Private security at London Olympic site illegally harasses photographers shooting from public land

A few of the 10,000 G4S private security guards hired to police the London Olympics have been videoed while illegally harassing photographers who were taking pictures of the Olympic site from public land. In the video, the guards make lunges for the press-cameras, put their hands over lenses, and make inaccurate statements about whether and where images may be taken of the site. Scotland Yard had previously assured the National Union of Journalists that the private security at the Olympics had been trained on the legality of taking images from public land.

They were totally wrong.

Peter Walker writes in The Guardian:

As they walked along one pavement, near the adjoining Westfield shopping mall, a G4S guard approached the group and told them they were not allowed to film, before trying to hold his hand over Hurd's camera.

A supervisor who arrived told the group that guards had been specifically instructed to stop people filming a nearby "security screening area".

She said: "We are told that we should refrain from letting anybody film the security screening area. Obviously, we don't want that filmed."

The supervisor appeared not to know the difference between filming on public and private land, likening the rules to those against taking pictures of security checks at London's Heathrow airport.

She added: "We're all here for the protection of the Olympic park. Obviously, if you don't care about that, that's your business. We care."

Olympic park security guards forcibly stop journalists from taking photos