Liverpool

Photographer deemed 'terror threat' by Echo arena

Mike Evans' photo of a boat on the River Mersey
Image caption Mike Evans had been taking photographs of a boat

Bosses at Liverpool's Echo Arena are reviewing their security policy after a disabled amateur photographer was told he posed a terror threat.

Mike Evans said he was left "dumbfounded" when he was told by staff if he did not stop taking photographs they would call the anti-terror police.

The 41-year-old, who has osteoporosis of the spine, had been taking snaps of the Mersey estuary by the docks.

Echo Arena managers have also apologised for any distress caused.

Mr Evans and his brother were adamant with the two security guards that they were only taking photographs of the estuary - their cameras were not even pointed towards the concert venue, they said.

'Total dampener'

Despite showing the guards the regulations under sections 43 and 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 - which state there is "no restriction on people taking photographs in public places or of any building other than in very exceptional circumstances", the guards dismissed their protests.

"It put a total dampener on the day to be honest," Mr Evans, a father of two said, "We showed them the photos we had taken but they still did not leave us alone.

"In fact, they even said that CCTV was recording us and they would be able to tell if we got some snaps of the arena."

Echo Arena's Tim Banfield added: "We apologise for any distress caused.

"We have no desire to restrict amateur and professional photographers with a genuine interest.

"But with the best interests of visitor and guest safety we must show due diligence and we are currently in the process of reviewing our security policy."

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