Mall security guard accuses shopper of being a paedophile for photographing his own son

According to his blog, Kevin visited the Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland with his son to spend the £10 his father gave the boy on a family visit. While there, he seated his son on a coin-operated train ride and snapped a photo of him with his cameraphone. At this point, a Bridges security guard came by and ordered him to stop taking pictures. He said that it was mall policy, and implied that Kevin was taking pictures because he was a paedophile. Kevin told him that this was ridiculous and took his son to find his wife and get out of the mall away. He also took a picture of the security guard "so that if I later wanted to make a complaint to the centre I would be able to identify him."

Outside of In a different part of the mall, Kevin was stopped by a police constable who had received a complaint from mall security that a suspicious potential paedophile had been taking pictures on its premises. The PC threatened to arrest Kevin "for creating a public disturbance" and told him she could order him to delete the photo of his son. The PC also averred that the Bridges Shopping Centre is a hotbed of paedophile assaults.

For the record: It's not clear to me how a fully clothed child on a mall coin-op ride is harmed by having his likeness captured by a camera, even if that camera is in the possession of a paedophile. And I'm pretty sure that taking pictures of your kids having fun on rides isn't a warning sign of paedophilia (I'm in big trouble if it is!).

Talk to Frank (Thanks, Guy!)



  1. “And I’m pretty sure that taking pictures of your kids having fun on rides isn’t a warning sign of paedophilia (I’m in big trouble if it is!).”

    Burn him!

  2. Does “Bridges shopping centre” know the police apparently consider it a “a hotbed of paedophile activity and sexual assaults”? Are they happy with this being communicated to the public in this fashion?
    Kevin should probably ask them (and let them know their answers will be published).

    1. Screw CCTV. Right this very moment there are strangers looking at our kids naked and it’s all government sanctioned. Of course we are sure they are not perverts because they are doing it for our own good. But god forbid you take a memento of your own kid having fun, you dirty pedophile.

  3. I have to ask the rational minds of BB, is there really some massive wave of pedophilia in the UK?

    I read the Guardian, I have family in both England and Ireland, I’ve visited frequently, I’ve never gotten the sense that the whole nation has turned into something out of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”.

    Mind you, I don’t read the Daily Mail.

    Seriously, have the usual high-profile pedo cases (dreadful and heart-rending as they are) just driven the whole damn establishment insane?

    I cast no aspersions, as I live in a country where the laws have our sex offenders living safely under bridges like common trolls.

    1. the adults in the UK are so grisly and vile that if you need to blow off some steam you are pretty much forced to seek out a child.

      while this may seem bewildering to foreigners, britons have been getting in on the act in increasing numbers over the years. in fact this form of stress discharge has become so popular in certain areas of the UK that the supply of sexy nippers has all but dried up. forcing people to import asian and african tykes to cater to demand.

    2. The madness has gone so far as to infect even the irrational nutjobs.

      I recall a chart from a David Ickes book, which details, aside from all the other nefarious activity our shapeshifting reptile alien illuminati overlords get up to, they still manage to find time to relax with a bit of Pedophilia. Or Paedophilia, as it’s practiced in the UK.

      It’s also well known that, unlike the rest of the world, UK Paedophiles are almost all exclusively clothed child fetishists, which makes child porn for that market very easy to produce, and near infinitely difficult to detect.

  4. “Bridges shopping centre is a hotbed of paedophile activity and sexual assaults happen there all of the time.”

    Wow. I guess I would not shop there if my children were going to be assaulted there. I think if people discuss this enough, no one will shop at Bridges shopping centre.

  5. Oh God! I clicked on your link and now I’m part of your sordid little internet pedo network. Damn you Doctorow!

  6. “The PC threatened to arrest Kevin “for creating a public disturbance” and ordered him to delete the photo of his son.”

    At which stage Kevin should have told the PC to go and f**k himself.

    Seriously, I having become a father recently myself and being professional photographer I am sick and tired of being hassled by wannabe homeland security agents.

    1. I advise that you learn your rights as both a photographer, and a human being living in the UK.

      Check out this video

      Note that when the photographer is asked if he “understands his right”, he says “no”. Instead of standing under the rights that he is being offered, he declares that he is choosing to reserve all of his right.

