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Incandescent in Coventry


hobbo e2
3 892 2 England
31 Aug 2013 2:09PM
This morning, my good lady and myself decided to pop into Coventry, mainly to shop, to have a coffee, stroll around the market where, every week, we buy our meat.....afterwards we planned to have lunch in a City Centre restaurant.
Just a few days ago, I spent money in Coventry City shop for a camera and lens, , we regularly visit the city, spending quite a bit of money as we do so.......NOT ANY MORE!

,I am a big fan of street photography, not just people, but odd bits of architecture or detail......I have done this for many years now, including whilst carrying my large SONY A55 with long lens attached......hundreds of times with the little LX5 or FUJI compact around my neck.......anywhere and everywhere, in the Arcades, Indoor Market, Shopping Centres, and Cathedrals both old and new.....even inside the museum and art gallery and the nearby motor museum.

Totally absorbed in framing a shot if a busker ( after putting a quid into his hat) I was approached by a pair of security guards who told me that photography was forbidden .......I was quite taken aback, felt angry and a bit guilty.......but, when they said ....it was West Orchard's policy for security reasons.......I asked them to describe exactly what threat of security did I represent......they couldn't answer that......they just said, stop taking photographs here.

Bear in mind, that my mum was born and bred in Spon End, as we're her ancestors, my dad spent 6 years of his life fighting during WWII, my great grand parents were married in Holy Trinity Church close to the Cathedral, we housed evacuees from Coventry ......and a pair tin-pot, badge wearing ( one foreign) Jobsworth's tell me what I can't do in my own country?

I agreed, that, if I was drunk, shoplifting, causing a breech of the peace or being a general nuisance, they could move me on.....but NOT for going about my normal business, and whilst enjoying my hobby.....at this, I walked off.......only to be quickly approached by a member of the Centre management team.....I gave him the same replies, requesting that they write to me in great detail, exactly what their reasons where for preventing photography......I walked off fuming....but still taking photographs.

COVENTRY, as far as I am concerned, will not receive my custom again.....they are quite happy for a visitor to spend money, in shops, cafes, restaurants etc, but prevent a 75 year old Englishman from enjoying a day out.

Very strange too, that when, for years, I have worn a compact camera ( never hidden) no one has bothered, even though it must have been obvious that I was taking photographs.....I have spent hours, just people watching in the city centre in the past......but, just because I was wearing my new GF1 micro 4/3rds camera with a sticky out lens on.....I get stopped.

It will be Leamington Spa and Stratford-Upon-Avon for me from now on......Coventry has had it.

A very angry

Hobbo

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31 Aug 2013 2:30PM
That is totally unacceptable, and quite probably illegal for them to stop you.

This link is one of many that I found on google. [link=]http://photographernotaterrorist.org/2010/07/section-44-suspended/[/link]

It gives some good info.

Terrorists and criminals would not be so overt about taking a photo!!!

You should have offered to show them your photos to prove what shots you had taken.

The Police and security guards don't have any powers to force you to delete any photos or prevent you taking photos in a public place. They can only stop you if there is a very good reason and they must tel you what it is.

I live in Coventry and plan to go into town this afternoon.

I suggest we organise a mass meet up to go around Coventry town centre and West Orchards specifically to wind them up!!!

Steve
Shocked in Coventry!
ast333 3 774 England
31 Aug 2013 2:41PM
This still does not explain much.
http://westorchards.co.uk/photography-policy/
hobbo e2
3 892 2 England
31 Aug 2013 2:44PM

Quote:That is totally unacceptable, and quite probably illegal for them to stop you.

This link is one of many that I found on google. [link=]http://photographernotaterrorist.org/2010/07/section-44-suspended/[/link]

It gives some good info.

Terrorists and criminals would not be so overt about taking a photo!!!

You should have offered to show them your photos to prove what shots you had taken.

The Police and security guards don't have any powers to force you to delete any photos or prevent you taking photos in a public place. They can only stop you if there is a very good reason and they must tel you what it is.

I live in Coventry and plan to go into town this afternoon.

I suggest we organise a mass meet up to go around Coventry town centre and West Orchards specifically to wind them up!!!

Steve
Shocked in Coventry!



Hi, Steve,

I much appreciate your very prompt reply to my post.......I am of an age when I will defend my rights up to the hilt......but not keen on a mass meet.......I would rather, individuals deliberately challenge the so called rule.....there are NO signs saying ....No Photograohy.....and absolutely nothing on the West Orchards web site.......the guards were polite and not aggressive, but I firmly stood my ground and carried on.....I was half expecting a police officer to be called......if one had been, I would have defended my corner again.

As I said, during many years of street photography all over Coventry no one has bothered because, I was wearing a compact camera or my Panasonic LX5 ....small but powerful.......it was my newly purchased Panasonic GF1 with a lens fitted that must have triggered their CCTV camera operator to act.......ME ....a 75 year old under suspicion of being a threat to shopping centre security.......I GIVE UP!

As far as I'm concerned, Coventry has had it as far as my custom is concerned......and my family roots there go back centuries in the Watch Making area of Spon End.
thewilliam 6 4.8k
31 Aug 2013 3:21PM
On private ground, the owners have the absolute right to allow or forbid whatever conduct they want. The security guards might have been causing you proctalgia but, if it was on private ground, they were entirely within their rights and they don't have to give you a reason. Your only remedy is to leave and you need to do so peacefully.

In the good old days, streets were crown property but a lot have been sold off to private interests.

A security guard doesn't have any powers beyond that of a citizen, so if they'd attempted to take your camera, they would have been committing an offence. Had they been unwise enough to use disproportionate violence, they would have been in very serious trouble.

I remember a story told by the late Fay Godwin, landscape photographer and Past President of the Ramblers. On one occasion, she was accosted by a landowner wielding a shotgun who demanded her film. She remained calm and pointed out that the landowner was committing armed robbery for which the maximum penalty was life imprisonment. Few people ever chose to tangle with Fay and the landowner wasn't prepared to shoot her so he asked to leave the property. She moved a few paces onto the public footpath and continued to take pictures.
SlowSong e2
6 4.8k 29 England
31 Aug 2013 3:33PM
Outrageous! Sense has totally flown out of the window and people seem not to be able to distinguish between a serious threat or a harmless hobby. Either that or these security types are all a load of jobsworths who just like flexing their muscles, which is probably all they've got to flex as brain cells seem to be few and far between. I'd have been furious if that was me, but probably would have moved on to avoid a pointless confrontation and would've continued to take pictures surreptitiously. The joy of flexible screens and silent shooting.

I love that Faye Godwin story, thewilliam. A good response to bear in mind.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 3:59PM
Manchester Arndale centre have the same policy and I have been asked to stop taking photographs even though I was using my S90 compact - it is private property and they can ask you to stop taking photographs. Simple.



Quote: people seem not to be able to distinguish between a serious threat or a harmless hobby.

So you are running security and someone complains about a photographer - the security manager has to explain why he allowed one photographer to do so and stopped another one. That is a real headache, leading to inconsistencies and time wasted with complaints. The easiest thing is to stop all photography and it has little to do with the intelligence of the security staff.
SlowSong e2
6 4.8k 29 England
31 Aug 2013 4:11PM
Yeah, I guess so. If photography's forbidden in these places though surely they could put up a notice to that effect then everyone would know. They put signs up for no spitting, drinking, gobbing, eating, dogs, fags and gawd knows what else. Grin
JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 5:01PM
One shopping centre in England about 6 months back had such a kick back from customer reaction that they rewrote the policy, but also with camera phone/video phone being so common we can all take pics anytime we like, if we were having video calls we'd be also shoting everything in the background.
Maybe mobile phone companies should complain as well as you can't use their products in the shopping centres. Perhaps camera stores in shopping centres should have notices by the doors saying no camera's Wink

Then again wander back in around Christmas with the model reindeer display's and watch how many Mums are snapping their kids in front of the festive scenes. Then ask yourself if they are not also challenged if its then an ageist sexist policy they have in place.

Don't let it get to you though, enjoy what you enjoy but be safe and respectful always.
Willpower 3 219 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 5:03PM

Quote:This still does not explain much.
http://westorchards.co.uk/photography-policy/



I agree. What policy ? ? ? This doesn't tell you anything... how stupid.
Dave_Canon 8 940 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 5:06PM
I am surprised that you have never come across this before. I am not aware of any indoor (private) shopping centre that allows photography. Most photographer take a few shots and move on before the security guards arrive. They entitled to ask you to stop and could ask you to leave but they cannot confiscate your camera or images. To be honest, I have never found this to be a major issue as I mainly work in the street where you should be fine or move quickly enough not to get caught if in a private centre.

Dave
hobbo e2
3 892 2 England
31 Aug 2013 5:13PM

Quote:I am surprised that you have never come across this before. I am not aware of any indoor (private) shopping centre that allows photography. Most photographer take a few shots and move on before the security guards arrive. They entitled to ask you to stop and could ask you to leave but they cannot confiscate your camera or images. To be honest, I have never found this to be a major issue as I mainly work in the street where you should be fine or move quickly enough not to get caught if in a private centre.

Dave



Thank you Dave....

At 75 I'm not in the habit of moving quickly nowWink

But I do take your point........but the fact that the shopping centre is quite happy to make a profit from the businesses I am a customer of wrankles.........so much so......I'm not going to return.

Hobbo
Evertonian 1 545 England
31 Aug 2013 5:20PM

Quote:On private ground, the owners have the absolute right to allow or forbid whatever conduct they want. The security guards might have been causing you proctalgia but, if it was on private ground, they were entirely within their rights and they don't have to give you a reason. Your only remedy is to leave and you need to do so peacefully.



My understanding is that in private property, unless the NO PHOTOGRAPHY rule is clearly signposted for all to see, then Photography is in fact permitted.

As Hobbo stated, "there are no signs saying No Photography".
bainsybike 5 276
31 Aug 2013 5:23PM
The policy has to be very simple to allow the security guards to implement it. In this case, it appears to say that you can photograph your own family but nothing else. Perhaps you would have been OK if you had told the security man that the busker was your brother. Wink

It's true that these places can implement whatever rules of behaviour they want, but I struggle to understand why they feel that they need to impose any beyond those that already apply by virtue of the law of the land.
mrswoolybill e2
8 527 1091 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 6:15PM
As thewilliam says - owners of private property can make up their own rules. No alcohol, no hoodies, no unaccompanied children... London's Burlington Arcade still doesn't allow whistling because historically it was how pickpockets communicated with each other.
I don't know of a single shopping mall in the UK where photography isn't banned. Why do they do it? I suspect that it's zealous concern to protect their own image.
Some years ago Eldon Square mall in Newcastle, where photography is normally very politely but effectively banned, announced a photography competition. It was intended to promote the wonderful experience of shopping there. There was to be an exhibition of the entries.
For one weekend only, accredited entrants had the run of the place, could photograph anything. I entered and had a field day, my only problem was a security guy who was a keen photographer and wanted to talk cameras. I photographed bored husbands, screaming toddlers, bulging bodies carrying bulging Primark bags past designer windows. Several people I know were doing much the same.
I duly sent off my entries and never heard a word more. Given what I had been doing I was not surprised, but the exhibition never materialised and there was no announcement of results. I suspect that they were rather taken aback by how photographers viewed their glossy world.
They haven't repeated the exercise.

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