(1 to 100 of 173 replies)
encouraging line [deleted] 1:28pm, 22 April 2008
(1 to 100 of 173 replies)
ziz 10 years ago
already happens here,. we just generally dont carry on like the poms... i just sit down and call the cops.
Ŀiam 10 years ago
Having just done citizens arrest and unlawful detainment and all that jazz in legal studies, I find that quite interesting...

It would definitely be a horrible situation, but if someone tried to make such a ridiculously unlawful citizens arrest, I'd try to wait as calmly as possible until the police arrive and then have them charged with the multiple laws they've broken.

I can't believe any average person would be daft enough to attempt to do that.
Greg Considine 10 years ago
Citizens arrest is a Hollywood concept much loved by security guards,bouncers etc- in Australian law you can intervene to stop a crime,but have no right to detain ,only to defend yourself with reasonable force.

Only the police force and other authorised "natural persons' have the authority to detain.

Legislation specifying the powers of "natural persons' is misunderstood by security guards bouncers etc to mean anyone as opposed to its legal meaning.

If a security guard ever grabs you,and you are somehow injured (soft tissue damage for instance) then they can be charged with assault and pursued for damages

.A slow collapse to the ground(being careful of your equipment of course) and closed eyes should do it !
Yet another Dave 10 years ago
"Citizens arrest is a Hollywood concept much loved by security guards,bouncers etc- in Australian law you can intervene to stop a crime,but have no right to detain ,only to defend yourself with reasonable force."

Are you sure about that?

ziz 10 years ago
greg, thats not really true
... as outlined aboive

of course if you make a mistake and arrest somebody you could then be in a spot of bother.

That's not to say that the security guard in the example above didnt have reasonable grouonds to believe an offence was being committed... cant tell from the information provided.
Lamul 10 years ago
Yup, If they don't pass the tests laid out there, it's a Tort, and you can sue.
Greg Considine 10 years ago
just sink to the ground and complain of whiplash...and call the police ....I won't tolerate anyone laying a hand on me who isn't a police officer or similar...especially for taking photos!
Ŀiam 10 years ago
I don't know if you're a lawyer or something epic Greg, but according to my year 11 legal teacher, citizens arrest is pretty much exactly the same as the concept implies, and you can forcibly detain them - the caveat being that unless you have your facts 100% right, tell them what crime they've committed and all that jazz then you're going to be in a world of trouble.
Yet another Dave Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Yet another Dave (member) 10 years ago
We should get some tshirts made up...

"The person wearing this shirt is in possession of a camera and is therefore most likely a pedophile and/or terrorist. Tackle them to the ground immediately for great justice."

...or something to that effect. :-D
YamBareMunch Posted 10 years ago. Edited by YamBareMunch (member) 10 years ago
So what's the general consensus here? I'm from the UK and a teensy bit worried about citing the wrong law if any situation arises (hopefully never).

Do we have a bona fide lawyer in the group or some sort of legislation someone can point us toward?
YamBareMunch 10 years ago
I'm actually in favour of staggered flash mobbing in places that illegally prohibit the use of cameras, as suggested here www.flickr.com/photos/photodrift/2422740769/page1/
ziz 10 years ago
this is considered the best resource regarding photography and the law in australia. Some parts of relate specifically to the laws in NSW, but they are similar here.
Jon's snaps PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Jon's snaps (member) 10 years ago
In australia anyone can perform a citizens arrest IF they fulfill each and EVERY ONE of the required criteria referenced in the austlii site- that includes getting the words correct in reading someone their rights. If they don't then they basically have just attacked you and you can have them criminally charged for assult and battery, unlawful detention/imprisonment, being held against you will etc etc. And then you can sue them :)

Being told you can't photograph something by anyone other than a police officer doesn't mean anything. At least for the US if you are on private property (eg inside a shopping mall or on someones land) then they can ask you to leave and escort you out. They CANNOT stop you then taking photographs while on the govt owned pedestrian strip. NB This however will piss off the mall cops so be ready for that!

Being on govt land eg a military base or photographing such a thing is a while different kettle of fish and I wouldn't advise pushing that one unless you are sure on your rights......

@yambaremunch - for the UK have a look at this: www.sirimo.co.uk/ukpr.php

Being in the US I always have a copy of this handy as rent-a-cops are the same all over the world..... www.krages.com/phoright.htm
ziz Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ziz (admin) 10 years ago
reading somebody their rights? no such thing

The same rules apply with trespass here, if somebody asks you to leave the property you have to do so, sure you can take photos while you are doing it as long as you leave, if you dont leave when informed that you are trespassing and asked to leave then the person can use reasonable force to remove you from the property. If in the proicess of using that reasonable force your camera happens to be damaged... then, good luck getting it paid for.