      Because you live in the UK, you can stand out from under the jurisdiction that your police officers ask you to accept. You can remain under the common law.

      Learn more here:

  7. But seriously, I’m on board with mgfarelly (#4):

    Can someone please explain how taking photographs now automatically qualifies you for serious harassment in the UK? I mean, take a picture of a building in a public place and you’re a terrorist; take a picture of (your own) children and you’re a paedophile … huh?

    Paedos and terrorists take pictures with cameras … you have a camera … therefore … wait! I didn’t blow the whistle yet!

    1. “the face on the train engine is a little creepy, though…”

      It’s Jasper, from Thomas the Tank Engine.

      Geez, adults these days….

      1. ah, it’s been a while since my boys watched Thomas… I’m sure Jasper is a fine, clean old man.
        :¬ )

  8. My vague understanding of amateur photography in the 21st century is that the majority of photos taken fall into three popular categories: buildings in vacation spots, one’s own children and naked selfpics. Honestly, why sell cameras in the UK at all?

    1. I thought the three uses of photography were child porn, terrorism planning and copyright infringement. Obviously we should just go ahead and ban cameras altogether. Anyawy, everybody knows that they steal your soul.

  9. A tourist would be foolish to even consider visiting the UK. From what I seen posted on the net you will be harassed maybe even arrested for visiting points of interest and taking pictures.

  10. W r bng trnd t ccpt tht th mr pssssn f nfrmtn cn b srs crm: wth th crllrs tht sch pssssn ncssrly mpls bth vl ntnt t hrm thrs, nd th ncssty f hrsh physcl pnshmnt fr sch pssssn.

    “slm-strtgy”, wth lng tm frm.
    Ldng t “ttl nfrmtn wrnss & cntrl”, nc th tch systms r n plc nd rdy t rck. Prhps thy lrdy r, nd ths s why ctl pltcl chng s bcmng pprntly mpssbl n th S.

    n twnty r thrty yrs, fll-n bns n pssssng thr typs f nfrmtn cld bcm cmmnplc: fllwng th sm “lgc” whch ndrpns ths cntns sslt n ppl’s xstng lbrts, ths hrnssng f mrl trg t srv s n ngn f tyrnny.

    Jst lk th drg lws: vr tm thy hv bcm hrshr hrshr nd hrshr.

    1. You can find the hyperbolic silver lining in any cloud, can’t you?

      (captcha: ethics strangulation)

      1. That’s because he’s on this side of the pond, where we get to watch the nutjobs south of the border from spitting distance.

        It is quite the spectacle, let me tell you; c.f.- Pearlism and the four year old that got beaten to death by her religious nutjob parents. But… we should of course understand those people because they were motivated by religion, while a person taking a pic of their kid should automagically be treated like criminals.

      1. Sure, but drawing an analogy between laws banning possessing information and those banning possessing drugs doesn’t seem to be derailing, or even that outlandish.

  11. What is the shopping centre’s motive for installing brightly coloured rides?

    Who are they trying to attract? Children don’t have any money or make any large purchases – so why have the children’s ride?

    If you ask me, it’s all a bit suspicious…

  12. I’m originally from Sunderland (although currently at a bit of a distance), and I’ve got to say that as ridiculous as this is I’m not entirely surprised by it. Not to bad mouth my hometown too much, there are a bunch of lovely people there, but it is generally quite prone to the kind of hysterical scare-mongering perpetrated by much of the tabloid press.

    I think the most depressing thing about this is that the very same people who will talk up the pedophile threat to the point where it undermines our collective common sense are probably the same people who champion common sense in the context of ‘political correctness gone mad’.

  13. #4, no, there’s no wave of paedo activity – but there is a wave of good old fashioned social panic. See “Satanic Panic” et al for a fine breakdown.

    The “Paedogeddon” flap does seem to be going on for longer than most. Probably because next to every paedogeddon story in the press is a shot of some hyper-sexualized kids.

    1. I’ve been thinking the same thing – that scholars say, 50 or 100 years from now will come to the conclusion that turn of the century UK was in the grips of a bona fide case of “mass hysteria”. And that it was particularly virulent in the police population.

  14. Well, the reason for this is the same as that being in an airport having beard and dark skin makes you a terrorist.

  15. On the bright side, google images and flickr will be less clogged up with pictures of people’s child-spawn.. email inboxes will be free of baby updates from over-exuberant parents..

