After snapping a photo of his 4-year-old daughter eating ice cream at a shopping mall in Glasgow Friday, Chris White was confronted by a security guard who told him he had just broken the law.
The security guard told him he would let it pass this time as long as he deleted the photo.
But White refused to delete the photo, which prompted the security guard to call the cops.
Police arrived and threatened to confiscate his phone under the United Kingdom’s Prevention of Terrorism Act, which apparently is worse than our very own Patriot Act.
The cops then told him that they would not confiscate his phone as long as he provided his name, age, place of birth and employment status.
White reluctantly provided those details, only to not prolong the confrontation for the sake of his daughter, who was crying.
It turns out, the Braehead shopping center had a policy forbidding photography.
Despite that, White wasn’t about to let the issue go.
He went home and launched a Facebook page titled “Boycott Braehead,” which has more than 17,000 likes at this time.
This is how he described the experience on the Facebook page:
Walking down the shopping mall a man approached me from behind as I was carrying my daughter in my arms. He came from behind me, cutting in front of me and told me to stop. That was quite a shock as I am wary of people with crew cuts and white shirts suddenly appearing in front of me, but then realised he was a security guard.
He then said I had been spotted taking photos in the shopping centre which was ‘illegal’ and not allowed and then asked me to delete any photos I had taken. I explained I had taken 2 photos of my daughter eating ice cream and that she was the only person in the photo so didn’t see any problem. i also said that I wasn’t that willing to delete the photo’s and there seemed little point as I had actually uploaded them to facebook.
He then said i would have to stay right where I was while he called the police, which seemed as little extreme. My daughter was crying by this stage, but I said that was fine I would wait and began to comfort my daughter who was saying she didn’t like the man and wanted to go. After about 5 minutes two police officers arrived.
The older police officer was actually quite intimidating in his nature. He said that there had been a complaint about me taking photos and that there were clear signs in Braehead shopping centre saying that no photographs were allowed. I tried to explain that I hadn’t seen any clearly displayed signs and that I had taken 2 photos of my daughter.
The BBC picked the story up earlier today and within hours, the shopping center issued an apology, promising to change its no photo policy.
White posted the apology on the Facebook page.
“Dear Mr White
I am writing to formally apologise for the distress that we may have caused you and your family when you visited Braehead last Friday.
As you may be aware, in light of your complaint and the public debate surrounding the incident, we have decided to change our photography policy to allow family and friends to take photos in the mall.
Once again, I wish to sincerely apologise for any distress we may have caused,
The lesson here is: Never underestimate the power of social media.
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