The guard evicting you must make it clear that you are trespassing "what the &^%$ are you doing here?!" isnt good enough, and they must ask you to leave and give you an opportunity to comply.
Jock? PRO 10 years ago
"You're under arrest for attempting to restrict public photography. You do not have to say or do anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mentioned when questioned something that you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given as evidence."

I've always wanted to say that to rent-a-cop...
...but I haven't always wanted a face reconstruction.

Suffice it to say that when dealing with police or quasi-police over matters where they refuse to beleive you are right, you must tread a very fine line.

If at any stage you feel that the situation is spiralling out of control, claim a medical condition and call the police. If you're having problems with police, refuse to speak with anybody other than an Inspector or higher - somebody with a knowledge of the PR side of things.

Of course, the importance of actually being right cannot be understated. Police and Military Police do have to power to stop you from photographing military installations, for example.
ziz 10 years ago
yeah well... ive seen photographers think they are in the right and think they can do certain things lawfully as well, that advice goes both ways.
iSabra PRO 10 years ago
and thats why we should all carry baseball bats....
ziz 10 years ago
Matt_Lew 10 years ago
aicaa loves his baseball bats.
Museum of Dirt Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Museum of Dirt (member) 10 years ago
I've had to give my details to police for shooting on Flinders St pre G-20 - I didn't even take a shot.
I've been confronted and threatened with the police being called twice, I most happily obliged by saying I was prepared to wait while I offered my very own phone to call the police to Swanston St and to Centre Place.
The Centre place dude was funny actually - he was a cleaner who told me that the only people who come into here are graffiti artists, er, vandals and druggies and homeless people and that it was his "duty" to call the police, so yeah, when I offered my phone, for some reason he refused it. Hmmm. I laughed as I walked off.

Other than that, keep shooting, but take care.
jacquelinekvz 10 years ago
I've never had problems. I've taken photos of government and embassy buildings in London on countless occasions, I've taken a picture in Flinder's St Stn (just a quick snap with a P+S but), and walked all the way through the State Library of Vic with my 10D at the weekend and was never approached by security (in fact, the woman at the door told me to put my bag in the lockers and that was it, didn't see any more security!).

I guess I have one of those innocent looking faces eh?
iSabra PRO 10 years ago
@Matt if you live where i live, you would need more then a baseball bat...
Jon's snaps PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Jon's snaps (member) 10 years ago

The "reading someone thier rights" bit I was referring to was that they need to understand what you are doing, why, on what basis of evidence and also explain that you are not a sworn officer and have no co-ercive powers (eg. they don't have to give you thier name).

It must also be for an IDICTABLE offence. Photography is not an indictable offence nor is photography in a private location such as a mall. They can ask you to leave, if you don't within a reasonable period of time then its trespass and that is an indictable offence and you can be detained. They also cannot ask you to delete your pictures, take your camera, CF card unless you have been dertained and its for the purposes of evidence and in which case they have to hand it over to the police.....

Just remember that if you are physically touched or threatened "don't go anywhere or else etc" then that is assualt. They can only use reasonable force AFTER they have stated that they are detaining you or have asked you to leave the premises.

Sorry for the rant - this is a BIG issue in DC recently (well since 9/11 basically)!

aicaa - we have Glocks over here :)
Matt_Lew 10 years ago
Never happened to me. But I always use the excuse that I can look like a tourist/student/dumb asian.
ziz 10 years ago
Jon in DC you need to remember that legislation covering crimes differs from state to state in Australia. The link you provided is for the AFP, and therefore the Australian Capital Territory.

Having said that there is no requirement to make the sorts of statements you have suggested. The document seems to have been written for in house loss prevention staff and makes some suggestions to assist in any potential court hearings, but that's all they are.

I dont think a simple case of trespass, even failing to leave premises is an indictable offence, it's covered by the summary offences act here. Of course once you got to the point of being forcibly removed and for whatever reason you decide not to comply... an indictable offence cant be too far away.
Jon's snaps PRO 10 years ago
@ziz - true however commonwealth legislation is often similar to states in relation to criminal offences. I couldn't find anything on the VicPol site and am too slack to go back through all my old law databases :)

No there isn't a legislative requirement to make the statement however failing to do so can leave the person enacting the arrest very open to a whole range of liabilities given the person they are detaining can claim all sorts of things they believed were implied - ie handing over your camera etc.

The offence of "serious criminal trespass" is a minor indictable offence however I think it may be tried summarily. No sure on the definition between that and normal trespass however as you said - if you are being forcably ejected you are looking at things of this level of seriousness.
iSabra PRO 10 years ago
@Jon in DC we have Glocks, AK's and anything u like, as long as you dont get caught with it! i think its 2 years jail for position

@Matt i do the same... i pretend to be a french tourist
Yet another Dave Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Yet another Dave (member) 10 years ago
@Depth of Thought: "I'm getting an 'I Photograph and I Vote' sticker for my car."

