he was on public land at the time – though arena bosses have not made this clear to AP.
However, it seems this was not the first time members of the public have encountered problems with the venue?s security, according to ACC Liverpool, owner of the Echo Arena owner.
In a statement released to AP, ACC Liverpool said: ?Over the past couple of weeks ACC Liverpool has received feedback from a number of visitors to the site. As a result of this we have reviewed how this policy is currently being implemented and in particular how security staff at the venue communicate with visitors.?
ACC Liverpool issued the statement after completing a review of its photography policy.
Statement in full:
Photography at ACC Liverpool
?We recognise there has been some concern expressed recently over the photography of the building and surrounding areas of the ACC Liverpool ? which includes the BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena.
?We?d like to state that we welcome members of the public taking photographs of the building and surrounding areas and are pleased that so many already enjoy doing so on a daily basis.
?It is not the policy of ACC Liverpool to stop the general public from taking photographs on our site.
?That said, we have been advised by the relevant authorities that given the sensitive nature of a number of the events held at ACC Liverpool, vigilance with regards to activity and interest in and around the building should be at the highest level.
‘We will therefore always need to reserve the right to challenge visitors to the site, to ascertain the nature of any activity, in order to protect the safety of the general public, and visitors to our venues. As a result, members of the public on ACC Liverpool land may be approached by security staff.
?Over the past couple of weeks ACC Liverpool has received feedback from a number of visitors to the site. As a result of this we have reviewed how this policy is currently being implemented and in particular how security staff at the venue communicate with visitors.
We trust that this will allow members of the public to continue to enjoy their visits to ACC Liverpool and in particular for amateur photographers to enjoy our unique building and surrounding unimpeded.?
Picture credit: Mike Evans