"CONCERNED parents have made a notable citizen's arrest, detaining a man alleged to have trawled swimming carnivals throughout the state, photographing children.

"The 36-year-old man, from Townsville, caught the eye of parents when he positioned himself in the marshalling area of a swimming carnival at Thornlands State School, in Redland City."


And now for the atheist news bit:

"A search of the man's vehicle also turned up a Bible."

Fantastic!  The actually mentioned it!  As it turns out, biblical ownership doesn't stop you from a being creepy old perve.  I know none of us here are gonna be surprised. I bet he'd found a passage in there that says it's OK to be a creepy old perve.  

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Replies to This Discussion

What's a swimming carnival?
School kids racing in the town swimming pool. The kids are split into school houses (like on Harry Potter). Which ever house has the most wins in all the different age groups and swimming styles wins the day.
Thanks, sounds like fun.
Frightening as it may seem, this is his constitutional right. All photographers, regardless of their motives, have this right to photograph people (including children) in public places (in the USA at least). The fact that he had a Bible is irrelevant. I've photographed lot of strangers, does that make me perverted? I read the article, but they don't specify what he was charged with. If people can take pictures at those events, why can't he? And what does taking pictures of people do to those people?
This is not in USA. There is no Bill of Rights in Australia. Irrational moral panic erupts over the use of photographic equipment around children periodically and the photographers cannot site a bill of rights. There is a bill of rights movement in Australia but they make little progress.

His possession of the bible is as irrelevant as the possession of atheist books in this story discussed here recently and mentioned all over the web. It is nice to see the theist's literature getting a taste of its own medicine.

You said:
The fact that he had a Bible is irrelevant. I've photographed lot of strangers, does that make me perverted? I read the article, but they don't specify what he was charged with. If people can take pictures at those events, why can't he? And what does taking pictures of people do to those people?
I agree with you. However, much of the world does not. We see that Google is having a hell of a time getting it's street view images in Europe because people object to be photographed.
I bet he'd found a passage in there that says it's OK to be a creepy old perve.


Numbers 31:18 :)
It's not illegal to be. How do you define "perve?" Maybe he's a photographer who specializes in capturing the gayety of youth through his photographs. You don't know, and the "concerned parents" didn't bother to find out. Again, I ask, what does photographing a person in a public place do to that person?
Nice that the article mentioned the Bible in the car because I'm sure a copy of The God Delusion would've been noted, probably in bold-face.

This was my motive for putting it up. Thanks for making my point succinctly, Karen W.
Maybe he's a photographer who specializes in capturing the gayety of youth through his photographs. You don't know, and the "concerned parents" didn't bother to find out. Again, I ask, what does photographing a person in a public place do to that person?

I kind of thought that too. While it would be less than shocking if it turns out he is a perve, there are also genuine photographers out there who genuinely like kids as subjects in a positive way.

Don't know how the laws work in OZ, but here in the States, if the photos are to be used in a news publication he's free to take them. Public event, public news. If the photos are to be used for private profit (say a book he's writing about Swimming Carnivals), he might needs talent releases. 'Might.' If it's an advertised public event, sometimes there's leeway for taking photos of participants of that event.

If he's a hobby photographer, he also gets some leeway. But if he's following these carnivals around taking pictures of only the kids, then at that point it's in his best interest to talk to parents and event coordinators to get permission.

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