cwaterjohn 10:36am, 2 July 2010
May I invite UK-based photographers & commentators to visit the government's website, Your Freedom, where I have posted concern over the growing infringement of photographers' rights to use their cameras in public?
Here is the link:
~~ღ janette purdie ღ~~ [deleted] 7 years ago
i only know about this as my sons in security and went on a terrorist course, he then told me NOT to take pictures of any working buildings, factorys etc, as you go onto the police register, and its a shame coz lit up at night we have some good ones, but no go, I live near BNFL try taking a pic of that and the police are round quicker than you can say hello, hello, hello, buildings are out, people are out, is it a wonder i stick to birds, lakes and flowers, dont think they can get me for that....or....can they? lol
cwaterjohn 7 years ago
The Coalition Government has once again reasserted the rights of photographers both amateur and professional to photograph virtually anything which can be seen from a public place, as has the ACPO Lead, Chief Constable of Cumbria, Craig Mackey. However the more junior echelons of the police still seem to have a problem in some cases in understanding the instructions of their senior officers, as instances continue to surface of photographers being instructed to cease taking photographs in areas in which they are perfectly entitled to.
I suspect senior police do have the message but are having problems in re-training paranoid junior levels to stop seeing Al Qaeda operatives behind every camera, or as likely, to stop being so officious simply because they are wearing a uniform. The vast majority of sheep who make up the British public, will follow the instructions of someone in uniform, without question, even if it is a bus conductor. I wonder sometimes if we have more German blood than we know...
Chris W 72 PRO 7 years ago
Being an amateur railway photographer, I've had numerous incidents of listening to banal and uneducated comments from a minority of railway staff such as "photography is illegal/banned". There are strict rules (no flash etc.), but IMO the way to deal with the situation is NEVER to over-react as that is counter-productive. As police have to deal with some nasty characters they automatically start to think the worst, cranking up the pressure (my father was a police officer in London for 28 years so I have a small insight).

It’s how we, as photographers, respond in what can be stressful situation that is important. Hostility is a natural reaction, but the officious unprofessional officer will use that against you. It is how photographers stand up for our rights, getting the message across at the time that is important - angrily waving a list of bullet points or quoting rules will only get photographers so far. Reasoning, with the photographer perhaps asking cue questions, giving the person who claims to have authority the opportunity to prove how much/little they know and to explain legitimate facts that the photographer may not be aware of.

As far as I know, no forms/incidents of hostile reconnaissance have ever been identified by Police/security using the variety of sections within the Anti-terrorism act against photographers. The one thing that it has been very successful at though, is proving how unprofessional some police/security are, raising phootgraphers suspicions regarding the motivations of police/security and reducing police support from decent law abiding citizens.
SteveSnaps 7 years ago
There was one situation I remember hearing about... They picked up these suspicious looking ethnic photographers (who were snapping on the underground with a camera phone) using anti-terror laws... And they got deported...
That's how the TV and papers liked to report.

However when you check the full story you find that no terror charges were ever brought or proved, and I believe they were eventually charged with either theft or fraud involving mobile phones.

So the long and short of it seems to be, no. No single terrorist has ever been detected or convicted by a random "anti-terror" S43 or S44 stop.
OldTom2009 7 years ago
I don't know enough about this and as a retired police officer, perhaps I should. There have been some notable cases in the press but mainly appear to be in London.
I have had no problem in Sheffield and take our camera club out in the city taming photos and no difficulty has been experienced.
I am not sure if some are 'urban myths'?
I understand in France things are much worse. Cartier Bresson would not be able to produce his images there now
Chris28mm 7 years ago
The situation across the pond is much the same. Mostly uneducated law enforcement officers and uneducated photographers!

This is a great Washington Post article on the conflict between security staff and photographers.
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