Which will be read by thieves as, "There's expensive stuff inside this car!"

"Then again, why isn't anybody being detained for taking photos of the Shot Tower!?"

They should be, given what an awful cliche it is... :-D
ziz 10 years ago
well i disagree, making statements like that cant open you up to litigation,.. in fact quite often saying things beyond what is required by law is what gets you into this sort of mess.

It can however assist in ensuring the courts are able to prosecute the offender.

Yeah certain types of criminal trespass can be "minor" indictable offences... but i cant recall which states have such offences... South Aussie, any others? But the type of trespass this refers to has nothing to do with photography... its like home invasion stuff.
YamBareMunch 10 years ago
What's the Shot Tower?
Yet another Dave 10 years ago
It's a building inside Melbourne Central, and the most over-photographed object in the entire city. :-D

YamBareMunch 10 years ago
Oh yeah I know the one. I don't think I've snapped that. There are always swarms of people with cameras at the base.

Wonder why it's so special, it looks like something from northern England around the late 19th century.
kevwhelan 10 years ago
They tried to ban photography at South Bank due to over zealous security management. It was quickly revoked after protestations.
If there is a ban on photography then there must also be a ban on mobile phone use for obvious reasons (and how far would they get with that)
If somebody wants to do something criminal they will do it regardless of camera bans.
Possibly some security people should reduce their self gratification to only ten times a day.
Greg Considine 10 years ago
We need a criminal lawyers opinion.The Austli link does not cite the legislative source.

So lets just say its debatable whether there is a power of citizens arrest.Even if there was such a power it could not be exercised -public photography is not an indictable offence...

I maintain that there is no power in Victorian law -especially not for ,public photography.Especially not for me!

Whether this is strictly true or not is not really the issue-it's the position you should be taking in an effort to get them to back off.

It is only by photographers being assertive and difficult that the harassment will subside-they will get sick of it.

Meek compliance will strengthen this paranoid persecution.

Question the source of their power and send them back to the supervisor with questions and doubt.

If grabbed,then fall over and complain of pain.

However be careful of Commonwealth property such as military bases etc that are appropriately signposted with clear legislative prohibition and penalties.

If rail companies really want to prohibit photography they should take a leaf out of the Commonwealth approach and have it legislated and signposted.

Regarding trespass on railway stations -if you have a valid ticket it might be worth,for the purposes of argument, to state that you have entered in a contract to be on the platform.

Sure an authorised officer may be empowered to compel you to leave
but whether it is for taking photos is very debatable.

Drunkenness, committing other offences,being without a valid ticket etc yes,but I don't believe photography would be specified in the by-laws.Lets hope not.

Don't get too bogged down in the law-take a position and be stubborn,difficult and fearless.

Don't they know its just plain RUDENESS to interrupt a photographer when he is in the middle of taking shots?

Re Southbank and commercial buildings-

": I am not photographing your building,just the light being reflected from it. You don't own that light-it came from the Sun and bounced off your building and into my lens.I have captured it on my sensor"

I want to try this one out!
YamBareMunch 10 years ago
": I am not photographing your building,just the light being reflected from it. You don't own that light-it came from the Sun and bounced off your building and into my lens.I have captured it on my sensor"

Love it.
ziz 10 years ago
Greg the austlii link does cite a reference ... the Crimes Act, its a section of it, its not commentary.

And yes if im on a footpath and a security guard comes up to me i will utterly ignore him/her for as long as possible continue with my chosen activity for as long as i please, if they want to escalate the matter, it will have been their choice.

Security guards in victoria are required to be licenced, this involves training in the law, if they dont know it they dont deserve their licence. I had to sit that course back when I was working as a concierge, its not that easy, theres a bit to learn and it does get drummed in, so there is no excuse.
derrickprophoto 10 years ago
Citizen's arrest is indeed possible, but a criminal offence needs to have taken place.
Jon's snaps PRO 10 years ago
I think I got off topic with the whole citizens arrest thing...its a really grey area of the law and I personnally would never try it nor should anyone (including security guards) who isn't specifically trained to do it as it doesn't afford the legal protections a sworn officer has and as derrick points out - it has to be for a criminal offence.

Basically I agree with Greg, while I have been away from Melbourne for a couple of years, to my knowledge there is no law to prohibit photography in any public places. NB Govt installations may be different. But basically you CANNOT be arrested for taking photographs - you could get arrested for a whole bunch of other stuff that may occur if a conflict happens, however if you are not violent, and stay calm I don't see how a security gaurd would ever be legally allowed to detain you. They can ask you to leave a private residence/place but that's it.

