Photographers hoping to take pictures of the Olympic construction site in East London have been warned they will be questioned if suspected of photographing ‘security operations’.
The caution came after amateur photographer Dr Patrick Green said security guards stopped him taking pictures from a public road that leads to the Olympic site.
‘One guard also threatened to call more security who he said ‘would come with dogs’,’ said Dr Green who was trying out a new Olympus E-30 DSLR at Dorset Place, E15 on 14 June.
‘At first I didn’t notice that there was a security guard in a cabin to the left of the barrier and took a few pictures. I then walked closer to get a better view. Next to the blue fence is what I assumed to be part of the Olympic Village construction and I wanted to include that in my picture.’
Dr Green, who was taking the photos as part of a photography project, added: ‘The guard saw me and called out that photography was forbidden? I said that I was on public land, could take pictures if I wanted and that this had been confirmed by Olympics bosses in the past.’
A security manager later told Dr Green that he posed a ‘security risk’ because terrorists might use the images to plot an attack if the pictures are posted on the internet.
Commenting on the incident, which occurred at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said it appeared that the photographer was ‘pointing the camera directly at the security operations and security guards’.
She told us: ‘Filming and photography of the site from public highways and areas around the Olympic Park is permitted. However our security guard team reserve the right to talk to anyone they believe may be taking photos or footage of any security operations. This is part of the ODA’s responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the Olympic Park.’
Picture credit: Dr Patrick Green