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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Port of Tyne Bullies Threaten Photographer

Two Port of Tyne employees have been captured on video threatening a photographer going about his lawful business in a public place.

As there are clear parallels between the Port of Tyne's and TV Licensing's attitude towards amateur photographers, we have decided this story is worth bringing to the attention of our readers.

The photographer in question, 24-year-old media graduate Alan Noble, was positioned on the A194 Jarrow Road, immediately outside the Port of Tyne main entrance. It was the afternoon of 19th February 2016 and Alan was taking a few still shots for a project he was working on.

Video footage shows that Alan was approached by Port of Tyne security manager Kevin McNicholas, who immediately demanded the reason for his presence.

Alan replied, quite correctly, that he did not need to account for his presence in a public place, to which McNicholas replied: "Yes you do, because you're taking photographs of an area which is under the protection of the Department for Transport. If you don't move now, you're going to be arrested".

Alan explained that as he was stood in a public place he had the right to take photographs. The pig-ignorant Port of Tyne man, who was previously the head of security at Newcastle Airport, was having none of it and insisted that Alan would be arrested if he didn't move along.

After a few more moments of McNicholas being generally obnoxious - referring to Alan as a "lunatic", "idiot" and twice telling him to "shut up" - the Port of Tyne man called the police seeking assistance. On the phone he could clearly be heard speculating that Alan might be involved in "hostile reconnaissance" of the Tyne Dock site.

McNicholas was joined by a second, thus far unidentified, Port of Tyne employee, who was wearing a hi-vis jacket. This second aggressor was seen holding onto Alan's tripod and refusing to let go of it when requested. By this stage, Alan was being unlawfully detained by the two Port of Tyne employees. McNicholas demanded to see Alan's images, despite lacking any legal authority to make such a request.

Sadly for him, when the police arrived, they quickly recognised that Alan was well within his rights to take photographs. With Alan's memory card rapidly filling, the video drew to a premature conclusion. However, it is understood that the police officers were quite happy with Alan's continued presence on Jarrow Road and allowed him to carry on taking photographs.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "The Port of Tyne’s security officers acted in accordance with the security regulations that apply to major ports.

"No offence has been reported and no further action is being taken. We recognise photographers and film makers are within their rights to film outside an organisation, however, it is always beneficial to help prevent them from being asked to explain what they are doing to inform the organisation in advance that they intend to film outside their premises."

Speaking to the PHNAT website, Alan said: "I was well within my rights to be there, I was on public land filming the Port of Tyne sign as part of a personal project to promote the North East.

"As you can see from the video encounter the police were called. My phone ran out of memory just as the police arrived - in a nutshell, they said I had done nothing wrong and left me to continue doing my work."

As we understand it, the Port of Tyne, despite being fully aware of Alan's complaint, has not seen fit to issue an apology for the conduct of its clueless employees.

Anyone standing in a public area has the full right to take photographs or video footage of anything they see there. The police do not have the authority to stop public photography, so a quango like the Port of Tyne certainly doesn't.

We would encourage everyone with a camera to make a point of visiting the Port of Tyne, standing on the adjacent public highway and taking some photographs of its main entrance.

As the Port of Tyne will undoubtedly read this article, we'd offer it the following observation: The public has a legitimate interest in the fact that your employees - who have absolutely no jurisdiction or legal authority outside the port boundary - saw fit use those non-existent powers in an effort to intimidate a law-abiding individual. The events described above are clear for all the see in Alan's video footage. For that reason we'll not be accepting any edit requests, so don't waste our time by asking.

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Anonymous said...

"By this stage, Alan was being unlawfully detained by the two Port of Tyne employees."

And on that bombshell, Alan can pursue the dickhead security turds for said offence.

And I hope he does.

Anonymous said...

The BBC are the Mafia and they should be closed down. They are unaccountable liars who get away with despicable acts of violence and criminality. They put people through hell because they want easy money to maintain their debauch lifestyles. They must be held to account for what they did to Alan. An innocent member of the public who has every right to be go about his business.

