By David Lister writing in the Times online
WITH her year-round tan, long blonde hair and designer clothes, Sally Cameron does not look like a threat to national security. But the 34-year-old property developer has joined the ranks of Britain’s most unlikely terrorist suspects after being held for hours for trespassing on a cycle path.
Ms Cameron was being hailed yesterday as Scotland’s answer to Walter Wolfgang, the 82-year-old heckler manhandled out of the Labour Party conference last month. She was arrested under the Terrorism Act for walking along a cycle path in the harbour area of Dundee.
Yesterday, after receiving a letter from the Tayside procurator fiscal’s office informing her that she would not be prosecuted, Ms Cameron said: ‘It is utterly ridiculous that such an inoffensive person as myself should be subject to such heavy-handed treatment.’
She was walking from her office in Dundee to her home in the suburb of Broughty Ferry when she was arrested under new anti-terrorist legislation and held for four hours.
She said: ‘I’ve been walking to work every morning for months and months to keep fit. One day, I was told by a guard on the gate that I couldn’t use the route any more because it was solely a cycle path and he said, if I was caught doing it again, I’d be arrested.
‘The next thing I knew, the harbour master had driven up behind me with a megaphone, saying, ‘You’re trespassing, please turn back’. It was totally ridiculous. I started laughing and kept on walking. Cyclists going past were also laughing.
‘But then two police cars roared up beside me and cut me off, like a scene from Starsky and Hutch, and officers told me I was being arrested under the Terrorism Act. The harbour master was waffling on and (saying that), because of September 11, I would be arrested and charged.’
Ms Cameron, who said that at one stage one of the officers asked her to stop laughing, described the incident as ‘like a scene from the movie Erin Brockovich, with all the dock workers cheering me and telling me to give them hell’. She said: ‘I was told that the cycle path was for cyclists only, as if walkers and not cyclists were the only ones likely to plant bombs. There are no signs anywhere saying there are to be no pedestrians.
‘They took me to the police station and held me for several hours before charging me and releasing me.’
She said that she was particularly galled by the letter from the procurator fiscal’s office, which said that she would not be prosecuted even though ‘the evidence is sufficient to justify bringing you before the court on this criminal charge’.
Keith Berry, the harbour master at Forth Ports Dundee, said yesterday that Ms Cameron had been seen as a ‘security risk’. Speaking about the incident, which took place in May, he said: ‘We contacted the police in regards to this matter because the woman was in a secure area which forbids people walking. It was seen as a security risk. We were following guidelines in requirement with the port security plan set up by the Government.’
A spokesman for Forth Ports said: ‘We will robustly prosecute anyone who breaches these new security measures because they have been introduced by the Government and we are obliged to enforce them.’