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Not a Crime"

1. weirdvis29 June 2010, 16:13 GMT +02:00

This 16 year old photographer bravely stands his ground against an illegally beligerant bunch of coppers whilst trying to photograph a military parade through Romford town centre - a very public place.

The abuse of police powers against a law abiding photographer is thoroughly disgusting.

http://julesmattsson.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/the-romford-incident/

2. lennie29 June 2010, 19:03 GMT +02:00

We've seen it again and again. And it makes me furious everytime I see these things.

Some people think we should stand up and do something, anything.

Here is an example of some people trying to get attention to the CCTV-issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgpLXDZqDEE#t=0m47s

The Police just seem to love to use the T-word. An other example of what the police/etc. are doing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAY3nqv_JKE

You should stay polite and comply, but you can decline what you don't want to do. They probably will try to bully you. You have to know the law, because then they can't intimidate you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9bfmW3iMqk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLL5VOpOSjQ

3. krayker30 June 2010, 13:20 GMT +02:00

looks like there wide coverage for the same. I found a bunch of links on the slashdot, discussing the same issue.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/29/police_photo_bother_romford/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/officers-claim-they-dont-need-law-to-stop-photographer-taking-pictures-2012827.html

http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/1719526/photojournalist-detained-army-cadet-pics

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/police-uturn-on-photographers-and-antiterror-laws-1834626.html

http://www.marcvallee.co.uk/blog/2010/06/press-greek-embassy-case/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/8632038.stm

4. lennie30 June 2010, 18:01 GMT +02:00

From the first article: 'He told us: "You can’t just go round taking photos."

Worryingly, he added, in respect of photographing children: "You can understand what is going to happen."

When asked why the police would not protect a photographer going about their lawful business, the call was terminated.'

From the second article: 'Police forces across the country were told to stop using anti-terror laws to question and search innocent photographers after The Independent ran a campaign last year highlighting how legislation was being regularly misused. But groups representing photographers say the message is often struggling to get through to some front line officers.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said the force had no information on the incident but added that police officers should not stop amateur or professional photographers from capturing images in a public place. '

From an other article ( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/police-uturn-on-photographers-and-antiterror-laws-1834626.html ):

'Section 44 of the Terrorism Act allows the police to stop and search anyone they want, without need for suspicion, in a designated area. The exact locations of many of these areas are kept secret from the public, but are thought to include every railway station in and well-known tourist landmarks thought to be at risk of terrorist attacks.

But privately senior officers are "exasperated, depressed and embarrassed" by the actions of junior officers and, particularly, PCSOs who routinely misuse the legislation. One source said that an "internal urban myth" had built up around police officers who believe that photography in Section 44 areas is not allowed. '

'"Officers and PCSOs are reminded that we should not be stopping and searching people for taking photos.

"There are very clear rules around how stop-and-search powers can be used. However, there are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so.

"We need to co-operate with the media and amateur photographers. They play a vital role as their images help us identify criminals.

"We must acknowledge that citizen journalism is a feature of modern life and police officers are now photographed and filmed more than ever.

"However, unnecessarily restricting photography, whether from the casual tourist or professional is unacceptable and worse still, it undermines public confidence in the police service." '

5. xymonau1 July 2010, 11:47 GMT +02:00

Fascism or Communism are exactly the same, and are the extremes of right and left politics. I wonder who invented the two party system? Could it be the Hegelian principle at work, so that those who manipulate opinion and lawmakers can achieve the shaping of society and beliefs to suit themselves? Scare the pants off people via a few bombs, then they will be glad to bring in draconian laws in the interests of "safety". I'm not an anarchist, but the rubbish that is leading the world right now are unfit to be doing so.

6. weirdvis1 July 2010, 16:29 GMT +02:00

Dez, you are closer to the truth than you know. Over here we have what we call fake charities. They are fake because they are actually lobby groups funded by government rather than public donations. They lobby for changes the government actually wants to make. They usually lobby against people doing things they like such as driving a car or simply enjoying a cigarette and a pint in the pub with your mates.

They say they do it for our own good. Like we aren't adult enough to decide for ourselves - fascist swine.

7. weirdvis10 July 2010, 7:43 GMT +02:00

Finger's crossed - Teresa May, the Home Secretary, says she is going to limit the police abuse of power used to harrass and browbeat people they "suspect" are terrorists for the hell of it (e.g. photographers). It seems the government is going to amend section 44 of the Terrorist Bill to stop and search suspect vehicles only.

Can't wait...

8. happyture10 July 2010, 8:08 GMT +02:00

I must say that i have never had any trouble with the police at functions where i have been out with my camera, I have always been polite with them and respected their position and never called them anything to do with pork, I also know that it is very easy to aggravate a situation, which i believe the young photographer was doing, i am sure if he had just tipped his hat and moved on the situation would not of escalated to such an extent, and he would of been able to carry on taking pictures, If you start shouting WHY,WHICH, WHEN, HOW A policeman/Woman WILL show you!

9. weirdvis10 July 2010, 11:00 GMT +02:00

So next time an officer abuses his powers to prevent someone from going about their legitimate business, someone who has the temerity to question why, they ought to think twice, kow tow and say, "Yes officer. Anything you say, officer."

I call BS on that idea. When the police behave in an illegal manner and are allowed to get away with it then we are in deep trouble. I'm an ex-cop and even I think those officers behaved like fascist bastards. They couldn't even decide what "law" the kid was supposedly breaking when he asked them.. What does that say for our wonderful boys and girls in blue?

10. happyture10 July 2010, 13:49 GMT +02:00

I think a lot has to do with the way these sort of things are approached, I understand that the function was in fact a military display, which instantly puts a spanner in the works for Amature photographers, No doubt the professional photographers of the day had already been security checked, i believe the police mentioned two laws that the young man was breaking. I do not agree with the police on this one, but lines have to be drawn at such occasions.

11. weirdvis10 July 2010, 19:08 GMT +02:00

The military display was in a public place. Anyone can watch and anyone can photograph it. Security checks are for East German Stasi. If the soldiers were doing something that was sensitive to national security then marching in a public place isn't the way to do it. The young man broke no laws other than one - he asked the coppers under what law they were prohibiting him from taking photographs. Answer - there ain't one. Not even under Section 44. Not even under the Public Order Act.

Now, if the boy had been in Helmand province taking photos of top secret military operations without permission then I would agree that he was doing something wrong. However, Romford High Street isn't within a thousand miles of a theatre of war.

Being adamant about questioning the legality of being detained ain't a crime. When it does become one they'll be coming for us all.

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