The manager of a town centre has hit back at claims that newly employed wardens banned photography on the high street and has refused to apologise to photographers.
The row erupted as a group of protesters demonstrated to mark the 12 anniversary of CCTV in Worthing town centre in West Sussex.
Newly employed uniformed street wardens, part of the town?s Shopwatch scheme, clashed with camera-carrying protesters who claimed they were told they were not allowed to take photos in a public area.
Police were called to the scene but had not arrived when the row escalated.
?They wouldn?t tell us what this law was supposed to be under and they wouldn?t give us their names,? said protester Dave Phillips who runs Worthing?s Porkbolter newsletter. He told The Argus newspaper: ?None of us could believe what was happening and one of our group was so outraged he picked up the megaphone and started telling all the shoppers what was going on.?
Town centre manager Sharon Clarke has denied that the protesters were told photography in public was banned and refused to issue an apology.
Clarke told Amateur Photographer: ?They were going up to people and taking photos in a very intimidating way.?
She insisted that the photographers were merely ?asked? not to take pictures.
?That?s a very different thing to? ?don?t take photos??. There is no law to stop them but they [the wardens] have a right to ask someone not to do it.?
Clarke said wardens received four complaints from members of the public and from a couple of high street shops about the protesters.
She claimed there were seven or eight protesters with cameras and that they were also disrupting an organised arts festival event. She said one of the cameras had a ?high zoom lens?.
Clarke claimed that one warden had a camera ?within inches of his face? and that the art event participants had the megaphone ?four inches from their ear?.
A video of the clash has been put on YouTube (pictured).
To view the video visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeTIv9UkY8c