    A new era of peace shall dawn over the child-free Internet for all of us non-parent users!

  16. A more serious issue is the reaction of the police in demanding that the photo be deleted.

    If the photo is criminal, then deleting it is itself a crime as you are destroying criminal evidence.

    If the photo is not criminal, then the police have no right to make any demands about its existence.

  17. So the guard believed the man was a paedophile but let him leave his sight while alone with the child?


  18. Sent to the Bridges via their feedback form:

    I have visited the Bridges shopping centre on countless occasions.

    After reading the recent news article about a gentleman who took his young son to the centre, I am loath to return, in case I meet with the treatment which he experienced.

    The gentleman was approached by a man in security uniform, claiming to represent the centre. This man in uniform ordered the gentleman in question to stop taking pictures, stated that he required this due to mall policy and implied that the gentleman was a paedophile, of all things.

    Outside the centre, the gentleman found that the ‘security officer’ had called the police, as he was confronted by a police officer, who threatened him with arrest and (illegally) ordered him to destroy the picture he had taken of his own son.

    I seek assurance that either this ‘security officer’ is not in fact an employee of the Bridges, or that he will be dealt with in the most severe fashion, as harassment of the public and accusations such as this are surely not something with which the Bridges would wish to be associated.

    Please keep me informed as to how you are dealing with this terrible situation.

  19. So,,,where do I post the pics of my little girl? I have pics of her on swing sets, and slides, at the beach oooh and a couple of real hot ones with shampoo mohawks.

  20. Hold on… the mall (and the police?) were not happy with him taking photos of his son, because they thought he might be a paedophile – but they were perfectly happy for him to TAKE THE CHILD WITH HIM WHEN HE LEFT?

    If this story happened as reported, then things are much, much worse than I could possibly have imagined.

  21. Kevin,
    If you’re reading this,, with an accusation that the officer exceeded their lawful authority in ordering you to delete photos. It’s a fairly simple process. Creating grief for officers that do this is a sure way to send a message.

  22. Where do malls state their photography policy? If it’s so important, they should be posted as you enter the mall.

  23. @MGFarrely – There’s no more or less child abduction/pedophilia than there’s ever been, it’s the perception built up by the media over the last decade or so. The press’s ‘Peadogedden’ agenda does seem to have decreased over the last few years, maybe because the press got stung by the Shannon Matthews case where the mother arranged her to be abducted by her own uncle.

    Things came to a head about 10 years ago when a group of vigilantes in a town in Southern England started attacking the house of a pediatrician.

    There have been a couple of great parodies of the media’s attitude to pedophilia – search for ‘Monkey Dust Paedofinder general’ and ‘Brass Eye Peadophilia’

  24. If the first thing that comes into the guards head when a picture is taken is “Paedophile”, maybe someone should be looking into the guards activities.

  25. “Infographic” time!

    Start with a picture of a man holding a camera to take a picture, draw a sign pointing to him (from above) that says “John”.

    Add a child, wearing a blue jumper so people can see s/he’s not nude, sign points to him saying “John’s son [daughter]”.

    Add mall background but don’t clutter the poster.

    Draw a sign from the bottom that points to John that says “According to Bridges Shopping Centre, taking pictures of your own fully-clothed child makes him a suspected paedophile*”.

    * add footnote to the full explanation in the footnote. Might as well quote that police line about the mall being a paedo-centre.

    Last step, print and paste all around said stupid mall…

  26. I agree with #28. Taking pictures of your own son is a crime, but simply aledging to be his father and leaving with him in front of the guard and the police is ok??!

    oh, and make him delete the pictures in the mall, but let him go out and take pictures anywhere else?! completele insane!!

    Kudos for the post! I´m also going to send an email to The Bridges Shopping mall..

  27. I only moved away from Sunderland last year but this sort of behaviour is common from the pathetic security officers at the Bridges.

    A couple of years back they had a pirate ship outside of HMV (an obvious photo) and despite the hundreds of people taking photos on their phone I was swarmed by these muppets and goose-stepped out of the Bridges because I had an SLR (the devils tools).

    I would not shop there again, I suggest everyone leaves feedback and contacts the Sunderland Echo.

