Photographer bullied by over zealous Kingdom Security staff

Kingdom Security staff become abusive to a photographer taking photos of the Golden Wonder factory and create a Twitter storm.

Kingdom Security staff become abusive to a photographer taking photos of the Golden Wonder factory -- even though he was legally entitled to do so.

'Made up' laws

Sometimes overzealous officials interpret the law to suit their own agenda. Unfortunately this exchange with a citizen journalist in Scunthorpe, UK has rustled up a bit of a storm.

Hamst takes photos and videos of Scunthorpe for the visit Scunthorpe community site. On 17th January, he decided to take some photographs of the Golden Wonder factory. Golden Wonder make potato crisps (chips), and snacks in the UK.

Kingdom Security staff are subcontracted to Golden Wonder for security services. One of the security staff crossed the road and insisted that Hamst stopped taking photos of the factory. Hamst refused saying he was fully entitled to take pictures of buildings from public areas.

The security guard became more and more abusive, even encouraging another worker to run the photographer over in her car. Her colleague also approached Hamst and told him that Hamst was breaking the law and that the police had been called.

He then became more abusive. Fortunately, Hamst captured the conversation on video, uploaded the confrontation to YouTube and he recorded the encounter on the Visit Scunthorpe blog.

In the UK it is legal to take photographs of a private property from a public place. Restrictions can only be enforced upon entry to that place. The Staff at Kingdom Security were unaware of this and their aggressive behaviour towards to photographer probably contravenes Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986

Since the blog and video were posted, Kingdom Security has had more social visibility than it anticipated. Links to the video have been posted onto the Golden Wonder fan site Facebook page and messages to @KingdomSecurity on Twitter have been critical of the abusive staff who 'threaten and swear'

Listening plan?

Mark Wallace, who owns the Kingdom Security Twitter account has stayed silent since 13th January and has not responded to the tweets asking for an explanation. Comments on the Visit Scunthorpe site claim that the two security guards have resigned, but there doesn't seem to be any official response to the video.

It is all well and good using Twitter to broadcast to your followers, but if you don't have an effective listening and engagement framework, things might just get out of hand.

Kingdom Security is probably wondering why it opened a Twitter account at all...

Related Content: