Posts Tagged 'uk'

British Police: “We don’t have to have a law”

British police have been told they shouldn’t harass professional or amateur photographers because – get this – it’s not an illegal activity, but those orders sometimes have a hard time reaching the rank and file. Or maybe it just becomes a lot more difficult if certain officers don’t have to follow things like “laws.”

On Saturday, freelance photographer Jules Mattsson, 16, was shooting an Armed Forces Day parade in Romford in London when he was harassed by officers who told him, among other things, that taking photos of children…and military…and police are all illegal.

How could that be? Where are those laws on the books? That’s what Mattsson thought, and when he tried in vain to assert his rights, he was told: “We don’t have to have a law.”

But Mattsson wasn’t your average pushover, so the officers resorted to stuff like telling him he was “in the way” and an “agitator” and a “threat under the terrorism act.”

The confrontation is priceless in its illustration of the hapless and ill-informed police officer who wants to throw his weight around just because he can. You can read a transcript on the Libertarian Party Members’ Blog here.

Article from The Independent and Jules Mattsson

Free Lens Cloth: Rights at the Ready

Photo: Amateur Photography

Feeling harassed, harangued, misunderstood? Having trouble remembering your rights? The UK magazine  Amateur Photography is giving away this handy printed lens cloth with the July 6th issue.

Article from Amateur Photography (via Boing Boing)

Man Takes Photo of Kid, Gets Visit From Police

The most ridiculous stories involving photography and children always seem to come out of the UK. ePHOTOzine reports that a 69-year-old man took a photo of a child who was vandalizing trees and got a visit from the police as a result.

Geoffrey Massey, of Somersham in East England, recalls:

When the child realised I was taking his picture he turned round and told me that I can’t do that and that he would tell someone what I did. Well later that day the lady that child-minds him came round and told me she would report me as I’m not allowed to take pictures of children without consent from their parents.

The officer was talking to me and said I don’t care if you’re a professional photographer or not you can’t take a picture of a child without written consent of the parent.

Never mind that it was the children who were committing an illegal activity in the first place; it’s those precious parents who emphasize their childrens’ personal happiness and individual rights over their moral and societal obligations.

Massey says the incident has put him off taking pictures, but we think that’s a little extreme. C’mon, Geoff, you can’t let one snot-nosed kid ruin it all for you.

Article via ePHOTOzine

Wedding Photographer Threat to National Security?

Jess Hurd, a photographer for the Guardian, was detained for 45 minutes by Metropolitan police Dec. 10 for taking video and stills at a Ramada Hotel in east London. Hurd was working on a story about weddings within an itinerent community known as travellers, but police felt she might be doing reconnaissance as a terrorist.

The police justified their actions by saying they are within their rights if they see suspicious activity, especially if it’s in close proximity to a sensitive sight. Apparently the Ramada was close to both the airport and a wharf. It is unclear what is suspicious about a credentialed press photographer outside a wedding reception.

The National Union of Journalists released a statement today that says, in part, “This is yet another absurd misuse of the s44 powers which are designed to allow the police to detain those actively involved in carrying out a terrorist activity not to stop press photographers carrying out their legitimate business.”

The Amateur Photograher blog says Hurd is considering legal action.

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

You Can’t Picture This

After being harassed by authorities on a busy street, Rajesh Thind investigates the photographers’ rights issue in London. The one particularly aggressive officer perfectly encapsulates the fearful authority who isn’t quite sure what he’s after or what he’s enforcing, he just thinks it’s “suspicious.” “Can you tell me why you’re filming here? Gimme a good reason!” and “Gimme ID first!” 

John Toner from the National Union of Journalists says in the video, “Taking pictures using film [or] video is not in itself a crime.”

%d bloggers like this: