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Hazard 14 1.2k United Kingdom
3 Apr 2005 11:54AM
I went to my sons football match (under 16 Sunday league) this morning. they was playing away and as I often do, I took my camera to get a few action shots.

Ive done this for the last 2 years without any problems.
This week however some bloke walks up to me and says,
"your not allowed to do that here"
I say
"do what"
he says
"your not allowed to take photos because of the child protection act"
I say,
"I'm not interested mate, I'm just taking photos of my son playing football"
he says,
"don't say I didn't warn you" and the walks off.

I carry on snapping and about 15 minutes later another chap comes over and says
"hello, I represent blar blar football club
and you have been asked not to take photos"
I say
"no I haven't"
he says
"yes you have"
I say
"no I haven't
he says
"well can you please stop taking photos"
I say
"I'm not doing anything illegal, I'm taking photos of my sons football team as I do every week"
He says
"Well it's the policy of blar blar football club not to allow pictures to be taken"
I say
"well It's not my policy"
He says
"if you continue I will phone the police and report you"
I say
"phone the police then"

I continued to take photos and he did make a phone call, but no police turned up.

Does anyone know the legal situation, I can't believe that I'm doing anything wrong taking shots of my son and his football team.
I have even taken my camera to Harlow football ground (which is a proper ground) when they got into the cup final last year and nothing was said.

what are your views on this?
has anyone else ever had this problem?

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conrad 13 10.9k 116
3 Apr 2005 11:58AM
What is the world coming to? What were they thinking? That youd turn photos of boys in shorts into some kind of child porn? Ridiculous!

3 Apr 2005 11:59AM
This may help.
User_Removed 16 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2005 12:00PM
This is another one of these political correctness issues gone completely screwy.

The undelying issue regarding your rights to take photographs is really down to where the match is being played.

If the match is on "public" land (another can of worms I know) then nobody can stop you taking photos. However, if the resulting photos show identifiable images of individiuals, then how and when those images can be used is another matter.

If the match is on private land (school, club or whatever), then you can be prevented from taking photographs.

I applaud you in taking the stance you have. I feel that we have gone far too far in our desire to 'protect' our children and that so much of the joys of growing up that I remember will not be part of modern childhood due largely to organisations usch as the NSPCC who would have us believe that every other person is a child molestor.

Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
3 Apr 2005 12:01PM
If you were standing on public ground, as opposed to private ground, there is not a thing anyone can do (legally) to stop you taking photos.

If you were on private ground, the owners (but only the owners and not busibodies) can impose whatever conditions they wish.

That, broadly, is my understanding of the law.

As to the IWF article, it should be read in conjuction with this thread .
peterjones Plus
16 4.7k 1 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2005 12:21PM
Totally agree with the last two statements and also with your actions on Sunday morning.

It is paranoia verging on the insane and I suspect the actions of the politically correct will end up causing the problems they are in their ridiculous way trying to prevent.

Just from a personal point of view I realise we live in a real world albeit a crazy one so if it wasn't my child involved as say in the first post I would certainly get the parents on my side before taking images of children; as for street photography I long gave up using any semblance of SLR gear instead using a compact digital camera which looks far less threatening just in case you should make the heinous mistake of allowing a child to wander into your picture.

No wonder people want to take up wedding photography at least there we can take pictures of children with the blessing of those around us.


Peter Smile
andytvcams 15 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2005 12:24PM

Quote:If you were standing on public ground,as opposed to private ground there is not a thing anyone can do (legally)
The police can arrest you for obstruction.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
3 Apr 2005 12:29PM
Only if you are obstructing them! Wink

As Shane found, the police were not interested.
wotashot 14 2.2k
3 Apr 2005 12:37PM
Yes but the chances are that he didnt call them, just made a fake call to spook him,

Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
3 Apr 2005 12:40PM
But even if he did he would not find the police to be interested unless there were other factors in play.
ellis rowell 13 2.0k United Kingdom
3 Apr 2005 12:40PM

I was a Special for 8.5 years and would want more than that to arrest someone. You have to answer for any arrest you make, so you had better have something that will stick. It's not that easy.
mr g 13 403 3 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2005 12:42PM
I am sometimes surprised at the number of photos displayed on EPZ taken at children's football matches as many clubs have a child protection policy which doesn't allow parents/relatives to take photos of their own children playing football(crazy!!)
At a recent training session I was taking photos when the coach (not the regular one) asked me to stop taking photos as it was Ch***** City FC's policy for no one to take photos during a session. I explained who I was and he went away.
I'm sure many parents have been asked to sign forms during assemblies and school productions to say that the images recorded are just 'to be used for private use and to look back on in years to come as a record of the event.'
I hate having to ask parents to sign this but I have to follow 'County Guidelines'. The world's nuts!!!!!
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
3 Apr 2005 12:46PM
When you are on school's premises, I do not think this is regarded as 'public'. You therefore have to obey whatever rules the school chooses to lay down.
c_evans99 14 7.0k 1 Wales
3 Apr 2005 12:53PM
political correctness has its idiocies but this is not one of them - this sort of paranoia is fuelled from a totally different direction/

keithsurey 13 13 England
3 Apr 2005 1:10PM
As a keen photography and somebody who has been involved in youth football for many years I can see both sides of the arguement. The problem is not you have taken pictures of your sons team, I am sure they are in agreement to that but the opposition were not, may I suggest in the future you ask before you snap. This is the line we would take at my club, I know it sound over the top but that is what we are being advised by the F.A. At the end of the day it is about the protection of the child, and I am sure you would rather that than put them at risk to the those b******* that do wander around our parks and fields for the wrong reasons.

Over the years I have heard of coaches and referees who have been jailed for looking after children in the wrong way so I appluad the F.A. and any club that has child protection high on the agenda.

I have taken pictures of matches, asked the oposition and it was not a problem.

Keep watching the football, don't get disheartened, youth football needs parents who take an interest.

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