UK: snappers stopped

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UK: snappers stopped

Postby Penta » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:00 pm

Warning: Do not take this picture

Police warned over misuse of terror laws to stop innocent photographers

By Mark Hughes and Jerome Taylor

Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Independent

Jeff Overs was stopped by police after taking a picture of St Paul's Cathedral

Police have been accused of misusing powers granted under anti-terror legislation after a series of incidents, ranging from the innocuous to the bizarre, in which photographers were questioned by officers for taking innocent pictures of tourist destinations, landmarks and even a fish and chip shop.

Police are allowed to stop and search anyone in a designated "Section 44 authorisation" zone without having to give a reason. But amateur and professional photographers have complained that they are frequently being stopped and treated as potential terrorists on a reconnaissance mission. Last night the Government's independent reviewer of anti-terrorism laws warned police forces to carefully examine how they use the controversial legislation.

Speaking to The Independent, Lord Carlile of Berriew said: "The police have to be very careful about stopping people who are taking what I would call leisure photographs, and indeed professional photographers. The fact that someone is taking photographs is not prima facie a good reason for stop and search and is very far from raising suspicion. It is a matter of concern and the police will know that they have to look at this very carefully," he added.

Lord Carlile's comments come just days after a BBC journalist was stopped and searched by two police community support officers as he took photographs of St Paul's Cathedral. Days earlier Andrew White, 33, was stopped and asked to give his name and address after taking photographs of Christmas lights on his way to work in Brighton.

And in July Alex Turner, an amateur photographer from Kent, was arrested after he took pictures of Mick's Plaice, a fish and chip shop in Chatham.

Most of those stopped are told they are being questioned under Section 44, a controversial power which allows senior officers to designate entire areas of their police force regions as stop-and-search zones. The areas are chosen based on their likelihood of being a terrorism target.

More than 100 exist in London alone, covering areas such as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and other landmarks. Every train station in the UK is covered by a Section 44 order. In the first quarter of this financial year 96 per cent of all Section 44 searches were carried out by the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police. Every area of the UK which has a Section 44 in place is known to the Home Office. But, due to the fear that the information could be used by terrorists to plan attacks, most of the the exact locations covered by Section 44 authorisations are kept secret, meaning members of the public have no idea if they are in one or not.

Martin Parr, a photojournalist who was threatened with arrest after he took pictures of revellers in Liverpool city centre, said: "Unless we do something to stop this trend it will become virtually impossible to take photographs on a British street."

The British Journal of Photography says it has received a steadily increasing number of complaints this year. Olivier Laurent, the magazine's news editor, said: "The person will normally be taking a photograph of something perfectly mundane and a police officer will approach them and either claim that they can't take photos in that particular place or they will ask the photographer to explain what they are up to and record their details.

"Those who refuse to co-operate have been threatened with arrest for either breaching the peace or impeding the public highway. We find that a lot of the time police officers are not even aware of the rules governing photography in a public place."

Marc Vallee, a photojournalist who specialises in documenting protests, has become so exasperated at how often photographers are questioned or searched by officers that he has co-founded a campaign group to keep tabs on how public photography is being policed. The "I'm a photographer, not a terrorist" campaign group now has more than 4,000 supporters and has held a number of protests, including outside Scotland Yard, to highlight what they believe is the growing harassment of amateur and professional photographers by police and over-zealous council officials.

"Why is the act of taking a picture deemed by the state to be so potentially threatening? Photography is not a crime but it is being routinely criminalised," he said. "Anti-terrorism legislation talks about creating a hostile environment for terrorists to operate but the reality is that it is creating a hostile environment for public photography. That has an incredibly detrimental effect on freedom of speech."

Craig Mackey, who speaks for the Association of Chief Police Officers on stop-and-search legislation, said he does have sympathy for photographers, but said that part of the problem was that some officers were not aware how best to use the "complex" legislation. He said: "It goes back to the issue of briefing and training of staff and making sure they are clear around the legislation we are asking them to use. There is no power under Section 44 to stop people taking photographs and we are very clear about getting that message out to forces.

"In the past there has been a build-up around photographers and policing. That said, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where someone taking pictures of Christmas lights would be something we should be dealing with."
Shes never interfered with me. I have no complaints about her.
Same here.
Mega ditto.
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Re: UK: snappers stopped

Postby Mikethehack » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:56 pm

Most of the stories I have heard about snappers being pulled by the plod wouldn't look out of place in a Keystone Cops comedy.
Example: Professional photographer carrying thousands of dollars of gear, with big bazooka lenses sticking out of every orifice takes shots of whatever and finds himself being rushed by everyone in any kind of uniform who thinks they have 'authority'.

Meanwhile, loads of people with cameraphones (all around said incident/ location) continue to snap/ film away without interference, even though some might fit certain 'profiles.' Some even photograph officials detaining photographer, whle being ignored by officials who make no attempt to prevent them from recording said incident, despite the fact that their identities are being recorded by numerous people at said location.

Pointing this out only makes the siatuation worse because they will say, "I know my job/ Don't tell me how to do my job." Having a huge laugh at the absurdity also aggravates the situation. One should also avoid questioning said official's intelligence quotient, grip on reality or ability to use common sense.

I applaud the acts of our ever vigilant officials because without them....

Here is a link to a good website with plenty of stories to have people in stitches over dinner at Xmas:
http://www.urban75.org/photos/photograp ... e-law.html

Below a few excerpts:
Chris Cheesman

Police admit they may have been 'overzealous' when they prevented a man taking pictures at a public event to celebrate the switching-on of some Christmas lights.

