Still No Photog Rights in London


The Gherkin Photo by FromTheNorth

It seems the photographers’ rights situation in London (or lack thereof) has reached a boiling point. After years of egregious harassment and the ensuing complaints, the Metropolitan Police finally released guidelines in early December that said in effect their officers should lay off photographers shooting in public. The next week, renowned architectural photographer Grant Smith was stopped and searched for taking photos of Sir Christopher Wren’s Christ Church in City of London, the financial district.

So, Guardian reporter Paul Lewis decided to do some investigating of his own. Armed with a hidden camera, he went to photograph the Gherkin, a skyscraper and major landmark also in the financial district, and within two minutes, he was approached by a security guard. At one point they actually used the words “hostile reconnaissance.”

Five security guards and police officers later, and two photographers in the vicinity also stopped during the incident (one from the Guardian who was working with Lewis), and nothing was resolved. City of London police defended their actions in a statement that basically said under section 44 of the Terrorism Act they have every right to do this.

Watch the video here.

Article via the Guardian

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4 Responses to “Still No Photog Rights in London”


  1. 1 anoon December 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    It’s funny how in this video and the Gylfie video both Gylfie and the plainclothes officer get real defensive when they meet any resistance. The Plainclothes cop freaks at the thought of Mr. Lewis filming his ID. As if accountability.
    Also it is apparent in England that you are not required to give your details in these kind of encounters.

  2. 2 John Howard December 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    The police keep insisting if you tell them why are you taking pictures then that will be the end of it, so why can’t they just ask if you are a terrorist. Would they accept that answer as well?

    I can’t imagine any terrorist giving truthful answers. But then, I can’t imagine any terrorist being so obvious as to stand around in broad daylight and take pictures.


  1. 1 British Police Stop & Search Every 20 Seconds « Trackback on April 16, 2010 at 10:14 am
  2. 2 British Police: “We don’t have to have a law” « Trackback on June 29, 2010 at 1:15 pm

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