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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

Security threat

Not a great photo, but I’m posting it in order to wind up a security guard and highlight the photographic policy in the Wellgate shopping centre in Dundee. Moments after taking this, I was accosted and asked what I was doing. This photo is dangerous material, as I could’ve been taking this shot of the Wellgate shopping centre in order to provide details of the layout to someone who (quote) “wants to plant a bomb”. (The fact that the centre is open to any member of the public, including potential bomb makers who therefore wouldn’t need me to help them, seemed to have escaped him.)

This was my first direct experience of the continual national fear of imminent attack in the UK, which has been driven to such an extreme by government and media hype that every contract security officer thinks they’re fighting international terrorism.

Of course the most ridiculous aspect of the whole incident was that I was allowed to go on my way, with my photo, if I “promised” that it was only for my own use. Take that, Osama.

Update

Although it’s from the London Met. police, it may well be worth printing a screenshot of this web page and keeping it in your wallet.