Photography enthusiast Phil Smith has lodged a formal complaint against Suffolk Police after an officer stopped him taking pictures from a spectator area in front of Ipswich Town Hall on Sunday 18 November.

The 49-year-old had been hoping to snap some images of the main event - which included a visit from Cinderella and Postman Pat. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to enjoy the festive cheer.

His plans fell apart when a policewoman spotted him in the crowd taking pictures prior to the lights being turned on.

Phil told us the officer approached him asking: 'Have you got a licence to use the camera?'
http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/ne ... 63500.html


Kent Police exceeded powers in too-tall photographer case
Police in Kent have at last acknowledged that arresting people for being too tall might not be a very good idea.

Or rather, arresting someone for no better reason than "because they could" was unlawful and not altogether sensible.

The story begins this July when photographer Alex Turner was stopped whilst taking snaps in Chatham High St and approached by two men, who refused to identify themselves, but demanded that he show them some ID. When he refused, they called for back-up. A PCSO and WPC arrived: Turner took a photo of the pair, and was promptly arrested.

He was then handcuffed, held in a police van for 20 minutes, searched in public by plain clothes officers before being released. It remains unclear, both from from his own account and from subsequent police explanations, exactly why he was arrested – although he did note at the time that the WPC stated she had felt threatened by his size - 5' 11" and about 12 stone - and implied that she found it intimidating.

Mr Turner complained: a police internal investigation was carried out; and this week, the Investigating Officer (IO) finally got back to him with the very welcome news that, according to their barrister, his arrest was unlawful.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/26 ... planation/



PhotographyBLOG Editor, Mark Goldstein, was stopped and searched in central London yesterday for “taking photos of iconic landmarks”. Under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, the Metropolitan Police are now conducting patrols along the South Bank of the River Thames, specifically targeting “individuals with cameras who are photographing famous buildings”. After informing the officer that I ran a photography website and giving her my business card, I was issued with Form 5090(X), with no actual search taking place. The whole process was somewhat undermined by two other officers posing for photos with tourists whilst their colleague completed the paperwork! I can only conclude that it was the bright pink Casio camera that I was testing at the time which attracted the police officer’s attention…
http://www.photographyblog.com/news/pbl ... _searched/
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Re: UK: snappers stopped

Postby rickshaw92 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:11 pm

One should also avoid questioning said official's intelligence quotient, grip on reality or ability to use common sense.


Dont be such a kill joy, that kinda talk if for the thorn tree. You see Mike, some of us like to do things the hard way, it puts hair on your chest
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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Re: UK: snappers stopped

Postby coldharvest » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:34 pm

rickshaw92 wrote:
One should also avoid questioning said official's intelligence quotient, grip on reality or ability to use common sense.


Dont be such a kill joy, that kinda talk if for the thorn tree. You see Mike, some of us like to do things the hard way, it puts hair on your chest

damn straight I usually start with the consensual sex they have with their pets, I don't get to their grip on reality for quite a while.
I know the law. And I have spent my entire life in its flagrant disregard.
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Re: UK: snappers stopped

Postby Caliban » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:00 pm

It makes me cringe.

I sometimes yearn to be stopped in these circumstances so I can lay waste to the paltroon who doesn't know how to do the job that I have prided myself in. I recall a section 44 shortly after the Glasgow airport incident. We had it in place becauseone of the connected suspects fled back to Liverpool after the event.

I was trawling through stop search forms for intelligence and found one for a section 44 search of a female.
Wording of reason for search along these lines. Female,known prostitue,seen attracting and waving at lone male motorists. Stop checked under sec 44 of terrorism act !

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Re: UK: snappers stopped

Postby rickshaw92 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:25 pm

Caliban wrote:It makes me cringe.

I sometimes yearn to be stopped in these circumstances so I can lay waste to the paltroon who doesn't know how to do the job that I have prided myself in. I recall a section 44 shortly after the Glasgow airport incident. We had it in place becauseone of the connected suspects fled back to Liverpool after the event.

I was trawling through stop search forms for intelligence and found one for a section 44 search of a female.
Wording of reason for search along these lines. Female,known prostitue,seen attracting and waving at lone male motorists. Stop checked under sec 44 of terrorism act !

Paltroons


I have been stopped by the Old Bill a few times while workin. They ask to search my shaw. They tell me there lookin for bombs and that I have been stopped because of terrorism. I tell them they are being silly. They do not like that.
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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Re: UK: snappers stopped

Postby Mikethehack » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:45 pm

rickshaw92 wrote:
Caliban wrote:It makes me cringe.

I sometimes yearn to be stopped in these circumstances so I can lay waste to the paltroon who doesn't know how to do the job that I have prided myself in. I recall a section 44 shortly after the Glasgow airport incident. We had it in place becauseone of the connected suspects fled back to Liverpool after the event.

I was trawling through stop search forms for intelligence and found one for a section 44 search of a female.
Wording of reason for search along these lines. Female,known prostitue,seen attracting and waving at lone male motorists. Stop checked under sec 44 of terrorism act !

Paltroons


I have been stopped by the Old Bill a few times while workin. They ask to search my shaw. They tell me there lookin for bombs and that I have been stopped because of terrorism. I tell them they are being silly. They do not like that.


Wrong!!!
We know you rickshaw people are a threat to national security. See below.
http://www.demotix.com/news/peshawar-ri ... bomb-blast
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Re: UK: snappers stopped

Postby Michael » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:55 pm

My mistake. Thought the thread was about something else.
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Re: UK: snappers stopped

Postby rickshaw92 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:07 am

Michael wrote:My mistake. Thought the thread was about something else.


So did I at first.
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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