The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Strathclyde Police Facebook Braehead Shopping Centre

Strathclyde Police deny Braehead Shopping Centre Facebook campaigner's claims


By Stephen Lepitak, -

October 13, 2011 | 5 min read

Strathclyde Police has denied the claims that a father was detained by Police and security at Braehead Shopping Centre over a photo he took of his daughter eating ice cream.

After it was reported earlier today that Chris White was detained over the photo, STV reported that he had been reported to the Procurator Fiscal and that White had also taken a picture of a female member of staff at the centre, Strathclyde Police has released a lengthy statement having studied CC TV footage and also spoken to witnesses.

Rob Shorthouse, director of Communications for Strathclyde Police said:“It is absolutely right and proper that when a complaint about the police is made that it is fully investigated. The public need to know that their complaints are taken seriously and are acted upon promptly and professionally. This is exactly what has happened in this incident.

“Mr White complained to the police about the incident in Braehead. In his statement he set out a set of circumstances that has caused widespread debate, comment and criticism for those who he alleged were involved. Mr White chose to make his complaint public, to give interviews to the media and to seek debate on social networks.

“We are well aware that, as a result of this social media conversation, demonstrations are being planned this weekend at Braehead. We have also seen global media coverage of the incident – all of which has painted the shopping centre, this police force and, arguably, our country in a very negative light.

“It is because Mr White chose to seek publicity for his account of events and because of the planned demonstration that we feel compelled to take the unusual step of making our findings public.

“In reaching our conclusions, officers took statements from a number of independent witnesses and viewed the substantial amount of CCTV that was available in the centre.

“On reviewing all of this objective evidence, I have to tell you that we can find no basis to support the complaint which Mr.White has elected to make.

“The members of the public who asked for the security staff to become involved have told us that they did so for reasons which had absolutely nothing to do with him taking photographs of his daughter. They had a very specific concern, which I am not in a position to discuss publicly, that they felt the need to report. It was because of this very specific concern that security staff became involved. They were right to raise their concern and we are glad that they did so.

“The security staff were the ones who asked for police involvement. Again, this was not because Mr White said he had been photographing his daughter, but was due to the concerns that they themselves had regarding this particular incident.

“When our officers became involved they did not confiscate any items, nor was Mr White questioned under counter terrorist legislation. It is wrong to suggest that the police spoke to Mr White because he claimed he had been photographing his daughter, or that officers made any reference to counter terror legislation. Mr.White knows, or ought to know, why our officers spoke with him.

“Since Mr White chose to publish his version of events on Facebook, we have seen substantial traditional media and social media activity around the story. People have been very quick to offer their opinions on this issue and were very keen to accept Mr White’s story as the only evidence that was available. Clearly this was not the case.

“Social media allowed this story to spread quickly around the world. I hope that the same media allows this part of the tale to move just as quickly.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, we have fully investigated this incident and we can say that none of the independent and objective evidence presented to us by either the members of the public or the CCTV backs up the claims made by Mr White.”

The statement was posted on the Strathclyde Police website this afternoon (13 October.)

It is understood that White had denied reports that he took any picture of a member of staff and has referred the matter to his solicitors.

Chris White said through his Facebook page: "STV are still reporting that I am intending to hold a Boycott at Braehead on Saturday. The issues in relation to Braehead and Capital Shopping Centre PLC have been resolved and they previously stated they would be changing there policy. Until today I have stated that a meeting has been arranged between myself and and CSC to discuss there new policy.

I do not support a boycott of Braehead, but a...n issue in relation to Starthclyde Police. Not wanting to 'hide' from a public debate I intend to make a full press statement later today in relation to the issues relating to Strathclyde Police. Once in a position to do that will look at whether it is possible to change the name of this fb page, or move to "let common sense flourish" or another site.

I will remain in the public eye until I have cleared my reputation and name, but I do request that people do respect that also involved in this story there is a 4 year old girl and her mother. My name can be dragged through the 'mud', mud washes off, but please respect the thoughts and feelings off my family.

Strathclyde Police Facebook Braehead Shopping Centre

More from Strathclyde Police

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +