Posts Tagged 'england'

London: Take Your Stinking Cameras Elsewhere!

Cliche Crossfire

Photo by Brian Auer

Here’s a twist on the usual formula. Instead of being stopped by police while taking a photo, Mohammed Hanif writes in today’s Guardian about being stopped while getting his photo taken on a public street in London.

Hanif was posing for an author photo for a book he had just written when a security guard told them they had to leave. Ultimately they were booted from three other sites before finding a church where no one bothered them.

To London authorities, this type of activity amounts to a security risk and, accordingly, they’ve decided to make the whole process as laborious as possible. The nearly Byzantine rules in place require photographers to not only apply for a permit to shoot on public streets and wait up to a month for approval, but then they have to wear a radio-wave emitting tag while shooting. So they can be tracked.

Hanif asks:

Why would a potential terrorist (or people exhibiting suspect behaviour, as the Met likes to describe them in its anti-terror publicity) pose in front of an organic cosmetics stall and religiously follow the instructions of a white, female professional photographer who looked nothing if not an infidel?

But you see, it’s much easier to enact a very rigid, blanket law to outlaw any and all activity than evaluate cases on an individual basis and allow society to continue under some semblance of normalcy.

UPDATE: Thanks to Byron, who tells us the information in Hanif’s essay about the permit requirement and tracking device are not true and were actually part of an April Fool’s Day joke. Which means, thankfully, we are not living in Orwell’s 1984. Yet.

Article from The Guardian.

Dad Called Pervert, Told to Stop Snapping His Kids

Photo by discarted

When do you know that our topsy-turvy PC world has gone too far? When a dad is told to stop taking photos of his own children at a fairgrounds.

Gary Clutchey was at the Wolverhampton Show in England — with his wife — taking photos of his two sons when a fair worker told him he had to stop, the Telegraph reported. He countered that he was only taking photos of his own children, but then another parent chimed in, saying he could be putting the pictures up on the internet and called him a pervert.

Clatchy’s wife said she was “annoyed, extremely upset and embarrassed,” noting that it’s a sad state of affairs when “every man with a camera enjoying a Sunday afternoon out in the park with his children is automatically assumed to be a pervert.”

Fairground officials say it’s policy to question anyone taking photos of the rides to determine if they have children there. When Clatchy asked police to weigh in, they said what he was doing was legal but “that’s the way society is these days.”

If that’s the case, society is depressingly paranoid, rigid and uptight.

Article from the Telegraph.

TOTH to Ben.

A Good Question

A recent article in The Guardian by security technologist and author Bruce Schneier says that photographers have been coming under increasing scrutiny since 9/11 under the auspices of national security. But, he says:

The 9/11 terrorists didn’t photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn’t photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn’t photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren’t being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn’t known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about — the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 — no photography.

He makes a good point. Outlawing photography makes politicans and law enforcement feel good, like they’re doing something in the fight. Unfortunately they’re going after the wrong people.

And in case there was any doubt, he gives this nice reminder:

Fear aside, there aren’t many legal restrictions on what you can photograph from a public place that’s already in public view. If you’re harassed, it’s almost certainly a law enforcement official, public or private, acting way beyond his authority. There’s nothing in any post-9/11 law that restricts your right to photograph.

Article via The Guardian.
Photo via let ‘er rip.

UK Security Guard Assaults Photographer

This security officer in the UK gets handsy with a photographer on a public street in Middlesbrough. From the photographer’s account:

Two security guards from the nearby shopping center THE MALL came running over, we were surrounded by six hostile and aggressive security guards. They then said photographing shops was illegal and this was private land. I was angry at being grabbed by this man so i pushed him away, one of the men wearing a BARGAIN MADNESS shirt twisted my arm violently behind my back, i winced in pain and could hardly breathe in agony.

I thought the Brits were supposed to be more civilized?

Read the full account here.

via WindWalkabout

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