back to article Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

A photographer in a public place was called a “lunatic”, "detained" by private security guards and had the police called on him after he videoed a wall outside the Port of Tyne. Footage posted to YouTube by 24-year-old media production graduate Alan Noble shows two security guards employed by the Port of Tyne remonstrating …

  1. Sorry, you cannot reuse an old handle.

    This is pure and simple paranoia

    The whole government's approach to privacy and security is paranoid to say the least...

    1. KeithR

      Re: This is pure and simple paranoia

      "The whole government's approach to privacy and security is paranoid to say the least..."

      This is preciesly fuck all to do with "government", and everything do do with a jumped-up clown in what passes for a uniform getting carried away with the power he thinks it gives him, and his utter ignorance of the application of the relevant law...

      1. JennyZ

        Re: This is pure and simple paranoia

        Sounds like a job for Dixon of Dock Green!

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: This is pure and simple paranoia

          Sounds like a job for Dixon of Dock Green!

          Presumably it would also require the prompt who used to be needed to remind the actors of their forgotten lines. Yes, some of us are old enough to remember...

      2. DougS Silver badge

        No, it does have to do with government

        Yes, the Idiots With A Badge phenomena is why he was treated that way, but it is the ridiculous response of governments because they have to be seen "doing something" about terrorism is why the supposed need for heightened security at ports, so where a guy on public land is seen as a threat.

        The 'photography is suspicious' crowd are going to have to realize that with Google Maps that there's nothing you can see from public land around private property that isn't already on the internet. With drones flying over public land you can easily see that private property and count the number of guards visible outdoors or through windows, track their typical movements, etc. so you have to treat that as publicly known information and adjust security procedures according to that fact.

        There is no reason to be worried about photographers around ANYTHING on public land, even if they happened to be known terrorists - whatever a photographer can publicly find out with that camera they could secretly find out with a drone operated by a guy hidden from view a quarter mile away - and find out more that way due to better angles.

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: No, it does have to do with government

          "Yes, the Idiots With A Badge phenomena is why he was treated that way, but it is the ridiculous response of governments because they have to be seen "doing something" about terrorism is why the supposed need for heightened security at ports, so where a guy on public land is seen as a threat."

          Utterly incorrect, as the text and URL from which below it was culled demonstrate:

          "Freedom to photograph and film

          Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.

          Terrorism Act 2000

          Photography and Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000

          The power to stop and search someone under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 no longer exists."

          http://content.met.police.uk/Site/photographyadvice

          Note the second paragraph, with which it would seem the attending police are familiar.

          This is not government (the legislature) but the executive and assorted peripheral clones. Were I the photographer in question I would press charges for assault. These individuals were in a public place and therefore out of their jurisdiction. That the police were happy says enough.

          In respect of drones the situation is different. For example, flying drones amidst air traffic is causing problems likely to clarify existing legislation and draw more legislation forth. Further, flying a drone over someone else's property may constitute harassment. Indeed, in the US a man shot one down for flying over his property. There is more to this than meets the eye; it would be an ideal tool for paedophiles to use, for people to intrude on the lives of private citizens and even their confidential business lives (espionage), by commercial or government-commercial espionage agencies.

      3. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: This is pure and simple paranoia

        This is preciesly fuck all to do with "government"

        Not so sure about that. I'd say they started it and provide fine examples themselves. Police hassling photographers anyone?

        1. BongoJoe
        2. BeachBum68
          Pint

          Re: This is pure and simple paranoia

          "Where's yer fat license?" --Diminutive Bobby

          "You don't need a license to be fat!" -- Alexi Sayle

          "Ooooo, an expert on the law are we!"

  2. Whitter
    Flame

    Who arrests the watchmen?

    "...later seizes hold of Noble's camera tripod and refuses to let go of it..."

    "...The police spokesperson continued: “No offence has been reported ..."

    Well an offence certainly seems to have been committed, one that the officers were clearly aware of. Nulfeasance in public office anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

      So go on, enlighten me. What offense has been committed and what exactly are you expecting the police officers to do about it?

      I too agree that there should be repercussions for those involved, but the only offence I can think of would be a stretch to assault if he had reason to fear physical violence, which would be a stretch. And if he's not chosen to press charges, then how exactly do you think Northumbria would convince the CPS to prosecute, and then convince a Jury and a Judge to find guilty and sentence?

      Again, I'm with you on this, but realistically if he doesn't want to press charges over anything, which he really doesn't have anything to press charges over, then there isn't much the police can do (whether or not they have the will to). And I'm assuming that from the line "No offence has been reported" that he chose not to press charges over anything.

      I do agree with both the photographer, and the general view here though - there's ways of dealing with the public if you suspect they're carrying out HR, and until you have established beyond reasonable doubt that it is exactly what they are doing, it doesn't involve being confrontational. If they suspected that was what he was doing, they should have called the police in the first place and let them deal with it since it's their job...

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

        So go on, enlighten me. What offense has been committed and what exactly are you expecting the police officers to do about it?

        Attempted theft. The tripod is the property of the photographer, the photographer is entitled to take pictures in the area in question, this is plain and simple attempted mugging as far as the law is concerned.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

          I mean I guess you could go with attempted robbery, but again - as the photographer isn't pressing charges, and the officers didn't witness the alleged offence, I would again ask what you expect them to actually be able to do about it.

          Especially because in order for a charge of attempted robbery to stick, you would have to prove that they intended to permanently deprive him of the tripod which, I'm sure you'd agree, seems somewhat unlikely. In the same way that when you have to hand over your mobile phone when entering a secure area, the relevant authority is not attempting to steal it from you.

          In this case you are right in that they had no legal authority to remove his tripod, however it would be almost impossible to prove mens rea. Especially as they did not try to take his tripod, they held onto it. Indeed I'd go so far as to say the abundance of common sense being shown by the photographer is what is strengthening his position in my eyes, screaming about someone trying to steal something when it clearly is not the case would've painted him in a negative light as well.

          To me this seems like something that should be handled by Port of Tyne as admin action, assuming it's an isolated incident for the people involved. But then I'm sure that will be an unpopular viewpoint.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

            "as the photographer isn't pressing charges"

            Are you saying the police shouldn't investigate a murder because the corpse doesn't press charges?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

              No and you know as well as I do that it is not the same thing...

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

                The "crime" of incompetence by Port of Tyne, not properly training their staff. Giving them instructions without clear boundaries as to how those instructions should be followed.

                1. Mark 85 Silver badge
                  Black Helicopters

                  @werdsmith -- Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

                  Exactly.. even the manglement is misinformed per: " our employees are required to act in accordance with international security regulations which are designed to protect ports and the public.”

                  Someone's full of BS unless there's a secret "regulation" about taking photos in an unmarked restricted area that only the security guards and manglement know about.

            2. Scorchio!!

              Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

              "Are you saying the police shouldn't investigate a murder because the corpse doesn't press charges?"

              Non sequitur (it does not follow from), inasmuch that the photographer is not dead.

            3. Wommit

              Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

              "Are you saying the police shouldn't investigate a murder because the corpse doesn't press charges?"

              The corpse itself is evidence of a crime.

        2. Martin Milan

          Unfortunately...

          In order for this to be theft, the security officer would have to intend to permanently deprive the victim of his property...

          Is there any comeback for what this actually is - namely illegal seizure...

          1. The Axe

            Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

            Theft is theft, there is no time limit or extenuating circumstances such as saying that you were going to return the item eventually.

            1. Martin Milan

              Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

              Theft really does require an act to permanently deprive... This isn't theft.

              1. Banksy

                Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

                I was thinking false imprisonment rather than theft or assault.

              2. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

                Theft really does require an act to permanently deprive... This isn't theft.

                This is true. Under British law

                "(1)A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.

                (2)It is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thief’s own benefit."

                Thus unless it can be proven that these morons intended to permanently deprive the photographer of his property they cannot be charged with theft.

            2. rh587 Bronze badge

              Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

              "Theft is theft, there is no time limit or extenuating circumstances such as saying that you were going to return the item eventually."

              Yes, you sort of do. With theft you have to show an intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. It is the precise reason why the motoring offence of "Taking Without Owner's Consent" exists - because it became difficult to prosecute a joyrider for theft when they claimed they intended to return the car once they'd had a drive around - so they made it an offence to take the car in the first place.

              In this case, go for Common Assault - use of unlawful force. The Mall Cops had no authority to harass him going about his lawful business on a public highway, nor to prevent him leaving the scene or seizing his property.

            3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

              "Theft is theft, there is no time limit or extenuating circumstances such as saying that you were going to return the item eventually."

              Theft is indeed theft. It's taking with intent to permanently deprive. That's why the charge against a joyrider isn't theft, it's taking and driving away.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

                "That's why the charge against a joyrider isn't theft, it's taking and driving away."

                In other countries, that's theft by conversion of chattels - aka "car conversion"

            4. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

              "

              Theft is theft, there is no time limit or extenuating circumstances such as saying that you were going to return the item eventually.

              "

              That is factually incorrect. The legal definition of theft is "the dishonest appropriation of property with the intent to *permanently deprive* the owner." The inability to prosecute a person for theft when that person "borrowed" an item without permission was the whole reason why the offence of "TWOCing" was conceived (Taking WithOut Consent).

              It also requires a dishonest intent. You cannot be prosecuted for theft if it is apparent that you honestly believed you had the right to take the property, no matter how mistaken that belief. In this case the port officials would no doubt be believed if they declared that they honestly thought that they had the right to take the property.

              As an aside, a person who took some cash without consent to bet on a horse race but returned it the following day (after winning the bet) was successfully convicted of theft because (it was argued by the prosecution) the cash that he returned was not the same physical notes that he took - and so the property had not in fact been returned.

              1. Captain Badmouth
                Joke

                Re: Unfortunately... you're wrong

                "As an aside, a person who took some cash without consent to bet on a horse race but returned it the following day (after winning the bet) was successfully convicted of theft because (it was argued by the prosecution) the cash that he returned was not the same physical notes that he took - and so the property had not in fact been returned."

                Not 2to1 Freddy, then? Although he had it back in the till by five......

          2. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: Unfortunately...

            "So go on, enlighten me. What offense has been committed... " -- AC

            "Is there any comeback for what this actually is - namely illegal seizure..." -- Martin Milan

            (Note: IANALBIPOOTI)

            Pretty sure the law you're looking for is Trespass to Goods It's a tort, so the police cannot be involved, but I think the victim has a pretty clear case for a compensation claim. Wonder if any of the no-win no-fee guys fancy having a go?

