Pool photo ban triggered by paedophile fears
June 10, 2009
Fear of paedophiles was behind a holiday park’s decision to impose a ban on pictures that meant a father was not allowed to photograph his own son, Amateur Photographer has learned.
In a BBC report published yesterday, Andrew Norris said a swimming pool lifeguard stopped him photographing his four-month-old son at an indoor pool run by Haven in Chichester, West Sussex.
Norris branded the move – which took place during the recent school half-term break – as ‘political correctness gone mad’.
The lifeguard told him that the ban was due to ‘privacy laws’.
Speaking to Amateur Photographer, a Haven spokeswoman today admitted that the ban was to guard against the risk of any paedophiles among its guests.
‘We need to provide a safe and secure environment for our guests,’ she said, adding that the park cannot guarantee where the pictures will end up.
‘Our lifeguards are there to save lives and not to monitor people taking pictures of children.’
She claimed that, furthermore, Haven’s policy may be shown to be correct in light of subsequent reports of a police investigation into alleged distribution of indecent images of children centred on a nursery in Devon.
‘If it is happening in a nursery, then who knows if it is happening in a [holiday] park,’ she said.
In a statement, Haven said yesterday: ‘Our holiday parks provide many locations for family photographs and we regret that some locations are restricted in line with usual practice at many other leisure facilities in the UK.’
The Haven spokeswoman said that the ban – which also applies to the company’s outdoor pools – has been in place for four or five years and is outlined on signs placed by the pool.