Saturday, 21 April 2012

London Olympics; Outdoing Beijing In Every Sense Of The Word…

Media and civil liberties groups have expressed alarm after the managers of an Olympic venue pledged to intercept and question anyone seen photographing or filming the site, even from public land, and defended security guards who wrongly tried to invoke terrorist laws to prevent footage being shot of the arena.
Oh, here we go…
John Toner from the National Union of Journalists said he would seek an urgent meeting with managers of the O2, saying their tactics had no basis in law. "I'm stunned, and what they say is utterly outrageous," he said.
But perhaps it was just a one-off incident?
As an experiment, the Guardian attempted to shoot video footage of the O2 arena from a public road on its southern edge, only a few minutes' walk from the main entrance.

Very quickly the reporter was challenged by O2 security guards, who made a series of demands with no basis in law. They ordered that the filming stop – "We've requested you to not do it because we don't like it" – and that they be shown any existing footage. Asked on what basis they could demand this, one replied: "It's under the terrorist law. We are an Olympic venue." Another added: "You have, for want of a better word, breached our security by videoing it [the O2]."

At one point they refused to allow the reporter to leave. One said: "It's gone too far for that."
Give someone on minimum wage, with little education, a badge and a uniform, and what do you expect? It’s happened before, after all; numerous times with the police, who aren’t on minimum wage and who you’d expect to have a damned good grounding in the law!
While such overreach is not uncommon it is often followed by a management apology.
Or, in the case of the police, after an embarrassing court case is lost…

But with the Olympics, it seems all is quite different!
An O2 spokesman defended the guards' approach.
Wait. What?
He said: "On the basis that [the reporter was] filming areas of the O2 that are not usually of interest to the public, our security staff's approach and handling of the situation was entirely appropriate."
No. It wasn’t. They had no basis in law to demand what they demanded, and no basis in law to stop anyone leaving public property!

What part of that don’t you understand?

Oh, wait. It seems the police don’t understand it any better themselves…
The incident at the O2 was eventually resolved after guards called police, who also asked to see the video footage, citing the Terrorism Act. The reporter was allowed to leave after neither he nor the police could properly operate the camera to replay the footage.
Note that: not because he was right, and they realised he was right on the point of law, not because they realised they were making an embarrassing spectacle of themselves - because they couldn’t work the camera…!

Roll on the Olympics! It’s going to be tons of fun.

13 comments:

Dick Puddlecote said...

It's going to be wall to wall crap for a month. I so tried to plan a holiday for the duration, but most places were fully booked in July last year! :-0

Anonymous said...

Said low-paid-no-brain security guards are shortly to be given limited police powers.
You may like to review the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme....and section 41 of the Police Reform Act 2002.
Some areas now operate the street ranger sceme/scam, where things like anti-social behaviour can attract fixed penalty notices (anti-social meaning something they don't like, personally....like spitting, urinating in a public place, kissing in public (not a joke), having sex in a car in the early hours in a dark carpark (took 20 minutes to make sure first) (no, these are not jokes).
In fact you may like to add to your story that being insulting, offensive or just plain disagreeing with these min-wage-min-brain guys can seriously damage your facial appearance AND if there is nobody else around you are in DEEP s### because they WILL lie and they WILL give you a slapping. Oh, and as a lasy comment....many of these "security" guards got dumped from the real police because of their person failings, such as being prone to being a moron.

Anonymous said...

The photographer should have complained to the attending police that he was being harrassed by the security guards and feared for his safety.
I would have also made an allegation of wrongful arrest by them on the grounds that they had detained him and prevented him from leaving. They had without the backing of of a law actually deprived him of his liberty no matter how long for.

Anonymous said...

With more and more Police forces going into 'partnership' with profit-seeking private security companies, incidents like this are going to increase. These 'partnerships' together with the reports on the future of the Police by Tom Winsor, who knows a bit about destroying railways but absolutlely nothing about Policing will mean that G4S and the like will be the visible signs of crime prevention and detection(ish). I am surprised though, that a reporter didn't have some sort of recording device opeating which would have given the basis for a more detailed report in the paper? Unless the people of this country wake up and realise that the aim of this Government is to destroy the Police service who, as servants of the Crown are unable to take any form of industrial action or even write to the media about unfair conditions of service, then they will end up with the Police service they deserve - as long as that's OK with Health and Safety of course!
Retired (and angry and disgusted) Police officer

sabrewulfe said...

`Terrorist Law`...ah yes, the present-day boogey-man...

The security guy was correct, imo,...everyone knows that terrorists stand in plain view with cameras, rather than, say, hiding a camera under their coat, using a hidden camera pen (£29.99 in my local Maplins), or possibly just looking at Google maps...

Oh Oh Two said...

Methinks the race card would win here.

Send a photographer who hails from an ethnic background and let him take pictures. When challenged he can claim racial slurs and harassment (it's a fair chance that People Of Other Shades would at some point be racially abused by a careless mouthed member of the lumpenproletariat who works as Der Sekuritiheitguarden Mit Peakenkappen)

Result: good pictures and case dropped.

At least, a better result than our Olympians will manage in most events.

Greencoat said...

There is nothing good about the Olympics.

It is yet another Statist horror - but it will not be last.

blueknight said...

Make no mistake, following Winsor's cuts there will be no Police Officers left on the streets and the only visible security anywhere will be private guards. This is the thin end of the wedge.

Anonymous said...

I am rather tempted by the idea of sitting in the "Olympic Lanes". As I cannot drive in them I can at least us them for a legitimate political protest.

"Free the Worksop 23 innit" Should go pretty well as the police are talking about taking a very long time to process anything to do with the lanes, and in situ!

JuliaM said...

"It's going to be wall to wall crap for a month."

I'm stocking up on books, DVDs and computer games!

"...many of these "security" guards got dumped from the real police because of their person failings, such as being prone to being a moron."

And those are the good ones!

"I would have also made an allegation of wrongful arrest by them on the grounds that they had detained him and prevented him from leaving."

Can you have a wrongful 'citizen's arrest'?

JuliaM said...

"With more and more Police forces going into 'partnership' with profit-seeking private security companies, incidents like this are going to increase."

I fear you are right.. :/

"The security guy was correct, imo,...everyone knows that terrorists stand in plain view with cameras, rather than, say, hiding a camera under their coat, using a hidden camera pen (£29.99 in my local Maplins), or possibly just looking at Google maps..."

Has any terrorist trial EVER discovered this propensity? I wonder...

"Methinks the race card would win here."

Excellent idea! A few of those, perhaps they'd back off?

JuliaM said...

""Free the Worksop 23 innit" Should go pretty well as the police are talking about taking a very long time to process anything to do with the lanes, and in situ!"

Heh! It'd make great TV too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe questions should be asked [by the people] of the ex-acpo people who are directly involved with many of these private companies ?
And the large number in general of ex-police personnel who are now employed by these companies ?