Watchdog Says UK Police Better Watch It

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Photo by cloudy images

In a heartwarming development, England’s terror legislation watchdog has warned police that they should stop abusing anti-terrorism laws by criminalizing photography of the police. Further, Lord Carlile said in his annual report that officers who do this could face possible criminal and disciplinary prosecution. 

This strikes a major blow to English police who have used the powers accorded them under Section 58A of the Counter-Terrorism Act to their great benefit, harassing, detaining and roughing up photographers however they saw fit. 

In his report, Carlile wrote: 

It should be emphasised that photography of the police by the media or amateurs remains as legitimate as before, unless the photograph is likely to be of use to a terrorist. This is a high bar. It is inexcusable for police officers ever to use this provision to interfere with the rights of individuals to take photographs. The police must adjust to the undoubted fact that the scrutiny of them by members of the public is at least proportional to any increase in police powers – given the ubiquity of photograph and video enabled mobile phones.

It is interesting he acknowledged the ubiquity of photography, as we’ve long thought law enforcement agencies have been slow to recognize that their days of unchecked authority are coming to an end.

Article via Daily Mail

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