Mother shocked by reaction to St Albans splash park photos
PUBLISHED: 18:23 20 June 2013
A SHOCKED mother was taken aback to be berated by a man for taking pictures of her two children when they were the only ones using the splash park in St Albans.
Lisa Williams, of Beech Road, St Albans, took her two daughters aged seven and 11 to the splash park in Verulamium Park on Sunday.
When they arrived, the only people there were a family of tourists with no children taking photographs. When they went and Lisa and the children had the splash park to themselves at around 5.30pm, she thought she would take a picture of them.
But as she was taking it a man arrived on a bicycle and started to shout at her across the splash park. At first she thought he was from the district council but subsequently learned that he was from their contractors, Leisure Connection.
Initially she was unable to hear him but then she realised he was telling her she was not allowed to take a photo.
She went on: “I told him they were my daughters and there were no other children in there so asked why it was a problem.”
In response, he said they were being extra careful because a man had been spotted filming children while they played in the splash park.
Lisa went on: “He was shouting at me as though I was breaking the law. He could have just walked around and said, ‘excuse me but you can’t take photos here’.”
By that time her youngest daughter was very upset and in tears and the afternoon was ruined.
Lisa said that if no photographs could be taken, signs should be put up and if the council was really concerned about the problem they should post someone there all the time rather than at intervals as happened on Saturday.
She also appealed for common sense to be shown in a situation such as hers. “I don’t want a horrible situation like that to spoil it for other families.”
Last week the Herts Advertiser reported that a suspected peeping Tom had been noticed lurking around the splash pool at about midday on the following Saturday.
A spokesperson for Leisure Connection confirmed that photography, the use of mobile phone cameras and video equipment was strictly prohibited unless previously agreed in writing by the management of the splash park.
She added: “In accordance with our policy, we are asking the general public not to use photographic equipment at the splash park. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
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