Father Questioned by Police for Taking Picture of His Daughter at the Mall
EDIT*: Adding clarification of my complaint at the end.
It’s a sad fact that your normal, everyday father could be made to feel like a pervert in a day and age where we spend so much time talking about personal freedoms.
Chris White was with shopping with his daughter at the Braehead Shopping Centre in Glasgow, Scotland and stopped for some ice cream. White took a picture of his four year old daughter Hazel with his phone and uploaded the photo to Facebook. That’s when a Braehead security guard approached White and questioned him. White explained that he thought he was doing nothing illegal by taking a picture of his own daughter. The guard insisted that he delete the photos from his phone, to which White answered that they’d already been uploaded to Facebook. So, naturally, the guard called the police.
The guard maintains that there are signs in the shopping center that declare there are no photos allowed in the area.
White says when the police showed up, he was interrogated and one officer actually told him that his phone could be confiscated under Prevention of Terrorism Act.
White was not apprehended and did not have to surrender his phone. But, the police did take down his information.
There is a Facebook page up for the boycott of the Braehead Shopping Centre.
A spokesman for the Braehead center carefully prepared this statement:
“Staff at an ice cream stall in Braehead became suspicious after they saw a male shopper taking photographs at their counter. The staff thought the man had also been taking photographs of them and they alerted one of the centre’s security staff. The member of security staff approached the man and politely asked if he had been taking photographs. Because of the nature of the incident, police became involved and also spoke to the man. Our priority is always to maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for all of our shoppers and retailers. The member of our security staff acted in good faith. We have a ‘no photography’ policy in the centre to protect the privacy of staff and shoppers and to have a legitimate opportunity to challenge suspicious behaviour if required. However, it is not our intention to – and we do not – stop innocent family members taking pictures.”
What, you thought the spokesperson was just going to come out and say that it’s their policy to suspect all men of being pedophiles?
I hope a whole lot of great terrorism was prevented by harassing a father taking his daughter out for ice cream.
*EDIT: So the real issue here, in my humble opinion, is that the Braehead spokesperson is saying that there IS indeed a no-photo policy, but that it’s suspended based on whether or not “innocent family members” are taking pictures. Therefore, the mall is assuming that Chris White is either not innocent or a family member. If the Braehead spokesperson said “look, White may or may have not been treated kindly and that’s a separate issue, but we have a no-photo policy for safety reasons,” then there’d be no-harm-no-foul. But to continue and say they won’t stop innocent family members presumes that the person stopped from taking pictures was not an innocent family member. It’s definitely a slippery slope – and our intention in posting this article is to engage the reader in a conversation about the treatment of fathers. Is this a fatherhood issue? Or just an issue of a man taking photos in a no-photo zone? Let us know!