  28. “Bridges shopping centre is a hotbed of paedophile activity and sexual assaults happen there all of the time.”

    Then why the hell would you let kids come to the mall at all? If it is sooo dangerous then just ban all kids under 12. The perverts will go somewhere else.

    Or better yet, make parents actually pay attention to their kids instead of just dropping them off at the mall and ignoring them.

  29. The “paedophilia threat” — like “the war on terror” — is a useful tool for law enforcement and petty tyrants alike.

    Just as any investigation of a person’s computer or his internet use can be justified in the interests of fighting “terrorism,” any irrational behavior or abuse can be retroactivly justified in the interests of combating “paedophilia.”

    Infringed a persons civil rights?
    “I thought he was a paedophile.”

    False arrest?
    “I though he might be a paedophile.”

    Shot a man?
    “He was taking pictures of a kid.”

    Civilized nations need to reestablish the principle that rights attach to the individual and are not determined or limited by the suspicions of law enforcement or security guard.

    Our rights remain the same, no matter what the mall cop imagines we might maybe be doing.

    1. “What a stupid world”

      One reason I want off this planet. I’m kind of hoping the rest of the galaxy isn’t as insane/inane.

  30. The original article seems to be down at the moment, so I can’t check if there’s more data… but what I find weird about the story is that although the security guard allegedly took him for a pedophile he left him leave with the boy. Also, it doesn’t mention any attempt to find the “actual” parents of a boy who is too young to go around on his own.

    … So I’m thinking, even if these guys are awfully paranoid and incompetent I’m 95% sure that the there’s more to this story that we’re being told, and that it doesn’t do the guards justice.

      1. And 51 comments before someone figured out what it was… The ride is an illegal knock-off of a strongly protected corporate franchise character.

        The guards are just trying to protect sweet, loving shopping center owners from the evil, predatory copyright lawyers! They are copyfighters!

  31. It is strange; a democracy that has decided the gov’t can put it’s cameras anywhere has apparently moved to making the taking of images an act only the gov’t perform.

  32. hey, totally OT but thanks mr. doctorow for “Little Brother” – it’s one of my daughter’s favorite books and it has totally changed her worldview

  33. My cousins in the UK have mentioned this pedophilia obsession that seems to be running high in the UK. I live in the US, and we have our own issues here of course; but my sister was living in London for a time, and she and my cousin, who lives outside of London, took their kids to a nice pool in the summer. My sister was snapping pics of the kids (wearing full bathing suits), and she was approached by a woman claiming to work at the pool. She was informed by this woman that she cannot take pictures of the children b/c she may be a pedophile. My sister protested that she was the mother/cousin to the children, and she was trying to capture a nice family moment/day. The woman threatened to take her camera or call the police. My sister decided not to press the issue, but when the woman left, our British cousin commented that such attitudes were becoming more prevalent. My observation is that the normally controlled Brits are being gripped by an irrational paranoia – of course, aren’t they also afraid of anyone wearing a hoodie? haha. Normally its the Americans that are paranoid, but I guess that’s being exported these days too!

    To Doubleshiny – LMAO…and by the same token, why have pools that attract children and allow them to wear skimpier clothing (i.e. bathing suits)? – pools must be banned!

    To Matt Volatile: You hit the REAL problem right on the head there!! Nice police/security work there guys!

    1. Sheesh; they’d better not go to France then. Last time I was there we spent a day at a small town’s outdoor pool; most of the smaller kids were stark naked, a good half of the teen-ish aged girls were topless and a substantial fraction of the adult women were likewise exposing their sinful bodies to the gaze of Mrs Grundy.

  34. Apparently no one has noticed that to the right of the customer kiosk in the picture of the guard there is an image of what appears to be another child. Also, over the right shoulder of the child on the train there appears to be yet another juvenile. It would appear that the child’s father is photographing other people’s children also. This may be a means for paedophiles to covertly take pictures of other people’s children. Very clever.

  35. Well, you know the rule. Somebody, SOMEWHERE has a fetish for fully clothed children riding quarter operated train rides.

  36. Pedophiles are the new communists. Since most people are unable to distinguish between love and sex, Pedophiles are everybody, everywhere (with the exception of anybody, anywhere). Poof – there goes the presumption of innocence.

    Our society is sick. We need a remedy.

