Issue of photography in Cumbernauld shopping centres examined

THE FURORE over the father who faced security and police at Braehead Shopping Centre for taking photographs of his daughter has raised questions as to what is acceptable closer to home.

Saturday, 29th October 2011, 10:00 am

Much of Scotland was shocked by the case of Glasgow man Chris White who fell foul of the authorities after snapping his four year old daughter enjoying an ice-cream treat within the Renfrew-based shopping complex.

But could the same thing happen here in Cumbernauld? We spoke to the three different management structures within the mall on the issue.

We first tried to ascertain the position n the upstairs section of the centre which is home to the News and Chronicle.

Manager Shona McIntosh of CNC Properties said: “For security reasons, it is our policy in the Cumbernauld Centre not to allow people to take photographs of the inside of the centre or the building unless by prior arrangement with the centre management.

“If someone was taking photographs in the centre without permission, security would use their discretion and if they were only taking photographs of their own family then this would not be a problem,” she added.

Meanwhile in the downstairs section of the centre, manager Robert Barr insisted that there was no photography ban where youngsters and their families were concerned.

Mr Barr said: “These photographs are positively encouraged, especially around our displays at Christmas time.”

But he added: “We do however have a duty of care to protect our customers, tenants and staff from danger, as well as a duty to ensure that the Data Protection Act is observed.

“Our staff have been trained to look for unusual photography, photography of shop fronts, of clearly unrelated children and of security and fire equipment.

“In such circumstances our staff will politely enquire as to the photographer’s reason for taking those pictures and our subsequent actions will depend upon the photographer’s response.’’

Meanwhile over at the Antonine Centre, manager Karen Blair said that set guidelines were very much in place.

She said: “We ask that anyone taking photographs requests permission from centre management first and approval is given in the majority of cases, depending on the reason for the photography.

“If customers want to take a picture of a particular unit, then they must seek permission from that individual retailer.”

Karen added: “Strathclyde Police say that it is best practice not to allow photography in the general fight against terrorism, but we basically just apply a common sense approach.’’