The Long Lens blog: Photography with added snaps, art and culture

The photography site for sore eyes. Featuring: Art, photography, performance and theatre. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.

Criminal photography

Or how I chased a teenage boy down the street after he harassed a woman at a cash-point.
I was on my way to the Walrus bar in High Street Manchester with gorgeous girlfriend Anna Byrom. We stopped off at a row of cash-points opposite Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. It was about 7.30pm. Very busy.
While I was at one cash-point and Anna was at another attempting to take out £30.
As she used the cash-point a teenager, part of a suspicious-looking no-good gang hanging around, pushed into her while waving newspaper in her face. Anna pushed him away. 

He lent back into her and pressed the £200 button as she made her withdrawal.

I was unaware of this until she came over to me. The cheeky bastard teenager went and sat down in a bus shelter facing the bank. An elderly man then approached us saying that the teenager had got the PIN number.
I was having none of this and thought that, if her bank account was too be emptied, I should at least have a photo of the culprit to hand over to the police so they can produce 500 ‘Wanted’ posters. Or something like that.
Slowly, I took my weapon from my bag and attached my flashgun. Quickly, the harassing teenager became a harassed and legged it up the road.
I set off in pursuit. He darted across the road. I sprinted after him. He weaved in and out of our stunned audience. I followed, gripping my camera tightly.
Picking up speed in the dramatic chase, I came round the side of a set of telephone boxes to meet him head-on. With my lens cover already removed I click-clacked him with flash.
He burst into tears.
It wasn’t the reaction I was expecting.
At this point I did not know what to say. Instead of asking him what he was doing I told him, ‘You’d better be careful, you’. This wasn’t a scripted encounter.

I then left him to his tears. On my way back to Anna several people asked me what he had done. I told them, though I am still not sure what scam her was attempting to pull-off. Don’t they usually just snatch the cash from the hands of pretty girls? Or is the old man in on the crafty plan?
Either way, no-one got any money from Anna and when we told two policeman further down the road what had happened and they asked for a description, I was in full self-satisfied mode as I showed them the makeshift mugshot on the back of my camera.
PICTURED: The pushy teenager I chased through the streets of Manchester.

One comment on “Criminal photography

  1. wintersong
    March 20, 2010

    Note to all who read this: The boy pictured may/or may not have been a no-good kid but one that was forced, by a no-good adult to do some no-good work. Utter pity is felt for this boy, his family and any person who feels they should or must invade people in the manner explained. Obviously our systems of supporting children and communities aren't quite there yet.Still, it was a rather dramatic and romantic display of machoism. So for that I applaud you.

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This entry was posted on March 15, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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