Ziz - its good to know your guys get trained - ours seem to just get a badge, gun and ego problem before they get sent out to work :)
hospitable pan [deleted] 10 years ago
The proliferation of private security disturbs me, private companies policing the public streets is not on.
Private security firms monitor the publics movements by electronic means,yet we are a target for taking a still photo.
Would love to know the legal issues surrounding security guards,boucers duties extending beyond the confines of private property.
I am no fan of the elite sports fraternity,but the issue should have been ironed out with the death of David Hooks & other incidents that followed outside venues.
Ziz probably is right just ignore them,the nature of the job is probably that you need to be seen to be doing something problem is the odd loser employed takes it all too seriously.

mmmm, I doont spake ungish & maybe drool & spit while you talk might do the job.
Greg Considine Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Greg Considine (member) 10 years ago
Ziz sorry,yes its is is the Crimes Act 1904 a federal statute.

I am uncertain whether this has been tested,in any case it must relate to an indictable offence.

Here is the Victorian Crimes Act 1958,which prohibits arrest without warrant unless certain circumstances apply.

As photography in public places is not specified as a crime or indictable offence then it is very unlikely that even the police could(legally) arrest you for it.


Re bouncers on private and public property it is my understanding that they have no powers.They do tend to have tame witnesses , such as other bouncers,to say that they acted in self defence,so best to steer clear of them!
ziz 10 years ago
i dont think anybody was suggesting that photography is an offence, petty or otherwise... we were talking about trespass, what you were doing when trespassing isnt necessarily relevant.
ziz 10 years ago
Jon in DC well the training for new secutiy guards is reasonably good... however the old school have managed to delay the retraining to a large extent... plus, like in many training programs, people study prepared notes to pass an exam and very quickly forget the training the day they start work.
Greg Considine 10 years ago
I thought we were discussing photography in public places...the concept of trespass relates to being on private property,not photography of private property from a public space.Regarding citizens arrest for trespass,it seems a little counterproductive...
ziz Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ziz (admin) 10 years ago
im struggling to follow the threads,
you seem to think that anybody can do anything, but that doesnt apply to anyone other than you.
being on a footpath doesn't magically dissolve all legal responsibilities.

Anyway, im sure we agree, i just cant unravel it all.

Take photos, be nice to people, respect the law, respect the art, but let them work together.
Greg Considine 10 years ago
Ziz, it comes down to this-public photography cannot be lawfully stopped by unauthorised arrest or manhandling-its assault.

I don't think that being on a footpath absolves me of any responsibilties-but it does provide legal protection.

My view is that we shouldn't be bullied or conned by unauthorised persons,and that one should argue,not fight,against boofheaded attacks on personal freedoms and artistic endeavours.

Otherwise we will continue to become pariah targets for bored security guards-don't take it lying down-educate them.
mossko 10 years ago
Wednesday I was on my little walk, taking photos of the building on Spencer St and Little Bourke with Rachie_Lea, when some guy crossed the road and came up to talk to us

We were standing on the opposite footpath to the building

He said "I have been told to tell everyone that they're not allowed to take photos of this building. anything you have taken is okay, but you have to go"

He was friendly enough, and I was without any paperwork or facts about our rights, but i'm pretty sure we were allowed to take photos. I asked him if he was a security guard and looked for a badge but he was off duty and had a lady friend with him.

If we are allowed to keep the photos, then why can't we keep shooting?

I'm going to read through and print out all of the links posted in here and shoot this building again, it's a nice one.

Photographing a public facing wall of a civillian building can't possibly be protected can it?
I understand there are some areas such as Parliament/Federal buildings, airports and mass transit areas such as Train stations.. but a block of flats?
iSabra PRO 10 years ago
@mossko haha i shouldve be been there....
_barb_ Posted 10 years ago. Edited by _barb_ (admin) 10 years ago
You could have kept shooting, that's ridiculous. That was no more than some random guy on the street saying whatever and you could have treated him as such.
ziz 10 years ago
none of the buildings you mentioned are restricted either mosoko,.. to the best of my knowledge the only building that has specific legislation protecting it in this state is the Shrine of rememberance... and thats not so much a ban on photography but some big restrictions on what you can do with the images.

Ok, so here's my story from today.

Shooting along Flinders Lane,.. turned the corner at Spring Street and walked down flinders lane,... took a few shots from the footpath of the back of the SAI. walked down flinders la, sat down for a coffee... on the footpath.. walked down a bit further.. camera was on my shoulder the whole time... stopped outside the back of collins place... to take a phone call, was there for 5 mins, no shooting...

I get to the corner of flinders lane and exhibition start crossing the road and theres this guy chasing me down the street calling "hey boss... hey boss"

I stop and look at him, we are now in the middle of exhibition st.