      2. Graham Marsden

        @AC - Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

        > What offence has been committed?

        Common Assault, contrary to section 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988

        An offence of Common Assault is committed when a person either assaults another person or commits a battery.

        An assault is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force.

        A battery is committed when a person intentionally and recklessly applies unlawful force to another.

        Offences against the Person

      3. Jagged

        Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

        What offense has been committed and what exactly are you expecting the police officers to do about it?

        As they tried to detain him, that could be assault. It is almost certainly a breach of the peace.

        We really need to stamp on these frikkin' over-reaching Mall-Cops and they should most definitely have to appear in court.

        PS: I bet they are retired police and are friends of the officers that "investigated" the incident.

        1. Rol Silver badge

          Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

          Yes, I have been in a similar situation, where I was detained by company security against my will.

          I explained the law regarding illegal imprisonment and how they detaining me against my will was just that, however it was only when the police arrived, in answer to my calling them did security back down and allow me to leave.

          Smoke and fire, I smell you thinking. Well no. The company instructed security that no person was to leave the premises until they had lifted the ban, and I was just visiting

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

          PS: I bet they are retired police and are friends of the officers that "investigated" the incident.

          I'll counter that bet with a bet that they are individuals who have previously failed to get through the interview/vetting process for joining their local Force.

        3. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

          PS: I bet they are retired police and are friends of the officers that "investigated" the incident.

          Just the sort of job for those too stupid/feckless/lazy/incompetent [delete whichever is inapplicable] displaced from retail sales...

        4. Scorchio!!

          Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

          "PS: I bet they are retired police and are friends of the officers that "investigated" the incident.

          Friends? Grandchildren more likely.

          1. Wommit

            Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

            "Friends? Grandchildren more likely."

            I didn't think the coppers looked that old.

      4. The Axe

        Pressing charges

        "but realistically if he doesn't want to press charges over anything, which he really doesn't have anything to press charges over, then there isn't much the police can do (whether or not they have the will to). "

        No such thing as pressing charges in the UK. You've been watching too many US cop shows. It's the CPS who make the decision whether or not to progress a case. The most a victim can do is refuse to co-operate which in effect the same as not pressing charges. But the victim can't force the charge through.

        1. Martin Milan

          Re: Pressing charges

          Not entirely true - if you have money to burn then you have the option of a private prosecution... It won't do any good, but it is there...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pressing charges

          Pressing charges is maybe a poor choice of words. However, in order for the CPS to prosecute and for the police to charge someone with a crime - especially a serious crime such as robbery, or assault (battery would be a bit of a stretch in this case) - which they did not witness, you still need a complaint to be made. And mens rea which for the offences talked about here, are simply not present.

          Any half decent lawyer would be able to paint the security guards as only trying to do their jobs and decent folk and all the rest of it (it's not my job to judge either way). All you'd have is a big waste of public money.

          In this instance, there is no complainant. The person who suggested wasting police time may be on better ground I think. But realistically the only people who would stand to profit if charges were bought in this would be the lawyers representing both sides as it would be a fest... There's little to know valid evidence, the victim hasn't reported a crime, the reported incident was found to be a false alarm. It would drag on and on and you know as well as I do that CPS would never run with it.

          So again, what would you expect the police to actually do.

          1. Gordon861

            Re: Pressing charges

            How about illegal detention?

            The only argument they could use to detain him would be a citizens arrest, but you can only do this if you know an offence was taking place which the police have confirmed has not happened.

            The other one I would go for is 'calling the police and running away/wasting police time', there is no way the copper should have let them just walk away without pointing out to them that they were potentially breaking the law with their actions.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pressing charges

          If you're using "progress" as a verb then you're the one who's been watching too many US cop shows.

      5. nijam

        Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

        > So go on, enlighten me. What offense has been committed and what exactly are you expecting the police officers to do about it?

        Assault, in that the "security guards" threatened a member of the public? Theft, in that they took - or attempted to take - an item in his possession? Threatening behaviour? Wasting police time?

      6. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

        "So go on, enlighten me. What offense has been committed and what exactly are you expecting the police officers to do about it?"

        Assault, for starters.

        Attempted aggravted theft too.

      7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

        "if you suspect they're carrying out HR"

        And a guy with a pro video camera on a big heavy duty tripod on the central reservation between two busy carriageways at a busy roundabout is hardly likely to be the one carrying covert surveillance.

        I must remember to take my camera with me when a pass there tomorrow. If I've got time I might even park up and take few snap myself. I suspect it will be crowded :-)

    2. Dan McIntyre

      Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

      Malfeasance, not nulfeasance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

        Mulfeasance: Thinking about misconduct

        Nulfeasance: redirecting command output to /dev/null within crontab

        But I think he meant nonfeasance which is failure to act where action is required.

      2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Shame

        The comments section would have been worth reading it it had been possible to null feasants.

        Feasants Unit!

        You have nothing to loosen your shackles!

        1. x 7

          Re: Shame

          round here, feasants get hunted and shot with 12-bores

    3. tim 13

      Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

      Isn't wasting police time an offence

      http://www.inbrief.co.uk/offences/wasting-police-time.htm

    4. Scorchio!!

      Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

      " "...later seizes hold of Noble's camera tripod and refuses to let go of it..."

      "...The police spokesperson continued: “No offence has been reported ..."

      Well an offence certainly seems to have been committed, one that the officers were clearly aware of. Nulfeasance in public office anyone? "

      Did the photographer make an allegation? That is the key; the alleged victim must make an allegation, unless something physically serious - violent assault, theft of or damage to property, including images - has taken place, in which case they are bound by duty to intervene for the public good.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    How ironic given UK citizens are the most filmed by CCTV of anywhere in the World.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Ah but it's different when it's them photographing us.

      Because terrorist.

      Move along now...

    2. Pedigree-Pete

      Irony

      You want irony. A mate of mine sent me a web link ,years ago (which I've lost) which shows the movements, names, flags and cargo of everything coming in and out of British Ports. Something similar to this.

      http://www.abports.co.uk/Marine/Live_Shipping_Movements/Planned_Shipping_Movements/

      So what were the Muppet Guards protecting?

      1. cd / && rm -rf *

        Re: Irony

        "A mate of mine sent me a web link ,years ago (which I've lost) which shows the movements, names, flags and cargo of everything coming in and out of British Ports"

        http://www.shipais.com

        HTH.

  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Howay man!

    Divvin' shoot ya gob off man, ya port's way owa there!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Howay man!

      Hadaway an' shite, mon.

  5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    WTF?

    How the heck...

    .. did P O T get his Twitter account suspended so fast?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: How the heck...

      "How the heck...

      .. did P O T get his Twitter account suspended so fast?"

      And for what? Reporting of facts that show them in a bad light?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How the heck...

      "How the heck..... did P O T get his Twitter account suspended so fast?"

      That stevedore's union is very strong.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: How the heck...

        They have to be, lugging all those heavy trunks up and down gangplanks all day.

    3. Known Hero

      Re: How the heck...

      @ Missing Semicolon

      I am guessing he is now on a watch list as being a dissident, and any content he posts will be closely watched.

      I would love to apply a tin foil hat Icon, but I believe this to be to close to the truth.

    4. Whiskers

      Re: How the heck...

      Just demonstrates the folly of relying on a private proprietary commercial service for communication.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How the heck...

      It was probably reported as "harassment". Twitter takes a tough line on harassment these days.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How the heck...

        Harassment by which side?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public meeting: Outside Port of Tyne

    Bring ya camera!

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Public meeting: Outside Port of Tyne

      I'm surprised there there aren't flash mobs arranged for stuff like this. Couple of hundred photographers can't be that hard to arrange.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Public meeting: Outside Port of Tyne

        That is an excellent idea! I'll talk it over with some friends of mine.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Public meeting: Outside Port of Tyne

          Literally flash mobs...

      2. LDS Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Public meeting: Outside Port of Tyne

        You mean a couple of hundreds photographers with flashes fired at once to blind the guards?

        1. Gordon861

          Re: Public meeting: Outside Port of Tyne

          I would love to take part in these mobs if they were local. I'd even be happy to turn up later if I was at work and film for 20 minutes after everyone had gone home just to make a point.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any Port in a storm

    ..in a tea cup.

  8. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    This is what happens when you give a couple of old farts in fleece jackets, lanyards and a rule book, they go power mad and think they are a law unto themselves. Photographer should sue POT for unlawful detention and seizure of property.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The "old farts" are probably ex-police - in the UK, police are allowed to retire at 55, and they can then get easy jobs doing site security at places like this.

      1. JohnMurray

        Or ex-services. There is a guaranteed job in private "security" for ex-forces personnel. They tend to be much more aggressive than the ex-police. Some were in tears when wheel-clamping got stamped on....a ready market for money ended overnight. Shame. My ex got informed the a clamp on her car would be removed for £50 cash, or she could step into the van for a few minutes. All assholes, the lot of them.

      2. Kydoimos

        Their head of security (was - I haven't been to the site in over a year) an ex fire arms officer. He told me all about it the day David Cameron came to visit the PoT.

      3. Eponymous Cowherd

        I doubt they are ex police. A retired copper would know that that no offence was being committed.

        More likely ex prison service.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          A retired copper would know that that no offence was being committed.

          Doesn't mean much. The Gitling was at a party where an offence was committed. He, being asleep at the time, committed no offence and in the event, the offender was found not guilty due to the prosecution charging the miscreant with an offence he hadn't committed. The main point here is that the police took the Gitling's phone and told me by telephone that he was to be charged with some "offences that would disgust me" based on what they had discovered on his phone.

          Eventually, the Hobart Chief Detective apologised to me as there had never been any evidence that the Gitling had ever been anything other than an exemplary citizen. For whatever reason no such apology has ever been communicated by the police to my son.

          When I went to the police to recover the phone, I was told that I could not have it as it was needed for a police investigation. When I asked the idiot telling me this, "By what Authority are you refusing to return the phone?" I was told the police needed no Authority to seize property as evidence whenever they feel like it. Whereupon I requested that the officer who seized the phone be charged with theft. It was only then that I was told I could have the phone back.

          When the phone was eventually returned to me, it had been rendered completely non-functional. When I took it to the Nokia shop for repair, they offered to do this at no charge when I told them who had damaged it. I was still very much out of pocket though. The Gitling had decided to flee the state to avoid further unwarranted harassment* from the police, so I paid out the balance on the phone he could not take with him and purchased a new phone for him to take with him.

