Photographers v the Police..Round ??

  SimpleSimon1 16:45 27 Jul 10
Locked

click here

I suppose I should be grateful that I've always specialised in landscapes. At least, you don't get the lads in blue poppping up on the top of Kinder Scout saying you can't photograph that.

Mind you, from what I've heard, it's not much fun trying to take photos in London, these days, regardless of what the police top brass say the lads on the ground **should** be doing!

  SimpleSimon1 17:04 27 Jul 10

"Maybe someone should organise a mass photoshoot..."

Yep, that's not the first time something like that has been suggested. 'City photographers' are getting increasingly tetchy about the whole situation (which is one of the reasons why you're starting to see the release of more and more online videos showing 'interactions' between police and photographers).

  jack 17:17 27 Jul 10

That any one with the intent of causing mischief
in a popular placeare has only to go to a card/and souvenir vendor to buy postcard of the famous object they wish to destroy.

  Forum Editor 17:52 27 Jul 10

when I am out and about, I've done so for years, and have taken hundreds and hundreds of photographs - lots of them on the streets of London. In all that time I've been lucky, not once has a Police officer questioned what I'm doing.

On one occasion I wanted to go through the security gate into Downing street to photograph the famous front door. It was a Sunday, and the Police on duty must have been in a good mood. 'In you come mate, you've got ten minutes'. I was carrying a camera bag on my shoulder, and this was given a cursory inspection before the gate was swung open and I was in. One of the officers obligingly stood in front of the door to number ten, and I snapped away for a few minutes before being ushered back into the street.

  karmgord 18:41 27 Jul 10

If you think an officer is abusing their power,take his collar number or ask for his warrant number (They are legally required to tell you on request their warrant number, not just a vague station location),then make an official complaint,these must be recorded and will show if it's an isolated incident or if there is a series or pattern of complaints.
BTW if you are at the receiving end of good service/experience (hopefully more likely),bother to ring up and praise this or tick the appropriate boxes on any follow up form you might get

  hssutton 19:14 27 Jul 10

you may find this interesting

click here

  Forum Editor 19:30 27 Jul 10

It is interesting, and it highlights how easy it is for Police and a member of the public to arrive at a point where neither party is prepared to back down. Police officers have a difficult job to do, and I can see how it becomes important to an officer that he/she isn't perceived as lacking in authority.

That can lead to a confrontation, especially when - as in this case - the member of the public seems to be fairly sure of his rights in law, or is able to question what the officer is saying.

Ultimately we as a society have to accept that Police officers will never be perfect. They're human beings too, and they're often in situations where those around them have lost self-control. The potential for stress all round is huge, and when tempers become frayed the temptation for an officer to resort to 'Do as I say or else' must be very great.

There's no definitive solution to it. We need the Police, and they need our cooperation to function. Both of us need to remember that.

  SimpleSimon1 08:35 28 Jul 10

"...I can see how it becomes important to an officer that he/she isn't perceived as lacking in authority."

"There's no definitive solution to it. We need the Police, and they need our cooperation to function. Both of us need to remember that."

Absolutely, agree with both these statements. However, surely, it's all about choosing when to deploy that authority.

In recent times, ACPO has made it quite clear through statement and instruction that the presumption in respect of phtographers is that there is no reason to interfere with them. However, based on the increasing amount of video and anecdotal evidence, some policemen simply seem to ignore this. In turn, this negatively affects the perception that a particular section of the public have about them (which can't be a good thing).

  HondaMan 13:15 28 Jul 10

personally, I think that this is one of the best clips click here

  spuds 13:19 28 Jul 10

There is a definite problem with some police officer's (of all ranks) not knowing the full extent of the laws that they are trying to perhaps uphold. Breach of the Peace is used on many occasions, for all sorts of minor offenses, perhaps in the hope that the detained will comply to the instructions given by a police officer. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are correct though.

One point in the remarks in the link, was the mention of PCSO's and photography. A PCSO as no powers whatsoever in this respect, yet the link seemed to perhaps suggest that a PCSO had powers.

The same could well be said about taking photographs at a children's sports day or other public event.

The law on terrorism as become totally confused as to its powers and usage, and in a number of cases, council's tend to abuse their powers,by using the Terrorism act as a convenient excuse for perhaps committing an illegal act themselves.

There was a report a few months ago by a high ranking judge about photography, and how the law stands. Many examples were given as to how the law had been interpreted wrongly or perhaps borderline. Like most laws though, there always seems to be a 'grey area' which can bring all sorts of wonders for the unsuspecting.

  VCR97 19:33 28 Jul 10

The Met Police view:
click here

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