"Can i ask what you were taking photos of"
"not really"
"where you taking photos of the hotel"
I pointed back to where I was walking and said
"i havent left the footpath for this entire block, i can take photos of what I want from there, i wasnt blocking the footpath"
"so who do you work for"
"mate.. you are harrassing me now, i dont appreciate your tone"
"yes, i was on the footpath and i can take a photo of whatever i want from the footpath, im not trying to be rude, but thats the law, if you are the kind of person that thinks they can stop somebody in the street..."
"...yeah no worries mate" as he backs away
"im not trying to be rude mate, that's the law, check for yourself"

Im not sure who he worked for,.. i have no recollection of pointing the camera towards the sofitel but i guess thats the hotel he was referring to... but he wasnt a security guard, he had a dark blue polo on with yellow piping and insigna, but i didnt read it...

He didnt hassle me once i stood up for my rights, so didnt botther taking it further, probably should have though.
Museum of Dirt 10 years ago
Yeah, but then I was wandering across Swanston St at Flinders Ln and was hassled by this photographer dude.

Hey Ziz.
ziz 10 years ago
dude,.. had to drop your name to about 10 of your co workers today... you guys owned the city today....told one of them you were my boyfriend... i think its time we let everyone know.... starting with your co workers...
Museum of Dirt 10 years ago
Yeah, we got outta there today, there were about 3 billion other groups around as well. It was even annoying for us.
mugley 10 years ago
@ mossko - I've had trouble with the guards in that building before. Poor buggers aren't trained properly. Ended up calling Becton (the building managers) for a chat about it.

They're cool once you get to know them though.. and no, they can't legally stop you shooting from the footpath. If it happens again, ask to speak to Nick - he's a cluey bloke and has dealt with the photography issue before. Or just do what ziz did.
_barb_ 10 years ago
hotel..... who do you work for........ maybe they thought paparazzi was after some celebrity?
mossko 10 years ago
@aicaa: yeah, you could'a stabbed em yuleh! :D

@mugley: yeah, seems they're ill informed.. thanks for the info, i'm definitely shooting the walls and entrance of that building again, it's nice!

@ziz: thanks for the info, how do you know which buildings are protected? is it just a few in melbourne that are, or is there some kind of list/register of protected buildings?

Thanks for your help!
Greg Considine 10 years ago
Thats the way Ziz!

Get into them early and confront their assertions.Question their authority and powers

Mossko-the only buildings that are protected from being photographed in any way are military establishments, that are signposted with warnings and penalties for breaches

Shoot anywhere else and just be prepared to stand up for your rights.If we keep defending they will eventually get sick of trying it on.
mossko 10 years ago
Yeah, after re-reading this discussion, i feel quite a lot better armed with facts to put up a good argument next time it happens

I'm going to go back there and shoot the same building. :-) hopefully the same guy comes back to harass me and I can take down his badge number.

I found an email address for Vic Police that relates to TV and Film, and I sent an email asking what the laws are relating to photography in public places and public facing areas of buildings
_barb_ 10 years ago
mossko, can you let us know what their reply is if they do write back?
mossko 10 years ago
Yeah i'll post the reply back in here as soon as I receive anything.. probably later in the week
iSabra PRO 10 years ago
@mossko i ll come with you hehe
mossko 10 years ago
flash mob!
mossko 10 years ago
I didn't receive a reply from the police, i'll give them a call

I also went back to the same building that I was told off for taking photos at before. I was pretty pumped up and ready for a confrontation.. I was there for a long time near doors and being quite obvious about taking photos, daring the security guard to come out so I could give him a good roasting - i printed out all the links posted in here.. but unfortunately nobody came out :-(

The building is 200 Spencer St, with the nice lights and fins on the walls
ziz 10 years ago
acting that way would classify as being a "nuisance"
you really should just take photos. I know the law but wouldnt lure a guard into approaching me. Why bother.
scyll24 10 years ago
Was stopped at qv by one of the security guards last weekend while trying to take a photo of a window display. I put my camera away...

Until he walked off and then I got my shot.
Dana De Nicola 10 years ago
i had an incident last week with a police officer on Burke Street in the city.

Here is part of the statement i made to ethical standards which is currently under investigation.

I was with my partner last night out taking photos when I saw Senior Constable ###, he had pulled over an old statesman on Bourke Street in the CBD between Russell & Swanston Street. I thought it would make a great black and white photo so at a distance on the footpath I went to go take a photo. Senior Constable ### saw me and yelled at me that it was illegal to take a photo of a police officer and that I was in the way of him doing his job and that I am rude. I apologised and tried to explain to him that it was for art and that I had not ill intent but he would not let me speak and kept yelling at me. He then threatened that I could be arrested for getting in the way. I was quite upset by this and that I wasn't give a chance to explain myself and went to leave with my partner and mentioned to my partner "What a wanker!".

