Olympics’ Security Guards Trained to Hinder Photographers

The Olympics are a big deal, and an even bigger opportunity for the country’s photographers. From the moment the next Olympic city is announced, preparations begin and an endless number of photo ops present themselves. That is, if the security guards don’t start harassing you.

Incidentally, that’s exactly what happened the other day in London when security guards from the private security firm G4S ran out onto public land and forcibly prevented a group of photographers and videographers from doing their job. According to The British Journal of Photography, the incident comes just days after the National Union of Journalists were assured by Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison and Commander Bob Broadhurst of Scotland Yard that security would only be working inside the site.

The on-site G4S manager did eventually step in, explaining to the photographers that the security guards had been “trained to deter people from taking photographs,” but failing to explain why they were using that training on public land.

Since the incident, a spokesman for G4S assured BJP that the security guards have been reminded of what they can and cannot do. But perhaps the better question, put to G4S by John Toner of the National Union of Journalists, is why the security guards receive such training in the first place?

(via The British Journal of Photography)

Image credit: The hi-vis army, Olympic Park, East London by J@ck!

  • Amphletize

    Cameras seem to be treated like guns these days.

  • jdm8

    The IOC is extremely restrictive of photography, they have a lot of restrictions on the athletes and even the home towns of athletes.  Apparently, they demand (and get) special rights and restrictions in exchange for locating games in your country.

  • Sean J Connolly

    I think the reason they act that way is obvious. MONEY. Thye can charge photographers for passes and such to take photos. This whole thing angers me, I hate security guards thinking they can do what they like.

  • Mikethompson

    Here we go again

  • Igogosh

    Well, I’ve been trained to kick such guards in the balls. They may remind me I’m wrong and may see what I can do next time?

  • Rebelx

    I am boycotting the Olympics if they have this sort of attitude.

  • John E. Branch Jr.

    It’s unclear from this post whether the Olympic venues themselves count as public space. Maybe the BJP article goes into that. Whether they are or not, a lot of restrictions are being imposed and will be imposed on allowable behavior in those areas.

  • Ian Ktm

    they have moved the the olympic venue from the public domain to pay per view private entertainment. those taking part are athletes, they are not paid for their “performance” yet those staging the games will be making a great deal of money. how much of that money will be returned to any competitor? the athletes are taking part because taking part is what its all about, the best against the best, countries have continualy made it convenient for non citizens to become citizens in order to perform for “their” country, its not which country is the best its which athlete on a personal level is the best at what they do, as an example, the marathon, its held in various countries several locations in each, its a public domain event, taken part by people for their own personal goals whether or not its for the sponsers reasons or not, how ever in most cases you have to show by way of displaying the sponsers logos your “suport” for the cause, but at the root of the sport, people take part for their own reasons and the public enjoy an event, admitadly it would be difficult to contain the event for a pay per view crowd.
    as for restricting photographic accounts of the event, me personaly would take as many photos as possible, someone needs to open a web site to “hoste” photos taken by individuals, tv companies will have paid their fees to broadcast and once broadcast every image is placed and becomes public property!