Captain Moonlight: Boots goes for snap judgements

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The Independent Online
THE CAPTAIN is always the first to applaud the acts of the publicly spirited and civically responsible, so he was much moved to read of the prompt action by staff at Boots the Chemists in Newcastle upon Tyne who alerted police when they saw pictures of people smoking marijuana on a film a student had brought in to be developed. The student, a Mr Raphael Bourgeois, 19, was met by police when he went to pick up the pictures and spent three hours in custody before being released with a caution.

'It's a real drag,' said Mr Bourgeois. The Captain, for his part, was interested to know Boots' policy on developing and wrongdoing. A spokeswoman said that they had to examine the photographs for reasons of quality control and if, during that examination, they came across what they suspected to be illegal behaviour, the manager and the legal department would decide whether to report the matter to the police.

Marvellous] I wondered what the position would be if I sent in a photograph of myself in a car parked on double yellow lines. Would swift and remorseless action follow? 'Erm, that's a good one,' said the spokeswoman. She took advice, but was unable to comment.

The Photographic Marketing Association had no guidelines beyond those on pornography. Snappysnaps, another leading high street developer, said it would 'probably' advise its franchisees to ignore parking offences caught on film; it was all a matter of common sense. Supasnaps said it would ignore parking offences. The Captain's guidelines: think carefully before you pose. Check the tax disc, make sure there are lights on the bicycle, and always ensure that any library books in shot are not overdue.

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