From there things got extremely worse. Senior Constable ### grabbed me by the shoulder and shook me and threatened to arrest me. I requested him to take his hands off me, he didn’t and I requested on what grounds could he arrest me. He would not give me an answer. I then again went to leave and again and he grabbed me and shook me and said I was not going anywhere until he sees some form of identification. I explained I didn't have any on me and that he had no grounds to detain me that I had done nothing wrong. He then threatened to take me down to the station. I wanted to know what for. This went on for a good 10 minutes or so. The only reason he could ever give me was diverting the course of justice. My partner during this time was trying to calm the situation but Senior Constable ### would keep pushing my partner away and threatened to arrest him a few times. There was a large number of people around and one woman stepped up and mentioned she was a lawyer and didn’t like the way I was being treated, I explained to her what had happened she said to me I should apologies, I said to her I would if he would let me speak and explain myself but even then he would not let me speak. He would then keep cutting me off and making threats of arrest. I said I don’t want to deal with him I want to deal with his partner, who during this whole time was standing in the background and had not spoken or intervened. Senior Constable ### said no that I was dealing with him. The lawyer then pulled Senior Constable ### aside and spoke to him I do not know what was said but I was then allowed to give my details to his partner and leave. Upon leaving I mentioned to his partner that Senior Constable ### is still a wanker.

During this whole fiasco which went on for about 20-30 minutes the Statesman that they had pulled over was not being dealt with and was unattended. These people could have been criminals, the car could have been stolen as Senior Constable ### had made mention earlier when accusing me that I was diverting the course or justice. I want to know why I was such a priority to him.
Diego DeNicola 10 years ago
it was clear that he was trying to impress the rookie. I mean a 50 yar old frustrated constable who is still a street cop. Wanker indeed.
Dana De Nicola Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dana De Nicola (member) 10 years ago
Thanks babe. To me he is and will always be Senior Constable Wanker.
blunardi PRO 10 years ago
Police are supposed to be enforcers of the law, not the lawmaker or make some wacky interpretations.
The problem is, most Police Officers don't know what are they enforcing and how it should be enforced.
Jon's snaps PRO 10 years ago
How odd, VicPol acting un-ethically....no........ :)

Seriously though - make sure the OPI gets a copy - don't just go through the VicPol Ethics unit (not sure if they are now one and the same). Possibly get your local MP and the Ombudsman's office involved as well. Physically restraining you without legal motive (ie enforcing the law by preventing you from leaving the scene of a crime etc) is just not on, its an abuse of power and if found to have been performed wrongly you could have a good case for an intimidation/assualt and abuse of powers claim.
_barb_ 10 years ago
That's horrible Dana, really unprofessional, not how you want the police to behave. They should be able to deal with situations calmly without hysterics. Did he hear you calling him a wanker? That might have aggravated the situation.
Greg Considine 10 years ago
would have been handy if someone could have taken a photo of this as it happened...photography of police action is best done with long telephotos-treat it as a wildlife exercise!
Dana De Nicola Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dana De Nicola (member) 10 years ago
Thanks for the suggestions, just contact OPI and forwarded my complaint onto them as well. Will hold off on contacting the government until i find out what the result is.

It's not fair that we are treated like this from people who are supposed to be there to protecting us. The whole incident has traumatized me. I went out on the weekend to take pics with my partner and i started crying because i was scared someone was going to abuse me.

At least i managed to get one photo of him. hopefully it turns out, haven't gotten the film developed. i will post it and possibly use it as evidence if needed.
Dana De Nicola 10 years ago
Yeah he heard me call him a wanker. As diego said he was trying to impress his rookie and probably had a hard day.

Lets just say he's probably been overlooked for promotion quite a few times. in his mid 40's and still doing traffic duty. what more can i say.
mossko 10 years ago
What a story!

So let's see, the cop:
- Threatened you
- Assaulted you
- You have witnesses (the lawyer?, your partner)

I think you have pretty good grounds to make a case!
Dana De Nicola Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dana De Nicola (member) 10 years ago
I do. Unfortunately i was that shaken up and angry that i didn't get the lawyers details but the cop did and there were quite a few witnesses around watching the whole thing and i stupidly left without asking anyone if they would be willing to be a witness.

Hopefully this cop already has a record and wouldn't be surprised if he did and that he has filed the lawyers details somewhere so she could be an independent witness.