    Greetings, LX

  37. And I love how the mall cop is standing right in front of a big “Customer Service” sign. Priceless.

  38. I don’t think “Jasper” is a genuine Thomas the Tank Engine character. Perhaps they were more concerned with the intellectual property theft being recorded?

    In all seriousness, though, I have to concur with previous comments – what can you use a camera for these days?

    1. It’s been a while for my kids too, so I just *assumed* because I recognized the style.

      You are right: 15 seconds on Google was enough to show that this particular train character is a copy-cat design.

  39. Do you think that guy really likes his job in the shopping centre?

    He is just doing what he is told. Unfortunatly, the powers that be tell staff to do things, but never adjust these in any way in response to real world situations. Do you think the guy wants to do this?

    This for example happens in supermarkets. Im originally from another country and im almost 30, yet get asked for ID to buy booze in the supermarket. They have been given a strict system because they dont want ot allow staff any possible leeway incase one of them messes up. How im supposed to have moved to england and got a decent job enough to buy over £100 of shopping at the age of 17, i dont know.

  40. So, what happens when a cop makes you delete a picture from your camera? Most of them use the FAT file system, which makes it very easy to undelete files. So, if you humor the pesky cop you can get your pictures back later, as long as you don’t write to that file system too much before you do the undelete.

    1. Because this is in the UK (don’t know about anywhere else), the policeman should not have even asked the guy to delete the photos. Noone is allowed to demand you delete photos without a court order. In fact I’m sure I remember reading somewhere that doing so falls under “assault”.

      1. Ideally you shouldn’t have to delete your pictures when a cop says, but when it’s a choice between humoring the cop and going about your business, or disobeying the cop, getting arrested, and ultimately being vindicated by the court, some people would choose the more pragmatic path.

        1. Ideally people should stand up for themselves, whether it’s convenient or not, because otherwise the ‘authorities’ realize that you will just bend over and take it.
          It’s people with attitudes like yours that are the true cause of erosion of freedom, IMHO of course…

      2. Ideally you shouldn’t have to delete your pictures when a cop says, but when it’s a choice between humoring the cop and going about your business, or disobeying the cop, getting arrested, and ultimately being vindicated by the court, some people would choose the more pragmatic path.

  41. Once you start defining photographing children as Paedo-crime, isn’t EVERYWHERE a “hotbed of paedo assaults”?

  42. Has anyone considered the fact that maybe Kevin is a paedophile? Two people took one look at him and came to the same conclusion. On this side of the pond, we would just need 10 more for a hanging (although you seem to want to burn him–that is good, too).

    There is probably a police report somewhere that has him listed as a suspected paedophile. I am sure it will come up when he enrolls his kids in school.

    BTW, if you disagree with me then you are protecting a paedophile, which makes you one too. Go report yourself to the police.

    (And quit thinking those thoughts you are having, those are dangerous too. You really need to get off the internet. There are only paedophiles on the internet. Go read a book instead…No, not one of those books, they are dangerous, the other “approved” ones… Instead, don’t do anything. Just sit in your living room in the dark and wait for the police to show up. They will tell you how to behave.)

    1. Gee, how did you know? The only reason I’m reading this blog entry is OBVIOUSLY because I’m a pedophile hoping to read something interesting or see some cute young lad……..

  43. Brilliant
    surely this means we’ve hit rock bottom? Hopefully no one brought some metaphorical dynamite…

  44. The only solution is for the masses to show up at the mall and take pictures till the mall gets tired of harassing them.

  45. Guess what? I live in the UK, I’ve taken loads of pictures of my children, I’ve taken loads of pictures of building, and I’ve never been stopped by security or the police. I don’t know anyone who has. Which suggests that

    a) I and everyone I know has been very lucky, or

    b) While fear of paedophiles may well be exaggerated and blown out of all proportion (and some do people overreact), a fear of people being feared of paedophiles and overreacting is also exaggerated and also being totally blown out of all proportion.

    1. Did you happen to notice the list of similar stories listed under this story? Did you notice similar stories in the comments? And that is just on this site – who knows how many other similar stories there are? If neither you nor anyone you know has had lung cancer does that mean that lung cancer is an exaggerated problem? I dont think anyone is suggesting that this is an everyday occurrence, but it seems to be happening often enough to be a disturbing trend. A similar moral panic in the US in the 1980s destroyed a lot of peoples’ lives. That this happened at all is completely absurd.