          There are some very good reasons the police are known as "the filth".

          * The arresting officer gave him a very hard time for refusing to give a DNA sample until he had been charged with an offence and spoken with a lawyer.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "The "old farts" are probably ex-police"

        Ex-police are far more likely to be aware of the limits of their authority. For the most part they've spent a career de-fusing situations.

        1. Kydoimos

          I replied to someone else's comment to state this already, but couldn't resist re-saying it. Their boss is (or was a year ago) an ex firearms trained police officer, and once spent a reasonable amount of time telling me all about it, because firearms officers had been on the ports site for a Prime ministerial visit and he wanted to tell me how much he missed it.

          The PoT are fairly PR minded, I'll be keeping an eye out to see if anything else gets announced.

    2. Nigel 11

      Add libel. They must have made an untrue statement to Twitter, alleging that the tweets were illegal, resulting in his account being suspended.

      1. Nigel 11

        DPA them?

        It may also be worth a tenner to fire off a Data Protection Act request to the Port of Tyne, requesting all data concerning yourself acquired since the date of the event (explicitly referencing CCTV imagery) They'll probably deny that there is any, and hopefully they'll later prove themselves to be lying. Or you can go back and photograph their cameras and ask why they were not working, because faulty security cameras really do help terrorists!

  9. wolfetone Silver badge

    Consider my gears ground to dust over this article.

    We live in an age where these failed policemen, and probably failed traffic wardens, get a security badge and a high visibility jacket then think they're Judge Dredd. I don't know what the film maker looks like, but I would bet pounds to doughnuts that the "security officers" saw him and thought he was an easy target. If it was he was 6ft 4, built like Terry Crews and had fists like sledgehammers, I highly doubt he'd have received the same abuse.

    Thugs for hire, with nothing better to do with their shallow shitty lives than to make themselves feel big, powerful and beyond reproach by doing this.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      That description reminds of the TSA people here in the States...

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      I'm six foot three, and although approaching retirement age I'm in reasonable shape.

      Only a couple of weeks ago I was requested - most politely - by a very embarrassed security guard to prevent me photographing a shopping centre. From the outside. With a 4x5 camera built seventy years ago... on a tripod six feet tall.

      He had been sent down on the instructions of his supervisor, on the grounds that photography was illegal within the shopping centre, 'for security y'know.' I pointed out that there was no indication that photography was forbidden, that there were no markers indicating the limits of the centre's grounds, and that I was in a public place at the time, and that it was perfectly legal for me to proceed - but not wanting to cause trouble, I didn't push it.

      This reminds me I need to write to the site managers and hassle them a bit.

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        > With a 4x5 camera built seventy years ago... on a tripod six feet tall.

        Yes, but that magnesium flash powder makes a hell of a mess and is a bit of a fire risk...

  10. cd / && rm -rf *
    FAIL

    Jobsworths.

    No further comment required.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Jobsworths.

      Not even that.

      There job is to secure the port, not public land adjoining the port.

      If they were concerned then they should have phoned the police beforehand and reported their concerns rather than ham-handedly approaching the 'terrorist suspect'.

    2. Nigel 11

      Little Hitlers

      I think that's the more appropriate term.

    3. Chronos Silver badge

      Re: Jobsworths.

      What you're looking for is this:

      Jobsworth.

      1. Kurt Meyer
        Thumb Up

        Re: Jobsworths.

        @Chronos

        Thank you

      2. cd / && rm -rf *
        Devil

        Re: Jobsworths.

        @chronos: another thank you. Bookmarked for future use. See icon.

  11. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Slander?

    Aren't the comments by the port thugs/idiots slander, claiming he was scouting for a terrorist act?

    1. Graham Marsden
      Unhappy

      Re: Slander?

      Trouble is, Slander (defamation by speech) is a civil offence, not criminal and you have to prove that you suffered loss or damage because of it, something which is difficult to do without expensive Barristers.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

    AFAIK there's still a 1942 - wartime - law forbidding it. Till now it has been just use to forbid people to

    document issues of the stations and railroad operators. For them, terrorits are a less dangerous risk than people documenting they don't work as they should, structures are broken and never repaired, while money are wasted.

    A few weeks ago, while attending a photo course, a saleswoman attempted to forbid me to take an image which was including her shop window.

    There are many ways to take images from far away with enough resolution to tell you what you need to know. A terrorist that does it right in front of the guards cage would be the silly kind. With a decent camera and a decent telephoto you can easily take images several hundreds meters away with enough resolution to easily read a car plate, and even smaller details. And Google maps/street and other services will give you plenty of infomations to start with.

    That said, in such cases is always better to make your intentions explicit in advance. Otherwise usually you end up discussing with people with a very narrow view, and it's not always pleasant. I wonder what will they do with drones...

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

      That said, in such cases is always better to make your intentions explicit in advance.

      Alternatively take a friend with a camera with a telephoto lens and tell him to film you filming them. At least in this country you don't have to worry about being shot dead for having the wrong colour skin or haircut in a public place, so you can take the idiots down a few notches if you want to.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

        At least in this country you don't have to worry about being shot dead for having the wrong colour skin or haircut in a public place, so you can take the idiots down a few notches if you want to.

        Presumably you don't live in England then.

        Jean Charles da Silva e de Menezes was a Brazilian man killed by officers of the London Metropolitan Police Service at Stockwell Station on the London Underground on 22 July 2005 after he was wrongly deemed to be one of the fugitives involved in the previous day's failed bombing attempts.

    2. Peter Simpson 1
      WTF?

      Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

      AFAIK there's still a 1942 - wartime - law forbidding it.

      As Italy LOST that war, why aren't those regulations null and void?

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

        why aren't those regulations null and void?

        It might be fun to take that all the way to the EU courts (if you have nothing better to do with your time).

        What's the penalty? A 1000 lire fine? Or summary execution?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

          Actually I was wrong, because the law should have been abolished in 2010, buried in a long list of old laws eventually removed - it's a long time since I was interested in train models and went to stations and the like to get ideas for dioramas.

          Anyway, since then the state railroad company became a private one, and thereby now stations are a private company buildings - that means the owner can set its rules, and it did. After some TV programs shown issues with the railroad services, rules has been tightened. Yet, it looks you can still find guards or agents citing the old law, apparently unaware of its dismissal.

          Of course it's difficult you get caught if you're taking photos of your children on a bench leaving for the holidays, but if you wander around taking photos of the station/railroad itself, expect someone coming up asking you what you're doing.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

        "As Italy LOST that war, why aren't those regulations null and void?"

        Italy switched sides, and finished on the side of the allies. So they won the war.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

        You'd be surprised how many laws made in the fascism years (and even before) "Regi Decreti" (King's Laws, or something alike), are still valid in 2016, despite Italy becoming a republic seventy years ago.

        As long as they are useful for some lobbies, they were kept. There's also the one that makes mandatory a separate registration of cars (the "Public Record of Automobiles"), which is just a double of the state motor vehicle registration, but feeds a lot of employees of ACI ("Automobile Club Italia"), a private company, but which gets taxpayers money...

        But the best one is this: the Italian criminal code is still mostly the "Codice Rocco", written in 1930 under the fascism, and just modified after the war to clean it from the most illiberal parts. That's because the previous one was literally too old (1889) to reinstate, but no new one was ever developed in the past seventy years... and it kept until the 1980 some truly ugly articles regarding, for example, crimes against women.

        Welcome to the "cradle of Law", as Italy likes to think about itself... because there has been Romans two thousand years ago...

      4. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

        Why is there still income tax, which was brought in to defeat Napoleon?

        1. Andy A

          Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

          IIRC, income tax did get repealed after the defeat of Napoleon.

          A couple of decades later, someone else saw it as "a pretty neat idea" and it has been with us ever since.

        2. Pedigree-Pete
          Facepalm

          Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

          I believe VAT was to be a temporary tax too, oh and death duties.

  13. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Give man a uniform...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    guard

    presumably the guard were wearing Identification, provided the photographer with credentials that proved that they have the right to confront/restrain a member of the public for no reason (if they had cause, the police should have been called to make the intervention, given if was not on Port property but on a public road), and can be named and also charged with something. (There really should be an offence of "gross stupidity in public office", and a special one for people who think they're more important than the average citizen just because they have a job title with "security" in it)

    1. Cynical Observer
      Trollface

      Re: guard

      There really should be an offence of "gross stupidity in public office", and a special one for people who think they're more important than the average citizen just because they have a job title with "security" in it

      You do realise that you would wipe out so many MPs and Senior Civil servants with that exact description..... Or was that intentional?

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: guard

        There really should be an offence of "gross stupidity in public office",

        And the penalty should be a day in the village stocks. (Im the case of MPs there's a convenient green space just outside the houses of parliament).

        1. Andy A

          Re: guard

          Is St. Stephen's Green large enough for the number of stocks needed? After all they would be occupied virtually every day.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: guard @ nigel11

          That's a good idea, plus it will help UK industry, considering the UK population thats about 128 million bricks we need to manufacture.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: guard

        Original AC: it was an unintended but very happy side effect, After all, how many laws does Parliament pass that then get used beyond original 'advertised' scope? This is just the same, except much funnier, as it catches the clowns who pass those laws.

  15. Richard Scratcher
    Black Helicopters

    Divvan' dee nay evil, pet

    Google got away scot free!

    Street view

  16. unwarranted triumphalism

    In other words...

    An uppity photog who thinks he has the right to take pictures of anything he likes, finally gets what's coming to him.

    1. Afernie
      Trollface

      Re: In other words...

      Here, you dropped your dog whistle.

    2. fruitoftheloon
      WTF?

      @unwarranted irrelevance: Re: In other words...

      Unwarranted,

      Do you live in the same country as the photographer?

      Because with some (generally reasonable) exceptions, taking pics in the UK in public is OK, because it is IN PUBLIC.

      It's not that complicated....

      Cheers,

      Jay

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

        So it would be OK if I were to stand on the pavement outside your house and take pictures?

        Somehow I doubt you would have quite the same laissez-faire attitude.

        1. localzuk

          Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

          Legally? Yes. There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop someone on a public highway taking a photo of your property front. I would have no qualms about someone doing this either.

        2. John Bailey

          Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

          "So it would be OK if I were to stand on the pavement outside your house and take pictures?"

          Yes. Although it's a miserable rainy day today. Better if you come back in a few months, when it's nice and sunny.