I don't want any monetary compensation or anything. I just want an apology and disciplinary action against the cop and for this sort of thing not happening again.
supacrush 10 years ago
I was in Auckland last week and was really surprised and happy to find things are quite different there. I went to Britomart station in the city to take photos and there were heaps of security guards but they all just ignored me, and my dad (who was patiently waiting as usual while I took photos) even told me afterwards some kind of official Britomart person had come up to him and asked if we were doing some photography, and told him if he wasn't already busy showing another photographer around, he would've given us the tour!
Dana De Nicola Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dana De Nicola (member) 10 years ago
See why do Australians have to be so paranoid. Geez you would think that the camera could steal a persons soul or it's a weapon of mass destruction.
Dana De Nicola Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dana De Nicola (member) 10 years ago
Here is the only picture i got of the police officer that harassed me.
iSabra PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by iSabra (member) 10 years ago
road rage
roid rage
camera rage!! doesnt sound as cool as the other rages...
scyll24 10 years ago
camera rage = going on a shooting spree
@fotodudenz PRO 10 years ago
Dana, Congratulations you found the line, the blue line. Was the photo worth it? How would you like it if someone took photos of you at work? Why didn't you just call the Police?
Black Shadow Photography Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Black Shadow Photography (member) 10 years ago
That's crap Dana - I'd also be contacting The Age and and/or the Herald-Sun... would make a very interesting news story I think. Ring their switchboard and ask to be put through to the news desk.'

The more this type of behaviour is exposed publicly the less likely it will occur in the future.
mundane mandible [deleted] 10 years ago
Matt, the response of that that police officer in that situation was completely inappropriate and shows that he either has not been properly counseled in dealing with the public or he should not be in a position where he is dealing with the public at all.
@fotodudenz PRO 10 years ago
To me it looks like multiple people not knowing how to handle the situation. We don't know why the car in question was being pulled over and possibly, just possibly, the Police officer didn't want people taking photos of this event. It might have been something dodgy or it may not have, there might have been under cover Police involved, I know they don't like having their photo taken. Next time I think a little common sense would go a long way.
Dana De Nicola Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dana De Nicola (member) 10 years ago
fotodudenz, all he had to say to me was "don't take my photo" and i would have apologized and walked away. it was the way he handled the situation. from the beginning their were threats and to man handle someone just because he is in an authority of power is definitely not appropriate.
@fotodudenz PRO 10 years ago
Maybe he was having a bad day/night? Don't we all have them? He has a lot more to deal with than us and he has a dangerous job. And maybe, just maybe he took exception to you calling him a wanker? Because even you said "From there things got extremely worse". Shame on you. And why didn't you get the details of your only independent witness? Who just happens to be a lawyer? I'm hoping you hadn't been drinking.
Diego DeNicola 10 years ago

I think you are attacking the wrong person here. I was there and i can safely say that the police officer was rude, confrontational and just abusing his position of power. I have been asked plenty of times in a calm nice manner for no photographs and i oblige with a smile and move on. In this instance the cop was very aggressive. As he walked past me to grab Dana he performed what is known in footy as a hip and shoulder. And the more i tired to diffuse the situation the more he was aggressive. I wanted him to apoligise as a man not a copper at the way he just grabbed Dana with such force as if Dana was some drunk bogan on Saturday night. It was disgusting.

No one deserves to be spoken too in a confrontational and aggressive way. A simple "Move on" or "Don't take photos please" was all he had to say.
Dana De Nicola Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dana De Nicola (member) 10 years ago
Thanks babe. fotodudenz, the only reason i called him a wanker was because of the way he spoke to me and it was said to my partner and not to the officers face and i have been told by ethical standards that it is not against the law to call a police officer a wanker.

also, i had not been out drinking, as a matter of fact i don't even drink and the reason why i didn't get the lawyers details or anyone else's was because i was that shaken up and upset i didn't think of if it at the time.

Maybe he was having a bad night but it still doesn't give him the right to treat me or anyone else for that matter in that way.
@fotodudenz PRO 10 years ago
Very valiant of you Demsone but I don't believe I have been attacking anyone, merely trying to understand the situation, we are of course only getting one side of it.

Dana, I don't think I've met a guy who liked being called a wanker, directly or indirectly.
Dana De Nicola 10 years ago
fofodudenz...if i had any doubt in my mind that i had done anything wrong i wouldn't go to the effort of making a complaint to ethical standards and the office of police integrity.

i don't spend my spare time walking around looking for trouble, i am old enough to know better than that.

my partner and i went out for a walk one evening in the city to have a bite to eat and take some photos. i saw an opportunity for a nice photo and i took it.

