25 signatures reached
To: CEO Tesco
Stop Tesco from banning photographers
Change Tesco's current policy which bans people from taking photos.
Why is this important?
In the runup to Christmas 2014 my local Tesco store - Ilkley, West Yorkshire - placed posters next to the checkouts listing the store's extended opening hours over Christmas. The posters also invited customers to take a photo of the poster if they wanted their own record of the opening hours. So I did. As Christmas passed I forgot about the photo and may even have deleted it. A week ago,almost 6 months later, I was suddenly surrounded by the Store Manager, Head of Security and 3 other senior managers, frogmarched into a private corridor and interrogated, military style, as to why I have been systematically been taking illicit photos of the store staff on numerous occasions during the past 6 months! I explained to the Store Manager that this was completely untrue and that I have never taken 'illicit photos' of the staff on numerous occasions, but simply a photo of a poster on 1 occasion as described above. He refused to believe me and has subsequently informed me that his staff regard me as a major threat to their health and safety, a potential security risk to the store and that, furthermore, I am now the subject of a police investigation into the incident. Further enquiries to Tesco Head Office have revealed that this is standard Tesco policy which will be applied to each and every Tesco store in the UK.
Although the specific circumstances of this case may be seen as ridiculous and laughable, they mask a much more serious and sinister trend. I have been treated by this store as almost a potential terrorist for simply taking a photo within a Tesco store. There was no suggestion at the time that this photo would be published, distributed, downloaded onto the internet or posted in any way to a third party. It was taken for purely personal use and, incredibly, at Tesco's own invitation. There is nothing illegal, as far as I am aware, about my actions. Yet Tesco have responded by treating me as a potential serious criminal. What is deeply disturbing about this is that if you are a photography student, photographer, journalist, artist or simply a law abiding member of the public who wants to engage in the hobby of photography you will be treated almost like a terrorist presenting a major threat to public safety by this company.
This case introduces a major challenge to civil liberties and human rights of every single member of the public in the UK who happens to have a camera (or camera phone) in their possession while on Tesco premises. This is why I think a campaign should be launched to pressure Tesco to change this draconian policy.