Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not
The problem is that often times the ground troops do not check with secuirty control or their manager first, they simply take control and demand that people stop doing things that are perfectly legal to do. I've been told a few times to stop taking photos in public places by security ground troops. When I say I'm doing nothing wrong, I'm often told that I am in the wrong and I must leave or be arrested. When I then write to the company that owns the land I was looking at, I'm usually told that I've done nothing wrong and I should have been allowed to continue.
My personal feeling is that, a lot of the time this issue is that that bigger a deal and the 2 hour security induction/training that most security guards are given simply doesn't cover this. The other issue is that security staff are often not given "people training" which the Police are. The Police have to know the law and they're given training in dealing with people in different situations. Security staff are unlikely to have any training in dealing with the general public and unfortunately many of them simply charge in like bulls in china shops and demand that people do as they're told. When people know they're not in the wrong, conflict arises and the only resort is for the security guards to start getting aggressive and calling the Police.
Ultimately all this is a waste of everybody's time. I appreciate there is a need for security but there is often a lack of common sense employed. Yes, the person with the camera could be up to no good but think for a minute. If they were would they stand in broad daylight, in full view of a CCTV camera with a full spread of expensive kit if they had any intention to come back later and commit a crime? My guess would be that only the most moronic criminal would expose themselves prior to the crime at the place they wish to commit it. If someone were standing on the public land, looking furtive, maybe wearing a hood over their head or a large cap, occasionally using a mobile phone to take pictures or video? Heck even I'd get very suspicious of such activity as they're obvious trying to look like they're innocent! Someone with a tripod and big camera wants to be seen, they want to make sure people know they're doing nothing wrong, they're not trying to hide it. Simple common sense. No harm in asking why the person is taking photos but if the answer is a simple, "Cos I'm making an art project for college." or " I like pictures of brick walls!", said in a clear tone is probably far less suspicious that , "Hmm, 'cos I'm here watiing for a mate, to come out of work.", then they walk off. That's obviously a little dodgy.
As urban photographers, all we ask of security is a CCC, courtesy, consideration and common sense.