  46. I’m beginning to think that the world has lost its common sense. First British Airways declares 50% of the world’s population as pedophiles and now mall cops have decided that any father taking of picture of his children must also be one. When will the world return to sanity?

  47. It’s obvious. The security guard is the real pedo and he’s projecting his pedophilia onto innocent parents a la Carl Jung…

    Stone HIM!

    The security guard, not Jung, he’s deaded already.

  48. A lout in an ill-fitting suit is allowed to tell two parents that photographing their own child, fully-clothed and in a public space, is suspicious of child molestation? Send this oaf back to the dodgy council estate he crawled out of, and let him go back to pushing around kids on the playground – oh, wait, he was no doubt the estate whinger, and now he is getting his comeuppance by pushing around strangers with fake charges and fake authority. Lovely job, way to go!

  49. I’ve tipped off the Sunderland Echo to the scandal of paedophilia in their area, and trust that they’ll run a story warning readers off this den of iniquity. Thanks BoingBoing!

  50. Perhaps the headline should read “Police claim Bridges Shopping Centre is a hotbed of paedophile assaults.”

  51. Yer Maw I would like to agree with you but I can assure you that in this case you are wrong. The security guards at Sunderland Bridges are sad little creatures who abuse what little power they have frequently.

  52. Not only that, take me to court, let a judge and jury decide wether or not this image is pornographic in anyway shape or form, Oh wait, I deleted it.
    There goes your evidence.

  53. The police officer had no right to demand he delete the photo, if nothing else he was destroying evidence.

  54. This story reminded me of Kafka’s stories. The scary part is this was real. The high level of ignorance, power tripping and fear is creating a social environment where human beings can’t interact on it.

    Jane’s Addiction mentioned it long ago: Idiots Rule!

  55. I’ve never been there and will never be there, but if that were how I was treated, I’d be sure to repeat the assertion, early and often, that that mall is a hotbed of pedophilia. I would think their customers would want to know that. He’d only be doing a public service by spreading the word.

  56. What really bugs me about this sort of thing — above and beyond the absurd injustice and overbearing little-hitlerism of it — is that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    OF COURSE I am now going to go around looking sneaky and covert whenever I use a camera in public — I’m frightened of someone stopping me every time I take a picture!

  57. It would appear from reading BoingBoing that in the UK if you use a camera in public then you are either a paedo or a terrorist. Which is patently ridiculous because practically every single person in the UK has a cameraphone in their pocket. And every single non-residential building (and a lot of residential buildings) have cameras affixed to their exteriors. And interiors. And see where this is going?

    It is my understanding of living in the UK that it is neither full of paedos or terrorists, but it is full of idiots. It’s only going to get worse too, because bahaviour like this will just lead to a massive brain-drain.

  58. It seems that paedophilia and terrorism are vying to be the next “communism” for the 21st century! I only hope that it doesn’t take a McCarthy like incident to snap us out of this insanity!

  59. Reactionary imbeciles with authority who get too much enjoyment using it.

    Pretty much the root of about 90% of problems with the government.

  60. If somebody did that to me I’d make a formal complaint to the police, demand their name and address and send them a letter informing them of intention to pursue criminal proceedings for incitement and giving false information to the police.

  61. The police state of Britain moves forward in its quest to rule by fear and crushing liberty in the name of “reducing pedophilia”.

  62. Regardless of any “more to the story” aspects with the security guard, I’d think the mall might be more concerned that the police department itself is spreading the rumor that the mall is a hotbed of pedophilia. Not a great tagline.

  63. OK, enough is enough, time to write to my MP. Laugh if you will but questions asked in Parliament do make waves (as a civil servant, I had to prepare answers to them, and it makes legislators and policy makers aware that there is an issue – they may well not be).

    Has this been picked up by the UK press at all? I’d like to include a reference in my letter.

  64. I think everyone is taking the wrong approach to this story. Since the security guard was upset that the customer took a photo of his own son because it’s a “hotbed of pedos” but yet let him *leave* with the child, he didn’t want the customer to advertise the fact it was a “hotbed”. The guard is in on the pedo hotbed!

  65. The end result of all this UK pedo-mania is that the rest of the world will think the UK is filled with a high percentage of pedos. Which the “PedoFinder General” will love.

