It’s worth a look at The Guardian’s story about one of its reporters being blocked from filming the O2 from Millennium Way, with security guards wrongly trying to invoke “terrorist laws” because “this is an Olympic venue”.
Funnily enough, I saw this incident happen – I was travelling into North Greenwich station by bus a few days ago thinking “why’s that bloke filming a security guard and sniffer dog?” I wish I’d taken my own picture now…
I can’t help thinking that “because of the Olympics” is going to be the new “‘elf and safety” cliche, as well as being used by jumped-up berks who are well exceeding their powers.
While I’m well aware that the O2 security guards make the Ravensbourne bike racks among the safest in London, I’ve had my own issues with them. Two years ago, a photographer pal tried to take some pictures of me in Peninsula Square (“this new London square, the largest in 150 years”, “a dramatic new public space“.) before some idiot came over to stop the outrageous photography activity. Taking photos without permission is not allowed in this area that us locals are all commanded to be proud of, it appears. For it’s not public space at all, it’s private property.
Odder still, a pal tonight told me of a recent visit inside the venue: “They demanded my 12 year old niece take down her hood the min we stepped in, it was raining outside, she was with 2 adults and a toddler and it was 11am! What did they think she was going to do? They may have a policy but you can at least be nice about it.”
The guards may have a legal right to enforce what goes on inside the Dome, or in Peninsula Square (“a superb place to socialise“) – but out on grim Millennium Way? They’re on very sticky ground. I’d lay odds on there being a photographers’ flashmob there by the end of the week.