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Next entry: Oxted Parking - New shop site

Previous entry: The Maze

Friday, 29 September 2006
Stranger Danger

stranger danger

Earlier this week this man swore at me (the f word) and threatened to kick me in the teeth. He later denied it. His daughter then arrived, and also denied it. He threatened to call the police to report me for taking photographs (in which he and his wife appeared) in a public place. He accussed me of taking a photograph of his (grown) daughter (which wasn’t true) and suggested I might be a paedophile, adding that there was a nursery school around the corner (!). He said I must be a stranger, not from around these parts, which is an ironic accusation from a man who is is part of a multi-ethnic family. He asked me to hand over the film in my camera and seemed surprised when I told him there was no film in the camera (welcome to the digital age - ask your daughter to explain).  For about 15 minutes a very polite bystander tried to explain the law of taking photographs in public places to this aggressive individual.  It didn’t sink in - clearly the man with yobbish tendencies (and his family) believed that they enjoyed the rights of privacy that celebrities expect when on private property. The polite bystander left, after suggesting to me that I wasn’t doing my own case any good. Other bystanders suggested to me that the problem might go away if I left.  I did leave, after taking a close up photograph of the man’s car.

stranger car

So how did I not do my own cause any good? I didn’t shout back at this individual, accuse him of any crime, or threaten him with violence. I simply refused to give him any explanation for what I was doing.  He had come at me shouting and threatening me, and I therefore felt I didn’t owe him any explanation whatsoever. In fact I had popped out to pick up a prescription from the chemist and was taking some photographs of the parking situation in Oxted town centre. (See upcoming post/posts). I wonder if the fact that this man was parked illegally, and partially blocking access to the childcare nursery (e.g. for emergency services), had anything to do with his unpleasant and aggresive behaviour?

Posted by bigblue on 29/09/2006 at 07:24 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (3) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

Well, he doesn’t look the brightest bulb in the shop..

....and is your quality of life better now, or when you lived further up north?

Perhaps we should get some of those number plates made up, and put them on our cars….and go speeding through Gatso cameras…..and along the M25, M1 and M42….maybe we could arrange some on the M74 and M8…now that would bring a smile to his face !

Posted by ian  on  29/09/2006  at  07:34 PM

Good idea - I’ll think about having a bunch made and handing them out at motorway service station. grin

As for quality of life - I see more of the girls now, but spend about 3 hours a day sitting in traffic. So it’s swings and roundabouts.

Posted by bigblue  on  01/10/2006  at  11:49 AM

Niall Flinn posted a link to a UK photographers legal guide on my Flickr stream.

Posted by bigblue  on  22/10/2006  at  11:48 PM

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