  66. You are beeing trained to blindly follow rules, and obey authorities in every situation no matter the letter of the law is in your favor.

    They just chose photographing because it is a good way to implement the training.

    By having obvously retarded rules with unproportional emphasis on upholding them,

    1. The police and guards are trained to uphold rules they dont believe in, or to doublethink into believing in order to be able to do their job without self loathing.

    2. And as mentioned the citizens are trained to obey and not to question.

    If someone told me this 5 years ago i would have laughed and asked if they are wearing a tinfoil hat.

    Im not laughing now.

    This is scary. And it’s been done several times in history with very good effect. I dont think I have to spell it out what kind of system / state this is a perfect base for.

  67. And Britain slides a bit further towards a shambling horror of a totalitarian police state…

    the police arresting you for taking pictures of your kids on an amusement ride…Amazing!

  68. What they really want is to stop the pedophiles from even thinking about children. Good Luck.

    It’s like just the notion of pedophilia is so distasteful that once it gets into your head you see it everywhere. Reminds of the Soviet Unions various purges: “he could be a spy! We should arrest him just to be safe.”

  69. I’m from Sunderland and this does not surprise me one little bit. The town seems to have a surplus of this type of idiot and the sunderland echo is little better – if they run the story i wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin is depicted as being totally in the wrong and the bridges/cops are just doing there jobs. I know there will be a lot of people in sunderland who will be thinking ‘no smoke without fire’ and will probably accuse kevin of also being a terrorist or something too! oh it’s a great place!

    (and if i’m wrong about you then speak out, people of sunderland)

  70. A search in Google for “Bridges Shopping Centre” is now listing this post on Page 2. Will it make page 1?

    Will a search for the shopping centre in Google bring up before long: “Bridges shopping centre is a hotbed of paedophile activity and sexual assaults”?

  71. umm….If the guy WAS a paedophile wouldn’t the photos constitute possible EVIDENCE? Would destruction of those records after you’ve been informed that you’re the target of a criminal investigation constitute a crime?

  72. Oh, and for the record the Police officer had no right to demand that the man delete the photo. Had the police officer insisted, that would have been a criminal act.

  73. There must be something in the water over in the UK. The whole country seems to be coming unhinged. To top it off, CCTV cameras are everywhere taking pictures of you, but you can’t take a photo of your son in a public place without being harassed by jackass rent-a-cops and local police. Get a grip Mother England!

  74. Hi, I am starting a campaign to ban children from malls and swimming pools. Please join me. Pool’s definitely got to close.

  75. Surely the point is being missed here. The idea is not to tut-tut about how awful this is, but to make sure that this imbecile never repeats his behaviour. This means publishing a proper photograph, and getting his name. This can then be passed to the local media, who will discover they have an international celebrity on their back doorstep. The manager of the centre, or whatever he calls himself, can surely be identified very easily as well. The next step is to write to your Member of Parliament, citing this story and saying that you are worried now that the government has passed a law to stop parents photographing their children in shopping centres, and asking them to check with the Home Office. A dozen or so of these letters, to which a Minister will have to sign a reply, will start convulsions. It’s called deterrence.

  76. Oh, yeah. If you take a picture of a kid, you’re a paedophile. Everybody knows that. In fact, it’s your duty to turn yourself in.

  77. “Bridges Shopping Centre”

    Just thought I’d give the Google search a boost!

    This morning I read about a guy harassed by plod for photographing a street parade, and now this, what is wrong with this country.

    Laws brought in to protect us are being used against us, we’re being persecuted while terrorists and pedophiles go about their vile business undisturbed.

    Pete of Worcestershire

  78. Over twenty years ago, while living in Los Angeles, my British girlfriend and I went to see the Terry Gilliam film, “Brasil”. She commented to me that she could easily see the UK become the totalitarian state depicted in the movie. After reading this and other articles on modern day life in Britain, it looks as though Gilliam was truly a prophet.

  79. How about a flash mob of children with their parents? And the parents just happen to be photographing their children at the same time?

  80. A note of irony: I seem to see at least one CCTV camera (and maybe two) in the background of the first picture. Naughty!

    BTW, what’s wrong with the guard’s legs? Did the camera move, or is he just going all wobbly?

