Photographer exposes Assembly's security - Press Gazette

Photographer exposes Assembly's security

South Wales Echo photographer Richard Swingler has exposed glaring security failures at the Welsh National Assembly just weeks after its official opening.

After following a cleaner into the heart of the Senedd, Swingler wandered through restricted areas without being challenged by security guards, taking pictures as he went.

Swingler visited the new £67 million building in Cardiff after hearing about a leaky roof. He entered the public area, where he saw about 60 members of the public, some assembly members and officials, and a security guard. He followed a cleaner through a swipe-card door into a members-only area near the debating chamber, then made his way onto the roof of the building.

Swingler said of the members’ area: "No one questioned me.

There were no security guards there. I chatted to the engineers about the leaks and one took me up to the roof.

"They finally asked how I had got in and one said ‘Do you realise you shouldn’t be in here?’ He then said ‘You had better slip out and pretend you’re a tourist’ and let me back into the public area using his pass.

"As I was walked back out, I was sure a security guard would question me because I didn’t have an official pass, but no one did. I could have been anyone."

The Assembly’s Parliamentary Service said it could not comment because the matter had only just been brought to its attention.