          If you know my address though, you can just use Google Street view, and get a nice shot of it while sitting in your arse at home. So why bother.

          Why would I care?

          The house exists.

          It is visible from the street, therefore, it is not actually a secret that it exists, or the post office would have a hard time delivering letters.

          I am not famous, or on the run from the police, or engaged in any illegal activity.

          If I do not wish to be observed doing something, I will not do it in full public view. There are these marvellous things called curtains. Simple strips of fabric, which, if hung in front of a window from the inside, actually serve to shield the occupant of that room from external observation.

          "Somehow I doubt you would have quite the same laissez-faire attitude."

          You mean you can't imagine someone not being as paranoid as you?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

            "If I do not wish to be observed doing something, I will not do it in full public view. "

            However if you believe yourself not visible and someone takes photographs that show you inside - or just looks - then they are possibly guilty of the offence of "voyeurism".

            Interestingly the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 said something along the lines of "believing yourself unobserved whilst inside a structure". That annoyed some naturists - as gardens were not protected from people peering through cracks in the fence.

            It was touted as being possible for observer looking through a window to be guilty of "voyeurism" - while a man in the room could be simultaneously guilty of "indecent exposure".

          2. unwarranted triumphalism

            Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

            It's good to know that you find yourself so amusing.

            But despite your rather feeble attempt at an insult, concern for one's privacy is not 'being paranoid'.

        3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

          So it would be OK if I were to stand on the pavement outside your house and take pictures?

          That's legally perfectly okay. If you were preventing access to my property, or if I felt you were harassing me (for example verbally, or by holding up offensive signs), I'd visit the courts and get a restraining order against you.

          Then if you ignored the instruction to stay away, I could perfectly legally have you arrested for breach of a court order.

          Just because you are not a photographer (and for the record, neither am I, unless you're counting the odd holiday snap), doesn't mean that others shouldn't have the right to take photographs in public places if they want to.

          If you go down that road of reasoning, I could say that I don't see the point in any number of things, so they should be made illegal. For example, watching ITV, reading the Daily Mail or the Sun (or any number of other 'news' papers come to think of it), supporting football / rugby / tennis / darts etc. etc. Obviously, I'm not advocating this kind of thing, as I'm not a narrow-minded unthinking twerp.

          1. unwarranted triumphalism

            Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

            Of course, only a 'narrow-minded unthinking twerp' could possibly object to their privacy being invaded by arrogant and uncaring photogs.

            And they wonder why people have such a low opinion of them... I can't think why...

            1. Graham Marsden
              Boffin

              Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

              If you are doing something which is visible from the public highway then there is *nothing* that says that someone cannot take a photograph of you.

              If they are on private land, then you are entitled to ask them to stop taking photographs and leave, but if you are not taking reasonable steps to preserve your privacy (cf the aforementioned "curtains") then you can complain all you like, but they are not breaking the law.

              Yes, photographers should be reasonable in their actions, personally I dislike the Papparazzi using mega long lenses to take photos of "celebrities" on boats or from boats to the beach etc, but they are not committing an offence.

              In any case, this is well away from the point, unless you think that the photographer was invading the privacy of the PoT!

        4. fruitoftheloon
          Happy

          Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

          UT,

          Yes it would!

          It's called the Queens Highway for a reason....

          Btw what you would see 100% matches what is visible in streetview.

          My attitude is far from laissez-faire, I prefer to be 'reasonable' and observe the law of the land, perhaps you should consider it eh?

          Cheers,

          Jay

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

            Re: " 100% matches what is visible in streetview."

            It also 100% matches what you see driving past - I go past there after dropping the dog off at daycare.

            It's really not that interesting a view during rush hour.

        5. Cynical Observer
          FAIL

          Re: @unwarranted irrelevance: In other words...

          @ unwarranted triumphalism

          There isn't a sodding thing you can do about it. Living in a picturesque village, iwe frequently get tourists waving cameras and taking pictures. At best, you can choose to photobomb them by getting up close to the windows - otherwise, grin and bear it.

          As others have tried explaining to you, the rules on what you can photograph when you are physically stood on public property are reasonably flexible - get over it!

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Under surveillance

    I'm currently time-lapse filming Google's picture of the Port of Tyne sign.

    I don't have a twitter account.

    Let's see what they can do?

  19. maidbloke
    WTF?

    Training required and Twitter suspensions

    1. If you're going to give out security jobs you need to train your staff to be *experts* in what is allowed and what is not allowed. This guy was very clearly on public property (a pavement). He may have been worth keeping an eye on to make sure all he was doing was filming. But this sort of reaction just makes Port of Tyne look like they don't know what they are doing.

    2. I don't understand the Twitter account suspension at all. The left hand screenshot in the article isn't @AlanNobleTV's tweet to delete. And also, is that a Twitter Thing now? If you don't like what someone has tweeted you can get their account suspended until they delete said tweets?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

      It has been for a while, but they've stepped it up in recent months after establishing their new "trust and safety council". All you need to do is tell them that you're being harassed and they'll do whatever you want.

      1. Andy A

        Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

        Does POT have a Twitter account? I know of someone who has been harrassed by them.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

        "All you need to do is tell them that you're being harassed and they'll do whatever you want."

        That, of course, works both ways. Especially if you've video footage showing the harassment.

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

          That, of course, works both ways. Especially if you've video footage showing the harassment.

          I suspect (hope) that the twits limit the scope of harrassment that they will take into consideration to that committed via twitter

    2. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

      1) Security pays what? 6 - 7 quid an hour or thereabouts?

      So, you are basically going to get either: Total monkeys "who like the uniform" or those people with other problems in their life (like being recently out of jail or supplementing their measly salary in ways that might land them in one). Neither character is going to be around for long, why train them? It's not like anything they do will come back to you (If it does, you can always sack them).

      2) Twitter is a Business. It's not *our* business.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

        "1) Security pays what? 6 - 7 quid an hour or thereabouts?

        So, you are basically going to get either: Total monkeys "who like the uniform" or those people with other problems in their life (like being recently out of jail or supplementing their measly salary in ways that might land them in one). Neither character is going to be around for long, why train them? It's not like anything they do will come back to you (If it does, you can always sack them)."

        If you're safeguarding important installations with international security regulations pertaining to them then these are not the people you should be hiring to do it, the people you're hiring should be trained and if 6 - 7 qph isn't enough to recruit and retain the people you should be hiring and training, then it's not the rate you should be paying.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

          Actually doorpeople (bouncers) in 2016 are generally well trained and good at defusing, and minimising trouble now, I believe they have to be licensed. Same should apply to these old losers who enjoy the feeling of a bit of authority a little too much.

        2. Wommit

          Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

          "If you're safeguarding important installations with international security regulations pertaining to them then these are not the people you should be hiring to do it, the people you're hiring should be trained and if 6 - 7 qph isn't enough to recruit and retain the people you should be hiring and training, then it's not the rate you should be paying."

          Is it now that I should mention the TSA?

    3. Allan 1

      Re: Training required and Twitter suspensions

      It is important to realize that not all pavements are public property. Some can actually be the property of nearby businesses. As a bunch of photographers found out when they were arrested for photographing the Shard in London. Turns out that The Shard also owns the "public" pavement outside.

  20. Afernie

    Funny...

    I don't remember being harrassed by security guys when I took rather a lot of photos of the inside of Port of Tyne from a departing ferry. Or when I took pictures of Port of Amsterdam, including its defences (which, given they are now a World War II tourist attraction, was encouraged).

    WTF was on the sign he photographed? Wifi passwords and shift changes?

  21. TheProf
    Devil

    Watch the birdie

    I had a similar although less physical confrontation with a 'security' guard while photographing a Liverpool city centre office building. A security guard stomped up to me and said that I couldn't take photographs of the building. I said I was just picturing the fancy carvings on the wall. 'No, you can't do that. This building has MoD offices in it and you're not allowed to photograph it.'

    'Right, who do I have to see to get permission to photograph the building?'

    'What?'

    'Come on, let's see the man in charge!'

    I stormed into the building followed by the now flustered guard. I asked the woman at the reception desk who I needed to speak to to get photography permission. She look confused but the guard told her about me snapping the MoD offices.

    After about 10 minutes of calls she eventually told me that I didn't need to have any sort of permission and I could photograph the building as much as I wanted. By now the security guard had made himself scarce. I didn't take any more pictures because I had all I wanted.

    The buildings on the other side of the square have different carvings so to make sure there was no repeat of the 'security alert' I first went into the reception and asked the guard if I needed permission to photograph his building. 'Err, no. Why do you ask?' I told him about the guard on the other building. His reply? 'Tit!"

    The crazy thing is, there it is in full colour on Google maps streetview.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Watch the birdie

      Surely the security guard breached the official secrets act he must have signed. He disclosed the location of MOD offices to a member of the public. Sounds like he is a bigger risk than any photographer.

  22. Banksy

    Violence

    He should have laid the f**kers out when they falsely detained him.

    1. Afernie
      Facepalm

      Re: Violence

      "He should have laid the f**kers out when they falsely detained him."

      Thus turning the moral high ground into spending a bit of time in the prison grounds. Yep, seems like sound advice to me.

    2. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Violence

      That's what they wanted. One wrong step and they give you a kicking and a criminal record. It's like trainspotting for scum.

      1. Banksy

        Re: Violence

        Yes, that's probably what they wanted.

        Also, I wasn't being serious.

  23. Andy Scott

    Not all security is like that, I'm not

    I work in security at a major site that is on a uk list of sites that are high risk for a terriost attack to take place, because of the events we hold(think Paris attack last year or Brighton hotel bombing 1984 for the kind of site we are). We are told to keep a eye out for people taking photographs of the site, when we see someone we let control know and they'll let me know if they know about it or not. If they don't they'll put a camera on the person and ask me or one of the other guards to go and talk to the person. Once we've spoken to the person and got the information on what they're up to, control is informed and the person is told if they can continue or not. 99% of the time they're allowed to keep on taking photographs.

    1. Joefish
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

      So, on what legal basis are you operating then?

      1. rh587 Bronze badge

        Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

        "So, on what legal basis are you operating then?"

        I would imagine - since he alludes to working some form of stadium or conference/exhibition centre - that the area/plazas surrounding the building may be private property (rather than public street), in which case they would have a lawful power to ask them to leave - much like a mall cop can require that you leave a shopping centre (because those tend to be private property - as we as being public places).

