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Recent problems over taking pictures in public inthe UK

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TallPaul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TallPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Recent problems over taking pictures in public inthe UK
    Posted: 17 April 2008 at 14:06
There is a good piece on the BBC website today covering the large number of people being stopped illegally for taking pictures in a public place.

BBC News Story

I know Amateur Photographer has been covering a lot of incidents recently.

I have never had a problem myself, even wandering around the houses of parlement and london eye recently, but it does concern me that a number of officers, especially PCSO's (Police Community Support Officers, not police, sort of an empowred citizen really), do not know the current legistlation.

Paul.
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ricardovaste View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ricardovaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 14:14
Intersting read Paul. Thanks for sharing it. I cant agree more that its a sad day to behold where this is a growing issue. I too have read a few cases in AP, but never experienced it myself.

Fingers crossed I wont, but I may go take a photo of the next PCSO that i see just to see what he says .


EDIT///
Thanks Koloth! I've signed

Edited by ricardovaste - 17 April 2008 at 14:27
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Koloth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Koloth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 14:22
There is petition ongoing to the Prime Minister to clarify the laws surrounding photography in public places. If you are in the uk it might be an idea to give this your support and get other UK photograpers to do so. This is none political and may help protect our hobby. Here is the link


Petition Link
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dilettante View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dilettante Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 14:42
It's this campaign by the Metropolitan Police that I find shocking:

"Thousands of people take photos everyday. What if one of them seems odd?"

I'm sure many of us look odd when we're taking photos, but I resent the public being encouraged to treat us as potential terrorists because of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RubberDials Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 14:51
Agreed, this needs to be nipped in the bud. The seed is already there in a lot of people's minds that photographers are 'odd'. A couple of girls passed me while I was out last year and one said: "There was a weirdo at the train station the other day taking pictures."
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Post Options Post Options   Quote royd63uk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 15:10
I think the public need to be informed that it is the people with small mobile camera phones that could be the problem (though not all of them either)NOT people with slr's who can clearly be seen to be taking images.

Roy
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RubberDials View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RubberDials Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 15:18
I don't think anyone taking photographs is a problem. The idea that terrorists are taking photographs in public is completely and utterly absurd.
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TallPaul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TallPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 15:24
Originally posted by RubberDials RubberDials wrote:

I don't think anyone taking photographs is a problem. The idea that terrorists are taking photographs in public is completely and utterly absurd.


I am not sure I agree with that, but if I am standing outside a public place taking a picture, camera bag, probably some silly hat if its raining (I wear glasses), 5D 70-200G, its kinda obvouis, and I am sure people who fall into the category of covertly trying to take pictures do not match my description!

I think what we need to be worried about is imaging that goes beyond what is normally considered "public view". google earth for an example has recently re-defined this!

If I am outside a famouse landmark, I should be allowed to shoot away, all the tourists are, they put their pictures of flickr, picasso and other web albums for all (good and bad) people to see, its public.

If I stand outside the army base round the corner from my house, which is defined as a restricted place under the official secrets act, I should expect to get my collar felt roughly and some questions asked!

I think its a clear line to me, not sure what the problem is, in my view is bad information from the top down, especially when it comes to part time (special constables) and limited (PCSO's) members of the policing team.

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artuk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 15:29
A couple of years ago there was a spate of incidents in London, particularly Trafalgar Square, where photographers were stopped and searched, and in one case had their home and computer searched, because of fears they were "paedophiles". This seemed to have been based on the fact that members of the public had complained to nearby police about photographers taking pictures that included children in the scene.

Dear Ken Livingston (Lonodn Mayor for those outside the UK) was even embarking on a campaign of putting signs up in public places like Trafalgar Square and parks warning the public about the dangers of people taking photographs.

All quite ridiculous in my opinion. There is absolutely no law in the UK that prevents photography in "public" places such as the street, although of course locations such as shopping malls are private property, and some "public" spaces may be covered by local by-laws (which currently do not include anything about taking photographs as far as I am aware).

If you are stopped, apparently the police do have the right to do a "stop and search", and you cannot refuse, although you may ask them on what grounds. They do not have the right to ask you to delete pictures. If you feel the search was not appropriate, you may make a formal complaint.
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omerbey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote omerbey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 15:43
terror is the new communism
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dinostrich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 15:52
"Officiousness" + "interference" + "paranoia" = "the climate of fear"

It all serves to give scope to the petty and not so petty "dictators" to ply their trade of restrictions on civil liberties - makes their life easier !

And all that in a nation subjected to more surveillance than any other I am aware of.

Anyone seen the latest offering from Banksy ?

I shot some film yesterday. I was told last night that film was dead so today I shot some more.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RDoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 16:01
Originally posted by omerbey omerbey wrote:

terror is the new communism


Yes, agree completely. Rule with fear... whatever fear that may be.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dilettante Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2008 at 17:09
Originally posted by royd63uk royd63uk wrote:

I think the public need to be informed that it is the people with small mobile camera phones that could be the problem (though not all of them either)NOT people with slr's who can clearly be seen to be taking images.


I wouldn't like to say that with any certainty, but photography per se shouldn't be seen as suspicious activity, whether it's with an SLR or a mobile phone.

The problem with the Met poster is that to most people, someone taking time to photograph a post box, or a doorknob, or some other street detail (as I'm sure we've all done!) *would* look odd, and now they're being made to feel duty-bound to report it. "Imagine there was a terrorist incident, and you'd seen someone acting strangely beforehand but failed to report it! Better to report everything just in case". And of course once it is reported, the police have to do something for the same reason: "Imagine if there were an incident that could have been prevented if only you'd acted on that information from a member of the public"
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belgianpie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote belgianpie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 05:14
Maybe soon they'll confiscate all image capable devices at entry points to the UK ... have sniffer dogs on the street sniffing out hidden devices ...

... or, everyone taking pictures, or having an image capable device should be registered ... all mem cards should be registered and tagged with a tracking device, images taken should be integrally uploaded to a database and after checking and registered released back to photographer ... big brother is there ... 1984 is coming for real ...

Edited by belgianpie - 18 April 2008 at 15:48
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