An amateur photographer dressed in a ‘tweed jacket and tie’ says he has been accused of being a possible terrorist by staff at a London train station.

Student Adam Smith has complained to Transport for London (TfL) bosses about the incident which he said took place after he used a DSLR to take two pictures from a platform at Hounslow Central station on 10 January.

Adam said he had then captured four more images looking into the ‘curved mirror’ at the bottom of a flight of nearby stairs at the station.

In his resulting blog, entitled ‘The Tweed Terrorist’, Adam wrote: ‘The member of [London Underground] staff accused me of using flash photography (which was untrue), saying she saw me do it on the CCTV cameras.

‘When I tried to reason with her she walked away and then walked back again telling me she was reporting me as a terrorist (I’m not sure who to as she took no details) and that she was going to ring the police.’

Adam said he has lodged a complaint, via email, to TfL.

However, it seems the photographer will have to wait some time for an explanation.

TfL told Amateur Photographer (AP) that it was looking into the complaint but that it would take a ‘couple of weeks’ for an official response.

‘We deal with quite a lot of stuff across the whole [transport] network,’ a TfL spokeswoman added.

Last year, AP revealed a fresh crackdown on photography by London Underground.

Today TfL repeated its policy, which also applies to tourists and other amateur photographers, as follows: ‘London Underground receives thousands of requests to film on the Tube network every year. It is therefore important to manage these requests so that it does not interfere with the running of the Tube network which sees over 3.5 million travel through the network daily.’

The TfL statement added: ‘Any individual or film production company wanting to film or take photographs on the Tube must seek prior permission from London Underground.

‘We do take a common sense approach to granting permissions to film and photograph on the Tube, and are flexible in dealing with different requests on a case-by-case basis. Nonetheless, it is only right that we are ultimately able to retain control over the filming and photography of the buildings and assets owned by London Underground, and the staff who work for us.’

The photographer’s plight was initially picked up by the Hounslow Guardian.

The news comes just days before amateur and professional photographers descend on London’s Trafalgar Square for a ‘mass photo gathering’ in defence of the right to take pictures in public places. It begins at noon on 23 January.


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