  81. You guys are nuts. Almost every father I know has a dirty little habit of photographing his fully clothed son in public, then going home to furiously masturbate. This guy deserves jail time, just like every other dad.

  82. Why do I get the feeling that the only paedophilic activity going on at the Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland is the result of that security guard?

  83. As always, those who lust after power and use any pretense to exert such are among us, from the petty rent-a-cop on up the food chain, the only difference being the greater harm inflicted the higher up the chain one goes.

    This is absurdity writ large under the aegis of a thinking mind writ as small as the absurdity is large.

    WE are the only ones that can protect ourselves from such capos. Go to the mall personnel office and demand he be fired.

  84. When I read stories like this, I get so angry. I know I’d be in trouble if it was me, because I’d have gone off on the cop and/or rent-a-cop and they would have used that as an excuse.

  85. Mall cops are frustrated people who couldn’t rate high enough for a real security job, like police. They’re a little “mad” with perceived power over people.

  86. searching for “Bridges Shopping Centre” in google brings this article on the first page of results. Ha!
    Somebody should tell the management at Bridges Shopping Centre.

  87. did the police officer who ask him to delete his images was infact breaking the law by asking him to do this
    destroying evidence is a crime in its self

  88. I got stopped for drinking apple juice in a clear plastic cup in Eastleigh, by 2 security guards in quick succession. When i finally managed to convince them that it was just juice, they left me with a warning “You watch that juice now”, for what? fermentation? The world has gone mad!!!

  89. For those who are interested, there’s a Stockholm Syndrome, UK Branch, meeting over at in response to this post. Lots of people pointing out things like there are many more private surveillance cameras in the UK than public ones, so it’s not really as bad as we say (!), that all you suffer is being arrested–nothing really bad happens to you–and that Cory’s unjustifiably paranoid.

  90. We should ban photos and children, this is such a tragedy!

    17 year olds that have sex with other 17 real olds must be pedophilia too.

  91. article: “The PC also averred that the Bridges Shopping Centre is a hotbed of paedophile assaults.”
    — I think Kevin should make it a goal to make the shopping public aware that the police consider Bridges Shopping Centre to be a “hotbed” for “paedophile assaults”.
    Perhaps shoppers will reconsider whether they want to shop at such a place…

  92. I live and work in Sunderland, and this was posted on my birthday! Woo! God do I wish I had some children to antagonise the Bridges security with. Perhaps I’ll just loiter suspiciously instead.

  93. I don’t understand why security guards in semi-public places like shopping malls have a problem with photography.

  94. Back around 1968 I had to travel (briefly) in the Soviet Union. I remember clearly being held at the border while ALL my film was developed and the prints minutely examined to ensure that I was not photographing “sensitive subjects”. I also remember coming back to England and laughing about it: nobody could believe so much fuss.
    England, you were one of the freest countries in the world: what have they done to you?

  95. I live in N.E. ENGLAND.

    I also visited “The Bridges”

    I was accused of “touching a child’s head” whilst passing him/her. I was then stopped in my car in ‘The Bridges’ roof top car park by 3 “Security Guards” whilst one then grabbed me by the neck, began heaving me about then threw me into the car whilst continuing to mal-handle/ punch me causing various dental injuries before calling the police and accusing me of also being a “PAEDOPHILE”. They actually had me “ARRESTED” for “PUBLIC DISORDER”.

    I have, via the County Court, obtained all pertinent CCTV/Video recordings concerning this MOST SERIOUS a perfectly well intended, perfectly innocent customer. There were NO GROUNDS for ANY charges against me and NO further action was taken against me.

    I returned 2 days later to try and confirm the existence of nearby CCTV, however was approached AGAIN by further “Security Guards” who AGAIN called the police, alleging AGAIN that I was a “paedophile”. They then attended, stopped me in my car, by the main road and demanded I DELETE ALL MY MOBILE TELEPHONE PICTURES (whilst surrounded by 4 police officers).



    (NO MORE!!!)

  96. I think the security officer was right to accuse the child’s father of paedophilia. He should have informed the police and had him arrested and the child put into care.

    All photography of children should be outlawed and anyone found in possession of such images should be handed a minimum of 15 years.

    We should outlaw everything of a sexual nature and all live in fear of God.
    Praise the Lord!

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