    2. Jagged

      Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

      I am instantly concerned about the 1% you have no right to withhold.

    3. Chrissy

      Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

      "Once we've spoken to the person and got the information on what they're up to, control is informed and the person is told if they can continue or not. 99% of the time they're allowed to keep on taking photographs."......

      Yes, you are like that.....Assuming the person taking the photos is on PUBLIC property I'm curious about this statement:

      a: Under what laws are you making the assumption that the person questioned has ANY responsibility to answer your (or even Police) questions?

      b: Under what laws do you think you have any power to dictate whether that person can continue to photo?

    4. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

      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.

    5. hardboiledphil

      Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

      >> We are told to keep a eye out for people taking photographs of the site <<

      Is there any actual evidence that bombers/terrorists are stood around taking pictures of buildings they are going to target. Anyone can view most of the outside of the world through google maps and if they were even half competent they would manage to get someone inside with subtle/secret camera.

      Like the government's "we need this as it's proven to help us prevent terrorism"... does anyone have any actual proof that taking photos has ever led to an event or more pertinently preventing photos from being taken would stop an event from taking place.

      Oh and if in Canary Wharf taking photos and you get stopped then you're not technically on public land. It's private land owned by a corporation so they have a bit more say in who they want to allow to take photos. I'm pretty sure it's possible to get advance permission though if you ask and tell them what it's for.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

        Is there any actual evidence that bombers/terrorists are stood around taking pictures of buildings they are going to target.

        ISTR that the ones who were recently jailed for planning to blow up the Westfield shopping centre did precisely that. I don't know if that interior is accessible via Google, but it's private property so there's no right to take such photographs. Anyway, they didn't get stopped from taking snaps with a mobile phone like millions of other innocent tourists do, and they didn't get identified as suspicious at the time.

    6. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

      If I wanted to take pictures of a sensitive site for use in any nefarious deeds, the absolute last thing I would is walk up to the outside of the place and start taking pictures of it in full view of rent-a-plod inside.

      What I would instead do is quietly turn up a long way away on my bicycle (no ANPR records for a bike) and quietly photograph the place using a camera with a long lens peeping out through a hole in a bag. Even if I couldn't do this, a camera in a shoulder bag with a remote shutter release is not going to arouse the notice of security guards if all the photographer does is walk past without obviously taking photos (whilst snapping away with the concealed camera).

      I would therefore hazard a guess that your "security measure" was implemented not to improve security, but more to provide comedic light relief by forcing the security personnel into a real life Monty Python performance every time some completely innocent member of the public happens to point a camera at the site. It certainly cannot be to aid security.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

        It certainly cannot be to aid security.

        I'm not sure. Asking a photographer a few civil questions may mildly annoy him and waste a minute or two of his time, but what they are (or ought to be) looking for is

        The photographer who runs away when he spots security coming over, or who hides his camera.

        The photographer who tells them obvious lies.

        The photographer who makes them think "he's a wrong 'un", which category you may place yourself in, if you get up on some high horse about authority having no right to ask. Which should not carry any adverse consequences, other than that you are making yourself into an extra grain of noise that slightly increases the chance of the bad guys getting lucky.

        They have every right to ask. You have every right to refuse to answer. They are not the police and you are not under caution. But in most cases you have no good reason to refuse, so why not give them a totally banal true answer?

        Personally, if any security people ask me civil questions about what I am doing I'd answer. If I have a camera that can provide instant replay, I wouldn't rule out showing them the recent photographs, provided they were being civil rather than insulting, and provided they were not claiming that I was breaking any laws or breaking any themselves.

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not @Dan

        If I wanted to take pictures of a sensitive site for use in any nefarious deeds, the absolute last thing I would is walk up to the outside of the place and start taking pictures of it in full view of rent-a-plod inside.

        Oh I dunno, you get some idea of their response, you get to gauge the level of security they have from meathead to pro, you find out if there are any cameras watching you when the security gaurds turn up when you weren't in sight etc.

        However in this instance, hostile recon is probably not likely unless the port has come under some extrodinary threat recently, and is a laughable excuse from someone wanting to feel more important than their badge justifies.

      3. John H Woods Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

        "What I would instead do is quietly turn up a long way away on my bicycle (no ANPR records for a bike) and quietly photograph the place using a camera with a long lens peeping out through a hole in a bag. Even if I couldn't do this, a camera in a shoulder bag with a remote shutter release is not going to arouse the notice of security guards if all the photographer does is walk past without obviously taking photos (whilst snapping away with the concealed camera)." Dr Dan Holdsworth

        Wait a minute there, fella ... This is information of use to a terrorist!

        1. x 7

          Re: Not all security is like that, I'm not

          "What I would instead do is quietly turn up a long way away on my bicycle (no ANPR records for a bike) and quietly photograph the place using a camera with a long lens peeping out through a hole in a bag"

          you don't even have to hide the camera

          wear lycra, cycling shorts, crash hat and attach a helmet mounted Go-Pro camera

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The price of being bored

    I personally think the photographer should charge an entertainment fee. Those guys were clearly bored out of their skulls and their brains must have already left for the day.

    I can full well understand that they have been given some brief about undesirables casing the joint, but that is (a) probably MUCH easier from Google Earth and (b) really not going to happen with a professional, very-much-UNconcealed camera on a clumsy tripod. If you've ever tried to run with an unfolded tripod you know what a pain it is - even if you're a pro you're going to use a monopod in situations where you may have to run.

    The problem with getting the police involved is the possible arrest record, because that doesn't get erased even if it was unjustified. Just in case you want to visit what is laughingly referred to as the land of the "free", that is unhelpful. I wish they fixed that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The price of being bored

      "The problem with getting the police involved is the possible arrest record, because that doesn't get erased even if it was unjustified. "

      Even without an arrest it is possible that it will end up as "soft intelligence" in the records.

      Does the England & Wales terrorist law Section 44 (right number?) still apply - whereby fixed public areas can be designated and then you can be arrested without suspicion? It got some bad press on inappropriate use - especially against demonstrators. IIRC a guy doing nothing overtly suspicious was arrested in a public place like that - and then his house searched on the strength of the arrest.

  25. Adam Wynne 1

    Let's not forget the aerial photography:

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=port+of+tyne&rlz=1C1CHWA_enGB637GB637&espv=2&biw=1422&bih=1010&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjlr9WBu5_LAhXDmg4KHSG7CG8Q_AUICCgD&dpr=0.9

    1. Mycho Silver badge
      1. Huw D

        Birds Eye?

        Eating fish fingers makes you a terrorist? Or is it the peas? I never trusted peas.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: Birds Eye?

          "Or is it the peas? I never trusted peas." --- Huw D

          they have a habit of winding up on the floor: escapeas

        2. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: Birds Eye?

          Eating fish fingers makes you a terrorist? Or is it the peas? I never trusted peas.

          It's the custard.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Birds Eye?

            Escapeas from custardy?

        3. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Birds Eye?

          "I never trusted peas"

          C'mon. Give peas a chance.

          1. Peter Simpson 1
            Happy

            Re: Birds Eye?

            Imagine Whirled Peas

        4. Mark 85 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Birds Eye?

          Eating fish fingers makes you a terrorist?

          Now that's why I come to El Reg. I learn something new every day and now I find that I never knew that fish have fingers. Here all along I was led to believe they had fins. Who knew?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Birds Eye?

            "I learn something new every day and now I find that I never knew that fish have fingers."

            They need them to wield the fish sticks of death.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      I'm all for whirled peas.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Security on this site....

    I've worked there regularly in the last. Their security was truly random, often spectacularly lax with occasional over reactions just like I saw on the video.

    I know of one person who couldn't be bothered to renew his vehicle pass, who made use of a photocopier and a pen to update it. When, a long time later, it was finally picked up on they forced the company he worked for to give him disciplinary action.

  27. nuclearstar

    Both sides didnt help

    I see countless stories about photographers reporting these incidents. 99% of the time they have done nothing wrong in photographing from a public area. But it doesn't help their cause by not communicating in advance that they are going to be there.

    If someone turned up outside my house and set up a tripod and started to film then I too would angrily confront the person and possibly call the police.

    However if the photographer knocked on my door, told me that he/she was going to be filming the traffic going past my house and told me what project it was for then I would be more than satisfied with that.

    He doesn't have to ask the ports permission to film there, it would just be better for everyone if he told them he was going to film there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Both sides didnt help

      ref. 'But it doesn't help their cause by not communicating in advance"

      no, it does not, however, he should NOT have been harassed AT ALL, regardless of whether he communicated in advance, or not. Why should I pre-empty the fact that the other side supposedly "professional" in their duties, might be clueless about what is essential part of their job?

      btw, more likely than not, you'd waste time trying to contact the _right_ person in advance, and on turning up you'd find no different, because the person you contacted, wasn't the right one after all, or if they were, they didn't contact security, etc, etc.

    2. no-one in particular

      Re: Both sides didnt help

      >If someone turned up outside my house and set up a tripod and started to film then I too would angrily confront the person and possibly call the police.

      Just to be clear, you'd skip asking in a friendly, polite fashion and go straight to angry confrontation and the police?

      1. Known Hero

        Re: Both sides didnt help

        @ no-one in particular : playing devil's advocate here

        You would skip checking with the home owner before filming them at their private residence and go straight to invading their privacy ?

        1. Nigel 11

          Re: Both sides didnt help

          You can't have privacy in a public place, or on private property that can be seen from a public place without artificial aids. As the old ditty goes, "Don't make love by the garden gate. Love is blind, but the neighbours ain't". Which is actually good legal advice.

          As was observed above, the answer for the inside of a private dwelling is ... draw the curtains. Outside ... well, assume someone might be watching, and don't do anything illegal or anything that would embarass you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Both sides didnt help

        Just to be clear, you'd skip asking in a friendly, polite fashion and go straight to angry confrontation and the police?

        Depends how close to the cricket season we are and if I still have to play in a freshly knocked in cricket bat. Priorities matter :)

    3. Jagged

      Re: Both sides didnt help

      I disagree. We should not have to tell these people in advance. That just feeds into their delusion that they have the right to prevent people taking photographs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Both sides didnt help

        Sometimes just being polite, identifying oneself, and just explaining what you're going to do and why helps a lot. In his courses, weren't he taught also how to deal with people? If you're going to pursue a career in photo/video productions, it's something you really need to learn.