i don't go walking around calling people wankers either. this police officer was downright rude and intimidating, which upset me because all i was doing was trying to take a photo.
mundane mandible [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by mundane mandible (member) 10 years ago
Matt, from the account given by Dana, the guy was acting like a wanker. You DON"T lay your hands on members of the public. You DON"T yell at them and not let them get a word in edgewise. If anyone did that with your wife/girlfriend/daughter in similar situations I don't think you would be posting your 'congratulations' comment, which honestly, from a third persons perspective sounded a tiny bit like an attack to me...(unless you were being sarcastic and not actually supporting the cops actions in which case, my apologies for my misinterpretation) kudos to you for taking an alternative standpoint in defending public servants who have one of the more difficult jobs in society (along with ambos, teachers, doctors and nurses) but to repeat, you simply DON"T lay your hands on members of the public. You DON"T yell at them and not let them get a word in edgewise. All these things are guaranteed to inflame any situation and these things are taught to any public servant who deals with the public, Remember, this is about a guy carrying a gun, in a position of authority/power interacting with a female member of the public carrying a camera (I know, they can be scary threatening looking things, especially mugley's) trying to explain her position. My colleagues and I are taught this in our job as health professionals dealing with the public and you know what, if you treat people with respect, it goes a long way. I don't agree with Dana calling the guy a wanker, but I sure as hell understand it.
Everybody has bad days but that is no excuse to act like a complete dick. Dana tried to explain/apologise but wasn't given the proper opportunity to. It was not Dana's job to defuse the ongoing situation that developed and was inflamed by the policeman's behaviour, it was the cops responsibility. If the cop had just listened instead of going 'rambo' the confrontation would not even have arisen. True, I wouldn't want the guys job, but I have my own very stressful job dealing with the public and I have been called a lot worse than a wanker and I have never responded by using verbal and/or physical assault - which is what this particular public servant seems to have done. As I suggested previously, he needs counseling or he needs to be removed from scenarios where he interacts with the public.
mugley 10 years ago
I dispute that. My female member of the public is not scary-looking at all :)
mundane mandible [deleted] 10 years ago
Ummm, errr, mugs... I was talking about your Mamiya.

Mugley's Mamiya

Have you anthropomorphised it (sorry, her) as a 'female member of the public'?
mugley 10 years ago
Oh, you were saying the camera could be scary :)
@fotodudenz PRO 10 years ago
Shit Cameron that's a big one and it's even got bold bits in it, I will have a proper read once my CC & Dry kicks in.

Apologies to everyone if it sounds like I am stirring, I am not. I guess I just don't want to believe in a world where this could happen unprovoked. I actually still don't believe it. In one of my previous jobs I dealt with Police on a professional level on a daily basis and I guess my opinion of the Police is based on that.

I hope at the very least that others can learn from this and that one day common sense will prevail!
mundane mandible [deleted] 10 years ago
Yeah, sorry about the long spiel Matt. To be fair there was a small degree of provocation in this encounter by Dana's own admission, but the reaction of the officer and subsequent development of the situation was unfortunately over the top.
I also deal frequently with the police on a professional basis (had to call them the other morning for a 'situation' actually) and it is my experience that just about all of them are very professional as well as being downright good people in a sometimes extremely difficult job. Unfortunately there are members of every vocation that are simply not suited for that vocation (or temporarily need to step away). Hell, I've worked with nurses and doctors in the past who I've thought shouldn't come within 100 miles of a patient - thankfully this is usually the exception rather than the rule though.
I actually feel that the individual in question really does need some counseling and probably some leave as well, as his behaviour is indicative of burnout in a big way, so I am not without sympathy or indeed empathy for his situation.
re:I hope at the very least that others can learn from this and that one day common sense will prevail! - I'll second that motion!!
ziz 10 years ago
i've found the line
"oh you're a real cop? i thought they were filming Underbelly! and I wanted to get a pic of Vince Colosimo"
to be particularly useful in calming police officers down in these sorts of situations
Dana De Nicola 10 years ago
hahaha, thanks ziz, i will definitely keep that option in mind if the situation occurs again.

fotodudenz, i know i shouldn't have called the cop a wanker BUT this police officer was unprofessional from the get go. i hope that is was a one off for anyones that comes across him, but i seriously doubt it.

i hope my complaint to ethical standards and the office of police integrity don't fall on deaf ears and this cop and others get the required training to deal with these situations.
ziz 10 years ago
ok, well, it does go against the photo-journalistic ideal however... hopefully it wont give him a way to brush off the complaint, although being a cynical old fart i'd have to say it's likely to.

Not that i can give lessons in not being a hot-head :/
:Evan: 10 years ago
Dana... That sux mate. Police are professionals and should act professional at all times. I hear Christine Nixon recite these words on a regular basis.

On a slightly different note... This illuminates how silly this whole thing is getting:

From 'The Online Photographer':

The Fox channel in Washington D.C. became aware that photographers were being hassled by security in Union Station (the train station in Washington), so they dispatched a reporter and a crew to do a story on it. So they're interviewing the head spokesman for Amtrak, who is explaining that there aren't any laws or rules against photography inside the train station...when a security guard comes up and tells the TV crew they'll have to turn the cameras off.

Video here.
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