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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 14:16 GMT
Shoppers face picture-taking ban
St Stephen's Centre, Hull
Security advice means no photographs at the centre
Shoppers and visitors to Hull's newest retail centre could be asked to leave the premises for taking pictures or videoing the site.

The manager of the St Stephen's "under cover high street" has said counter terrorism advice includes being wary of people taking pictures.

Manager David Laycock said specialist advice pointed to potential terrorists using pictures to gain intelligence.

In January a photographer had equipment seized in the city's Prospect Centre.

Earlier this week shopper Antony Richards was stopped taking pictures at the St Stephen's Centre..

Centre manager Mr Laycock said while most visitors to the centre at the side of the city's railway station were innocent, security advice took those with malicious intent into consideration.

It's our duty of care to check that all pictures taken are for legitimate reasons
Centre manager David Laycock

Mr Richards said he was upset at being challenged with his camera: "I was stood in the walkways at St Stephen's, not actually in the shops, but as you go into the entrance.

"My wife's in a wheelchair so she sat near an exhibition and I took a photograph of her.

"A guy came up and said to me 'did I see you taking photographs?'"

Mr Richards said he was taking the pictures to send away to relatives.

"He said 'you're not allowed to take photographs and it got a bit heated

"It's quite ridiculous, why do we get stopped from taking photographs in Hull?"

'Gaining intelligence'

Mr Laycock said he was "sure" Mr Richards did not pose a security risk.

"[But] we've got to be careful that those people that are taking pictures are actually there doing it for a legitimate reason," he said.

"Because in terms of gaining intelligence of sites like shopping centres such as St Stephens, this is a typical way of doing it.

"It's our duty of care to check that all pictures taken are for legitimate reasons."


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