        Maybe you're not bound by the law to do that, yet it may simply ease everything and avoid unpleasant situations, and if done properly, you can get access to places not so easy to access. Some people know how to obtain what they want, other just prefer ramming into and see who's the hardest horns...

        1. Cynical Observer
          Stop

          Re: Both sides didnt help

          @AC

          Sometimes just being polite, identifying oneself, and just explaining what you're going to do and why helps a lot. In his courses, weren't he taught also how to deal with people? If you're going to pursue a career in photo/video productions, it's something you really need to learn.

          On the face of it, this is perfectly reasonable. But... Let's apply it to this scenario.

          He walks up to the two security personnel, informs them as an act of courtesy that he is doing an art project and that he plans to take some time lapse photography of the entrance sign.

          They immediately, believing that they have a position in law, say no you're not! You can clear off!

          How does this now play out? They are wrong. He was polite but was rebuffed. If he now takes photos, is he being confrontational? Inciting disorder? Invading their safe spaces.

          Sometimes...

          It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Adrian Midgley 1

        Re: Both sides didnt help

        Not asking, of course. Telling.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Both sides didnt help

      There's nothing wrong, it may not feel very nice and you have every right to speak to the person but under law you cannot do anything about it unless that person is clearly invading your privacy. If they stood there with a big telephoto lens and tried to see down your garden, that "could" be construed as an invasion of privacy and you would have a right to ask the Police to intervene and start a dialogue with the person doing it.

      As for "would angrily confront the person and possibly call the police", why can't you just go out and politely ask what they're up to first? If they get aggressive then you should call the Police. However if you immediately start remonstrating with them then you are in the wrong immediately and if you touch them then you will risk a charge of common assault, even more so if you stepped off your private land onto public land to confront them.

      I suggest some anger management classes if this is how you deal with situations you don't like before you find yourself in trouble!

      1. Vic

        Re: Both sides didnt help

        if you touch them then you will risk a charge of common assault

        Common Assault is an offence contrary to to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. It is defined:-

        An offence of Common Assault is committed when a person either assaults another person or commits a battery.

        An assault is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force.

        A battery is committed when a person intentionally and recklessly applies unlawful force to another.

        So you don't even need to touch someone to be guilty of Common Assault...

        Vic.

    5. Joe Harrison Silver badge

      Re: Both sides didnt help

      If a random stranger films outside your house (assuming they are not in the front garden) then what makes you think it's OK to get angry with them? You are a random stranger to me and I'm sure you probably do something occasionally that I don't agree with, but doesn't mean you have to ask my permission in advance or risk my wrath.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The International Code for the Security of Ships and Port Facilities

    i.e. clearly bollocks.

    1. Vic

      Re: The International Code for the Security of Ships and Port Facilities

      clearly bollocks.

      Certainly appears to be here.

      The closest I can find to the above wording is the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code - an amendment to SOLAS and implemented in the UK under The Ship and Port Facility (Security) Regulations 2004 [PDF].

      This is mainly about security aboard ship, with some legislation about the rights of duly-appointed officers to search them under certain circumstances. There are a few clauses about port security - namely that certain areas can be designated "secure", and it is an offence to go there without authorisation, and that it is an offence not to leave such areas when told to do so. Force can be used to remove offenders.

      There is nothing about photographing ports from public land - indeed, the string "photo" does not appear in the legislation at all.

      Vic.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: The International Code for the Security of Ships and Port Facilities

        Thanks Vic. I learn the oddest things here sometimes.

  29. Rufus

    Money well spent!

    Three years studying a degree in Media Production at Northumbria and he still hasn't learnt the best orientation of the phone for taking videos to share on social media - *sigh*.

    It is also not the first time he's had an incident when taking photos - though the previous encounter was a little more bloodied:

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/walker-man-attacked-cullercoats-beach-9338268

    1. Cynical Observer
      Stop

      Vertical Video Syndrome

      Have an upvote! - and while one could forgive the vertical video (just), it really didn't help with the effect of surrounding it with a fuzzy image of itself (a la BBC etc)

      Time to stamp out VVS

  30. x 7

    He's lucky he didn't try the same at Heysham or Barrow...........at Barrow the MOD guards at the BAE shipyard would have given him much worse, at Heysham he would have been facing the third degree from the port security guards AND the (armed) Civil Nuclear Police

    Photograph or film at either place - especially if you have large lenses - and you're an immediate suspect until they've identified you properly. So make sure you take your birdwatching field guides and some kind of ID

    A friend of mine was "politely" told to fuck off or face the consequences when filming a tourist video at Barrow, while close questioning is a frequent occurrence for anyone "new" birdwatching at Heysham with long lenses. Of course there are a pair of nuclear power stations at Heysham, while Barrow docks are........sensitive

    1. David Neil

      Faslane

      And yet there is a car park on the hill above Faslane which provides a cracking view of the entire base and surrounding area, where you can snap pictures to your hearts content and the MOD police don't bother you at all

    2. Rob Daglish

      There is nothing sensitive about the boil on the arse of the world that is Barrow-In-Furness, trust me. (For anyone who hasn't been, imagine the worst place in the world you can think of, and then imagine you're there and being rained on, in a force 10 gale, while being whipped with a wet fish. This is, somehow, still nicer than a day in Barrow.)

      Joking aside, x 7, my late father-in-law told me of a colleague of his who taught chemistry at a Barrow school: he needed to "get rid" of some surplus chemicals, namely sodium and potassium. For a bit of a lark, he put varying amounts of each into metal tins (imagine the sort of tin golden syrup comes in), punched a hole in the top and bottom of the tin, and then dropped them into the Buccleuch Dock opposite the school (StreetView - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.108485,-3.2283646,3a,75y,145.42h,102.19t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxq_BobTs8ql6ORRKmYjFYg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1) might explain why Plod took a dim view and asked some searching questions...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "For a bit of a lark, he put varying amounts of each into metal tins"

        Wrapping them in newspaper has the same effect. My Chemistry teacher blew the bottom out of the school swimming pool pulling that stunt.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He's lucky he didn't try the same at Heysham or Barrow...........at Barrow the MOD guards at the BAE shipyard would have given him much worse, at Heysham he would have been facing the third degree from the port security guards AND the (armed) Civil Nuclear Police

      Ah, but they are "proper" police, not some vague types with badges that might as well have been made at home with a laminator, and I think there are not only laws in effect around some of these areas but even proper signs that make you aware of that.

      As far as I can tell, these guys were making unwarranted assertions and had no formal right to hassle this guy. Inside the port boundaries may be a different matter, but this was a public area. The photographer would have been in his right to call the police to report harassment, if it wasn't for the fact that the police isn't actually that hot on the correct application of the law either...

    4. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      @ x 7

      I don't care about what is "sensitive" or not. If the photographer is on public land, even the shit-head coppers have no right to question anyone going about their business with some sort of suspicion. Simply having a camera does not count as cause for suspicion, regardless of the size of lens.

  31. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The best way to get their backs up?

    Ironically the best way to ensure, that as a photographer, you get questions/hassled by security is bring the most expensive gear you can afford along and you can gaurantee you will get hassled!

    If you set up a big expensive DSLR with top-notch lenses, filters on a pukka tripod they will be all over you, someone with a mobile phone or a pocket camera, they will leave alone!! As we all know a terrorist wishing to a do a recce is going to drag a 40lb bag of pukka photography gear and stand there in broad fecking daylight, face fully exposed for ages and captured on CCTV, when they're up to no good! As we know Mr Fundamentalist Nutjob likes to ensure he's well know before he makes his move!

    I got hassled shooting pictures of the Thames Barrier a few months back and told by a security guard, and I quote "You can't be an amateur sir, 'cos amateurs never have expensive professional equipment like that, so what are you shooting pictures of?". Excuse me? Oh so unless you have a tax form to state your main profession is photography, they don't let you buy state of the art camera gear. Something must have gone wrong 'cos I was able to buy this "terrorist enabling" camera gear straight off Park Cameras and they never even questioned as to why I wanted it, you need to get the Police round all the camera shops 'cos people who have no professional business buying camera gear are being allowed to!!

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: The best way to get their backs up?

      You're displaying the fact that you have more to spend on your hobby than they earn in a month (or possibly in a year) so they hate you for it. And because they've got a uniform, and possibly because nobody has ever told them anything about the relevant laws they are supposed to be upholding, they decide to throw their weight about.

      Such is life.

      Or maybe, they are just trying to do their job to the best of their sadly limited intelligence and imperfect training.

      There's no law against anyone asking you a question, even if it's of the general form of "have you stopped beating your wife yet"?

      What happened next?

  32. Cari

    #RIPTwitter

    So much for "speaking truth to power", huh @jack?

  33. Alan J. Wylie

    Posting photos of buildings in a "secure location"

    How irresponsible

  34. JohnMurray

    Perhaps we should be more concerned.

    After all, the same types of person employed at the docks are increasingly being employed at privately-run prisons and detention centres (all of which have had issue with sexual assaults on female detainees by "guards", with several pregnancies at the local one).

    One business park nearby is patrolled at night by a private company, and people are always being stopped while driving through (they usually get told to fuck off)

    And various councils employ private security personnel to patrol towns as well..never forgetting the "door security" at nightclubs.....no entry unless accepting being searched.....

    1. Nigel 11

      One business park nearby is patrolled at night by a private company, and people are always being stopped while driving through (they usually get told to fuck off)

      Is it a public road or a private road? That makes all the difference. If you want to be sure, the council should be able to tell you. The land registry can supply chapter and verse (for a fee).

      If it's a public road, "security" are breaking the law. You should ask the police to sort them out. You pay road tax to be allowed to drive your car on that road, and private security have no right to stop you.

      If it's a private road, you should, er, go away. You have no right to be there. They have the right to tell you that and to enforce its owner's rights against a trespasser (i.e. you).

      1. Andrew Taylor 1

        What bollocks, Road Tax hasn't existed since Churchill abolished it, it's an emissions tax that goes into general taxation, the only roads that the tax, lets call it Car tax for ease, actually pay for is the ringfenced cost of motorways. Try and keep up with reality, it is 2016 Jezza.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Lighten up Andrew. It was a figure of speech.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quotes?

    > A photographer in a public place was called a “lunatic”, "detained" by private security guards

    Why the quotes? He was clearly detained, no doubt about it. Legal paranoia?

    But can you say he was called a lunatic? What I heard on the video was just a question : "Are you some kind of lunatic?". That's a bit less direct :)

    I did laugh at the bits about the guard getting more training about how to deal with the public, and eye colour, splendidly cocky there, sir!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quotes?

