Police Put Up Barriers to Stop People From Taking Selfies at Grenfell Tower

This past June, the Grenfell Tower fire killed over 80 people in West London. Unfortunately, both civilians and police have been forced take measures to stop people from taking selfies at the site to preserve the privacy of and respect for those who lived there and/or perished in the fire.

As the Notting Hill Carnival gets underway, Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police will be blocking off access to streets adjacent to the tower for non-residents. In addition, privacy barriers have been erected to obstruct views of the tower from trains. Automated announcements also implore visitors to be respectful of the site and refrain from taking pictures. The issue of people taking selfies at the tower has been ongoing, and locals fear that the influx of people attending the carnival will aggravate it. 

Of course, as societal norms continue to try to catch up to the ever-burgeoning culture of social media, smartphones, and selfies, what's acceptable and what's not continues to evolve, but personally, in this case, I find it hard to believe that anyone would think this is acceptable behavior. 

[via DIY Photography]

Lead image by Flickr user ChiralJon, usd under Creative Commons.

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Larry Rudnick's picture

Unfortunately, the same kind of thoughtless behavior happened in NY at the site of the World Trade Center right after 9/11.

Jonathan Severino's picture

Clearly a tragedy and my heart goes out to the families. However, I'm not sure I understand how taking a photo is harmful or disrespectful. Now if people are going into or putting others into unsafe situations, that is a different matter. Also, where does the line get drawn between who can respectfully take a photo for news/posterity versus those who cannot?

Eduardo Francés's picture

How about banalizimg the suffering of others for their selfish, senseless vanity to rack up likes in social media... Selfies on a place where people died, families lost loved ones and their homes isn't exactly polite.

They are putting barriers to avoid selfies, not to stop the press shooters.

It only requires to feel empathy and simpathy (common sense too but that is something too hard to ask people to have it in this vanity era) for those who have suffered.

bob barton's picture

As someone who works nearby and passes the Tower everyday I can assure you that the site is very sensitive to all those who live and work in Notting Hill. The Tower looms over the who area, and everyone has been deeply moved by events, not just those directly associated with it.

As to taking photographs, my view is that we should not. Unless you are a photojournalist with a specific assignment, and not just building up your portfolio, then I think we should all refrain. Under what circumstances would you take photographs at a funeral? If you apply that rule and that sensitivity then I think you will be in step with the local community, and with the ethical values of photographers generally.

joe o sullivan's picture

Great use of police resources, with terrorists running around everywhere. People need to stop worrying about stupid stuff..

Melissa Ann's picture

Sigh, things like this make me hate selfie culture. As well as museum selfie stories whereby a visitor damages some work all in the name of a selfie.

It's also rather odd to be taking a selfie at such a tragic site.

Maksims Ter-Oganesovs's picture

2019 year. Same "phone crimes". No changes. ))