Admin said...

On this occasion the BBC wasn't directly involved.

Anonymous said...

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "The Port of Tyne’s security officers acted in accordance with the security regulations that apply to major ports.

Admin said...

Yes, that's a characteristically half-arsed, and frankly irrelevant, comment by Northumbria Police.
Whilst it may be true the certain regulations and procedures exist within the port, those same regulations and procedures certainly do not apply on the public highway outside.

Anonymous said...

Easy to say irrelevant when it doesn't fit your narrative.

Admin said...

Easy to say irrelevant when it is.
Port regulations apply inside the port. They do not apply on the public roads outside the port.

Chris (aka TheKnightsShield) said...

Doesn't this whole thing fall under the terrorism act or something? I seem to recall that sea ports and airports are protected areas and anyone caught filming in or around them can be questioned under that act because they could be mistaken for someone looking to commit acts of terrorism. That's my understanding of the situation anyway.

Anonymous said...

Would you argue the same if someone was photographing your house directly from the road or a school perhaps.

Admin said...

Thanks for your comment Chris. You can read about the Terrorism Act on the Resources page. In short, it is not an offence to photograph transport hubs from a public place. Only in very exceptional circumstances, would the police have the power to seize/inspect equipment.

Hello again Anon.

I would be concerned if someone was photographing my house from the road. I might also be suspicious if someone was photographing children outside a school. However, both of those situations are perfectly legal and I would respect the photographer's right to do that, albeit disapprovingly.

But it's a bone question really, as those two situations are nothing at all to do with the circumstances at hand. A man was stood in one of the most public parts of South Shields taking photographs of the Port of Tyne entrance. Not school children, not someone's private dwelling.

You don't appear to dispute the fact that Alan was well within his legal rights to be there taking photographs. Do you think the Port of Tyne bullies had the right to threaten him with arrest? And hold onto his equipment and abuse him?

We'll agree to differ, if you do.

Anonymous said...

Can't say I would be as accepting to someone photographing my house but there we go. The circumstances maybe different but the principle is the same, photographing private property. Regardless of the law given the current security climate and potential risk a port/airport faces at this time do you not think it may have been sensible to notify the port he was going to be there prior to arriving. I can't also recall him being particularly cooperative in the video when asked who he was etc. which may have helped diffuse the situation.

Admin said...

You might consider there is a social principle, but there is no legal one: anyone stood in a public place can photograph whatever they see. They do not need anyone else's permission or approval, nor do they need to account for their actions to an employee of adjacent private property.

In my view, which again you're free to disagree with, law-abiding individuals, like Alan, should resist questioning and coercion by privately employed jobsworths. Jobsworths, who by virtue of their position and experiences, really should be fully informed about the extent of their "authority".

Rachel Gates said...

Such a shame that you have clearly taken some time to write this well written article without first and foremost establishing the true facts of the situation. This security manager didn't just decide to approach this man, he was specifically asked to return to the site to remove a photographer who as well as filming private property was standing in the middle of a dangerous roundabout where said Security Manager had not long ago had to witness the horrifically graphic death of a man. I am sure you would be quite interested to know exactly what the police said and I can assure you it's not what this young man believes. I feel really sorry that you have been deceived into supporting this man's campaign and advocating his extremely pathetic craving for attention. As we speak he is embroiled in a 3 week argument with Stagecoach over a late running bus!!! The fact that his Twitter handle is alannobletv says it all!!! [final sentence redacted]

Anonymous said...

Hopefully admin will see the above comment and remove it asap since on the face of it it constitutes defamation of character.

Admin said...

Thank you for the heads up Anon. We have amended that comment slightly. We won't be deleting it entirely - much as we might have differening viewpoints, she has the right to state her case.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the man himself because he has been accused him of defamation of character and harassment!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr McNicholas for working hard to keep our Country safe. Well done for your sterling efforts in this situation. I would have lamped the idiot!