      I may have misheard but did someone not say "Here we go we've got an idiot on a friday afternoon", and the response was "I know and he is bothering me". Priceless.

  36. arctic_haze Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Boycott them

    I certainly will do no business with Port of Tyne. If I ever acquire a tanker-full of some expensive stuff, I'll send it to another port!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boycott them

      Why? This kind of guards are usually also the kind who close both their blue eyes when some, ehm, "unapproved" goods - or even people - enter or leave ports... of course their pockets are a bit heavier after that. Port authorities should have much more to worry than photographers in front of their gates... or maybe are they worried someone could inadvertently document some of those "unapproved goods" entering or leaving?

  37. adam payne Silver badge

    Over jealous security guards who seem to think they have powers they simply don't have. If they had concerns they should have phoned the police.

  38. tonypreece22
    Alien

    Apparently Security Guards have no rights and could be guilty of assault.

    Check out this article, http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2012/04/14/photographers-rights-the-ultimate-guide/, clearly states, "Security guards - Unlike police officers, security guards have no powers to stop and search. They are members of the public, and as a result they can’t obstruct you from taking pictures if you’re standing on public land, nor can they ask you to delete any shots.

    Anyone who demands you should, and uses threatening behaviour, could be committing assault.

    Similarly, if they use force to take your camera or memory card then not only could they commit assault, but also the civil tort of trespass to goods and trespass to person. If they withhold your camera or memory card then it’s theft and a criminal offence. In this situation, call the police."

    I think the photographer should have called the police. We cannot have security people going around threatening the general public, they are not the police and we have not given our consent to be policed by them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apparently Security Guards have no rights and could be guilty of assault.

      They are members of the public, and as a result they can’t obstruct you from taking pictures if you’re standing on public land, nor can they ask you to delete any shots.

      Anyone who demands you should, and uses threatening behaviour, could be committing assault.

      Isn't there also something like impersonating a police officer in there? Pretending to have police-only powers would qualify, I think.

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: Apparently Security Guards have no rights and could be guilty of assault.

      and as a result they can’t obstruct you from taking pictures if you’re standing on public land,

      Actually if they do it by standing in front of you about a yard away, they probably can. That's not obstruction in the legal sense. That's just them exercising their right to walk on public land -- the same right you are exercising. You've got a right to take photographs but no exclusive right to the view.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apparently Security Guards have no rights and could be guilty of assault.

        > "Actually if they do it by standing in front of you about a yard away, they probably can."

        According to a lawyer writing about a different incident, this would likely be either harrasment or a public order offence (causing alarm or intimidation).

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Apparently Security Guards have no rights and could be guilty of assault.

          Couple of lemons.

          Port & lemons.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Apparently Security Guards have no rights and could be guilty of assault.

      We cannot have security people going around threatening the general public, they are not the police.

      LOL.

    4. Wommit

      Re: Apparently Security Guards have no rights and could be guilty of assault. @tonypreece22

      " they are not the police and we have not given our consent to be policed by them."

      It's been a long, LONG time since the police farce asked our consent to police them.

    5. Wommit

      Re: Apparently Security Guards have no rights and could be guilty of assault. @tonypreece22

      " nor can they ask you to delete any shots."

      According to brief I have a while ago (can't be bothered to look it up,) neither should the police. If your pictures are illegal, they have to preserve the evidence. If your pictures are legal, they have to protect your property.

      Failure of either situation can land them if serious trouble.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They let the Google Streetview car in...

    If they're so concerned about security why did they open the security barrier to let the google streetview car in? You get a much closer view of their base on streetview than from this guys photos...

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.9786887,-1.446316,3a,75y,337.42h,84.53t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8IZ2bspt6PD6U1vQf9y_aw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They let the Google Streetview car in...

      Google is not stupid and probably asked for permissions beforehand, and planned the shooting. Often, to realize a project you need careful planning, you don't just go there and shoot, unless you're a paparazzi, or you're a reporter trying to catch someone off-guard.

      1. organiser

        Re: They let the Google Streetview car in...

        Ask for permission from whom exactly? It is public land. The port doesn't have any say over it.

  40. Ian Emery Silver badge

    El Reg needs to step up

    We need a Shirt/T Shirt/Fleece with the words

    "I AM TAKING PHOTOS WHILE

    STOOD ON PUBLIC LAND.

    GET OVER IT"

    In large print.

    When will they be available to buy from the shop??

  41. deadcow

    Just sayin'

    This probably could have been resolved much quicker and easier if when he was asked "What are you up to?", he had replied with a de-escalating: "Well, I'm shooting some footage for a film I'm making about our city. As this is such a landmark, I thought I'd include it - is that OK?" rather than the deliberately escalating: "I don't have to tell you what I'm doing."

    I don't think anyone comes out of that particularly well. Yes there's a pair of over-zealous, jobsworth security, but on the flip side of that, there's also a smart-arse photographer.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Just sayin'

      I don't think anyone comes out of that particularly well. Yes there's a pair of over-zealous, jobsworth security, but on the flip side of that, there's also a smart-arse photographer.

      Hmmm, yes. First we had the cyclists, now photographers.... what next in this youtube age?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Just sayin'

        Photographers wanting to photograph in a style that looks like "hostile reconnaisance", moreover.

        What is this world coming to?

        (My style of "hostile reconnaisance" is scoping through a Bushnell across the axis of a long boomstick. It tends to shut people up.)

    2. Burch

      Re: Just sayin'

      They had no right to stop him.

    3. VulcanV5

      Re: Just sayin'

      There's also a limited company employing wannabe policemen behaving as if they're employed by an official body. "Port of Tyne" has no legal authority. It has a Board of just three people comprising two directors, one of whom is Chief Exec, and a Secretary (actually, a business service.) Not only does it not have a clue about Public Relations -- hence the employment of such high-calibre individuals as seen in the photographer's video -- it hasn't a clue about marketing, either, the biggest sell on its website being how brilliant it has been in flooding the UK with cheap coal from abroad. Clearly, from Chief Executive down to wannabe policemen, this limited company is very much home to individuals of unlimited sensitivity.

  42. Kydoimos

    Photo competition

    I had forgotten..... They actually sponsor a photography competition. Maybe the photographer in question should enter his video?

    http://reflect.portoftyne.co.uk/home/

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: Photo competition

      . . . and one of the judges is Port of Tyne Director of corporate affairs.

      http://www.reflect-tyne.com/judges/susan-wear/index.php

  43. regadpellagru

    what I find really amusing ...

    ... is how the militia guys (can't call them another way) are fucking off, once Police comes, without the slightest courage to confront the photographer vs. the Police. They even didn't discuss the case with Police !

    Clearly, they know they're a bloody militia, without any stand against the law.

    Freaking vermin, and bloody clueless too, since they allowed their ugly faces in youtube !

  44. EPurpl3

    The worst article I have ever read. Any photographer have to deal with all kind of situations daily, some much worst than this. This article is totally unfit in a tech website or on any other online newspaper because is not of public interest, this belong on the personal blog of a failed photographer who can't deal with a simple situation.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Baitu dess ka, ne?

      Thank you for your considered opinion which, after analysis, appears to be a waste of perfectly good electrons written by an airhead.

    2. JayB

      I hate myself for biting but....

      1) Digital media article... in a section of a Tech Website entitled "Media"

      2) Twitter issues, relates to IT.

      3) Civil Liberties issues, something the Reg focuses on quite often, especially when, you know, there's an IT angle.

      So yes, it's definitely in the right place for an article like this.

      I'm personally in two minds on this one. On the side of photography definitely, but maybe, just maybe, if he'd have said "wotcha mate, just filming the sign for an art project" rather than being a cocky ass, it would have gone downhill so quick. Although I personally have my doubts. Any "guard" who starts spouting BS that far, that fast is not going to be reasonable; "under the direction of the Dept of Transport"... wtf? Your local weighbridge I suspect is under the direction of the Dept of Transport ffs.

      If someone is going to be given the job of "guarding" then organisations like the Port of Tyne seriously need to be giving proper guidelines and not "he looked a bit funny". To be honest, I'd have the Port fined for blatantly inadequate training, make them GIVE adequate training and then if the site SecuraGoon do it again they have reasonable grounds to dismiss the idiots. Aggressively accosting innocent bystanders in a public place, can never, ever be acceptable in a civilised world.

      The Police also need to step up their game. Their apologist nonsense just proves they don’t get it either. Besides, I thought they’d be upset someone was muscling in on their game….

      BS all round!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        " "under the direction of the Dept of Transport"... wtf?

        I'm pretty sure in the video that the buy who said that identified himself as the security manager. If that's a manager gawd help us when the minions are set loose!

  45. To Mars in Man Bras!
    Facepalm

    How I Love It!

    You can't beat the combination of sub-normal intelligence and a job where said has been given just the right amount of authority to mess up someone's day.

    Someone should have told "The Two Rons" that, when it comes to 'Hostile Reconnaissance', most 'terrists' can do it from the comfort of their own armchair these days:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Port+Of+Tyne,+Maritime+House,+Tyne+Dock,+South+Shields+NE34+9PT/@54.9772285,-1.4479251,21z/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x487e6f0c7049ee01:0xa75db60a61eeddc8

  46. BitDr

    This is why the watchers need watching.

    If port security thought they were under reconnaissance by a potential hostile then the correct course of action would be to call the police and have them pop around to ask some questions. To their credit they eventually did this, but it was more as a tool for character assassination than public protection. The article makes the police out to be the more reasonable of the two parties, and I tend to think that this would have been a non-story had they been called into play at the outset.

    The port authority does not appear to understand the rules under which they operate. As it is now they have egg on their face and need to apologize not only to the photographer, but to the populace at large for puffery of the rules as a defense for their actions. The employees need to apologize for their over-the-top behavior, seek training in the rules and perhaps (I thought I'd never write this bit) get some sensitivity training.

    Pride goeth before a fall, and their pride/ego will be the biggest hurdle they face when setting things right. They must assure the citizenry that they are trustworthy when it comes to understanding and applying the rules under which they operate.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: This is why the watchers need watching.

      "The port authority "

      It's worth mentioning that there is no such thing as "The port authority" at most commercial ports. They are private commercial businesses, unlike what appears to be the case in some other countries where The Port Authority seems to be some sort of official body.

      Port of Tyne is most definitely a commercial operation. They even run their own haulage business and like the companies who own and run multiple airports, a few large companies run most of the UK ports,

  47. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    So the port officials are getting their knickers in a twist over a single person taking a video. Meanwhile I wonder how many CCTV cameras are overlooking the port and surrounding area?

  48. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    What a great use of public money.

    Well, I feel safer.

    Then again, I'm in New York (where you needed a permit to erect a tripod even before 9/11).

    1. organiser

      Re: Bah!

      I believe the rules in New York are there because of public safety rather than security. The authorities have apparently had enough legal and financial trouble in the past by people not looking where they walk tripping over all sorts of things (including tripods).

  49. Stumpy

    If I were him, I'd be tempted to get a good lawyer and sue the Port of Tyne for their aggressive behaviour. I'm sure he could find some damage to his equipment, and not to mention the emotional stress he's been put under...

  50. Adrian Midgley 1

    The problem is not the mistake...

    it is the organisation insisting it is not a mistake, by making stuff up.

    The Chairman of the Board and CEO should have a personal interest in this, since it is indicative of an approach there is no reason shown to disbelieve would apply to actual safety and security problems - to hide it and bluster rather than sort it out.

    IANAL, but it also sounds rather like an assault.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Port of Tyne - our Secret Overlords!

    They had the guy's Twitter account blocked instantly.

    Try and buy a straight camera these days. It's all smartphone cameras with built-in backdoors.*

    They had the Google Glass project shelved....

    Makes sense!

    * FBI excluded.

  52. VulcanV5

    What a vacuous bunch of self-justifying morons the "Port of Tyne" is, paying out for the creation of signs for people to look at but not to photograph. If anyone there had a functioning brain cell then they would long since have ensured that every sign, every paving stone, every brick in the wall, every tree and every leaf (if there are trees in Newcastle) has a notice attached to it: "DO NOT TAKE A PICTURE OF THIS". It's the way any asylum would organise things, so why not the Port of Newcastle? As for the local police not having the balls to say the Renta Uniform Cops are a right Laurel & Hardy, no surprise there . . .

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Geography

      "(if there are trees in Newcastle)"

      Despite what the story says and the comments by the film maker, South Shields, where the PoT HQ is, is NOT in Newcastle. South Shields is part of the Metropolitan Borough of South Tyneside. Before you get to Newcastle you must first pass through Gateshead and then cross the river Tyne. Travelling via the Tyne Tunnel takes you to the Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside from which you can then cross directly to Newcastle.

      There's a nice big DMZ between us and "the Toon"

      It's a bit like confusing parts of Greater London or surrounding counties inside the M25 with "London", or various entities in New York State with the city of New York. (Speaking of which, New York is also in North Tyneside.)

  53. Mike Tubby
    Joke

    Oh dear ...

    Two thoughts come to mind:

    "The sign on the Tyne is all mine, all mine ... the sign on the Tyne is all mine"

    "Is this a sign of the Tynes?"

    ... I'll get my coat

  54. MarkinDurham

    These security gorillas are weapons-grade cockwombles. There was a lot of this going on with folk photographing trains at one point. Common sense seems to go out of the window with many of these goons - or is it a prerequisite for getting the job?

  55. knk121009

    Theft: The taking of another person's property without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.

    Security should have been charged with a crime when they "seized" the tripod. And if it was taken forcibly, that constitutes a robbery.

    1. Mike Tubby

      Common assault, possibly ...

  56. Andy00ff00

    I bet he was wearing a sunderland shirt.

  57. Scorchio!!

    Legal

    I am a photographer too. On one occasion a police officer stopped someone nearby from photographing a fire that I was also about to attend as a photographer (with my powerful telephoto zoom lens from a distance I photographed all of the officers attending and submitted the photographs with the appropriate documentation to the Chief Constable). This is why I have paid attention to the legal situation. I recommend that all people intending to photograph anything in public takes a copy of the second link with them, in print, before going out with their camera. Having the URL on your smart phone is not a bad idea too.

    People should all go to the first link and send a copy of the second link to the Port of Tyne's legal department. The more the merrier. They cannot ignore it, especially if their department has genuine solicitors and or barristers, because they are bound in law to follow and explain the law to their employers:

    http://www.portoftyne.co.uk/contact-us/form/

    http://content.met.police.uk/Site/photographyadvice

    As has been remarked the two men who stopped the photographer were on a public highway where they had no jurisdiction; they should have reported any security concerns they may have had directly to the police, whose jurisdiction the area is. That is all; there is no argument here at all.

    I suspect these men are ex servicemen, and are still gripped by the cold war mentality which meant that photographing these sorts of facilities constituted suspicious behaviour; remember satellite photography did not exist in their day, nor did the new legislation. I recommend the mail cops attend a long period of CPD on the matter of photography and (physical) legal boundaries, jurisdictions and the rights of private individuals.

  58. organiser

    It is quite simple, really. Anybody can take pictures of anything that is visible from public land, except for if it is a military installation and there are clear signs that photography is not allowed.

    If they don't want something photographed, ensure it is not visible.

    Those security guards were clearly out of their depths (so to speak) and outside their area of jurisdiction - the port - by harassing a person on public land.

    I am a photographer but not in photojournalism.

    1. Scorchio!!

      "Those security guards were clearly out of their depths (so to speak) and outside their area of jurisdiction - the port - by harassing a person on public land."

      As an ex serviceman I was tempted to say they are ex infantry by their behaviour, confronting 'the enemy' in a forward position. Otherwise ex Regimental police men, who are generally self important twits.

  59. Barrie Shepherd
    Joke

    How about a Crowd Flash Photo session - all turn up around 12:00 (when the security clowns will be thinking of lunch) and walk up and down the road taking photographs :-)

    1. Scorchio!!

      "How about a Crowd Flash Photo session - all turn up around 12:00 (when the security clowns will be thinking of lunch) and walk up and down the road taking photographs :-)"

      I'd take you seriously were I not so far away. It would have to be filmed. Just in case.

  60. M1kem00re

    Makes you wonder!

    What are they trying to hide?

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Makes you wonder!

      "What are they trying to hide?"

      Not hide, protect; ports are a form of communications hub and these sorts of places do attract terrorism. Thus, given their ignorance, their behaviour is unsurprising. What surprises me is that they hadn't realised that an espionage mission would be more covert, involving a pen cam or similar hidden device. Perhaps they are not bright enough to understand this stuff,.

  61. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    total cocks who were just trying to throw their weight around. As said in the article the Ships and port regs apply to areas within the port (I used to work in a ship yard) and the place had security on the main gate.

    Now you might get questioned (but I doubt it unless you were really dodgy looking) taking photos around Devonport Naval base and it would be by MOD or Naval Police and they'd likely be armed so you aren't going to mess! Inside the yard comes under the official secrets act. MOD PLOD do sometimes board passenger ferries that go pass the yard and do checks, and you can't go within 50m of the base unless you want armed plod descending on you rather quickly! This happened to mates of mine when I was at Uni they were collecting samples from a boat and got a little bit too close to the arm's depot!

    There's a really good 10 part documentary about Devonport Naval base on Quest at the moment if anyone's interested. Shows just how massive the place is.

  63. ecoharpo
    Holmes

    Free Light

    As a physicist, I would regard all photons as common property, if a photographer doesn't absorb them with his camera detector then they get absorbed somewhere else, maybe into the eye of a passing pedestrian who would not take kindly to having his eyeballs seized.

    Apart from the photons emitted from the thermal radiation of the Port of Tyne wall the photons are mostly scattered sunlight which is not under anyone's jurisdiction or ownership (yet).

  64. Adrian Tawse

    And how about twitter.

    They have obviously acted merely on the suggestion of the port authorities. Personally I am more scared by this unofficial censorship than by the actions of a couple of goons. I think an unreserved apology should be forthcoming from Twitter.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like the port hires their security from the little man with the little dick club.

    Touch me or my equipment on public property will get you a sharp jab to the throat. Don't you guys have any civil rights left or have they all been taken away?

    If this is what England has become, God help America in a few years.

  66. Paul

    and yet only 17 months ago...

    http://www.portoftyne.co.uk/ews/port-of-tyne/photographers-urged-to-put-south-tyneside-in-the-frame-for-port-of-tyne-reflect-awards

    "The Port sits at the heart of the South Tyneside community and we hope people will pick up a camera or smartphone and start taking pictures of what life means to them."

    1. Paul

      I note that the contact page on the portoftyne website is fscked, insists that the message field shouldn't be blank.

  67. cortland
    Big Brother

    Imagine having the Google Earth (tm) closeup view

    on your smartphone when the Port security people look over your shoulders.

    http://www.maplandia.com/united-kingdom/england/north/newcastle-upon-tyne/wallsend/#map

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Imagine having the Google Earth (tm) closeup view

      Before the recent closure of Bedes World, there was a remarkably good view of the entire port facility from the hill at the far end of the 10th century Anglo Saxon Farm. I took a nice panorama shot from there a couple of years ago which took in most the Port. I wonder if I should now expect a visit from the "security" goons?

  68. Bill Sticker
    FAIL

    Failed Car Park Attendants

    Security officers have no official jurisdiction outside of the premises they are supposed to 'protect'. As they were on a traffic island well outside the port I think the two newbies who were hassling the hapless snapper missed that part of their 'training'.

    Maybe they failed the exam to become Parking Attendants?

  69. Goopy

    Look what Twitter did.

    Typical overzealous guards (cop wannabes) doing what they think is their job and local cops (for real) making things right (OK, that isn't as rare as you think). The real issue here is Twitter being pressured by Port oTyne or the britgov or who ever. Spineless Twitter

  70. Roger Mew

    This is NOT government, this is stupid jobs worth and boredom. My job meant that I went to places that were really secure, and I used kit that was really secure. I needed to test and use film for evaluation and I just asked my bosses at the various establishments and away i went, planes, boats, trains, kit etc. Little can be gained from most photos like this, and in any case the item can be viewed publicly anyway.

    Some years ago a civvy truck broke down outside a friends house, It was being escorted by police, British soldiers and US Airforce officials. I knew the lorry was carrying a nuclear bomb (probably not with the radio active bit in it, but who knows) but to show someone a piccy would have meant nothing. Do the zombies really think that the stuff you can see is secure. I carried more important stuff in the back of my Morris Mini and in an army lorry with a convoy had almost nothing.

    1. x 7

      "Some years ago a civvy truck broke down outside a friends house"

      blue curtain-sider with no markings by any chance?

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