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The Petition to the PM and HM Govts Response

senu

Distinguished Member
The petition

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to clarify the laws surrounding photography in public places.”

Details of Petition:

“Through history, we have documented the world around us, whether through written word, art or photography. Photography in particular has provided fantastic insights into the past and present, and is a hobby enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. But today, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to take photos of our surroundings, particularly in cities like London. In recent years, the price divide between professional and consumer equipment has blurred, and it’s quite common these days to see amateurs and hobbyists carrying around tripods, SLR cameras and a backpack full of equipment. Yet, we are constantly harrassed by security guards and police officers in the name of preventing terrorism. They seem to be operating under a different interpretation of the law to the rest of us, believing that somehow the length of your lens, or size of your camera is relevant. We would like clarification by the goverment on the law regarding photography of buildings and landmarks from public locations.”

The response
Thank you for your e-petition asking for clarification of the law on photography in public places.

There are no legal restrictions on photography in public places. However, the law applies to photographers as it does to anybody else in a public place. So there may be situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations, inflame an already tense situation, or raise security considerations. Additionally, the police may require a person to move on in order to prevent a breach of the peace, to avoid a public order situation, or for the person’s own safety or welfare, or for the safety and welfare of others.

Each situation will be different and it would be an operational matter for the police officer concerned as to what action if any should be taken in respect of those taking photographs. Anybody with a concern about a specific incident should raise the matter with the Chief Constable of the relevant force.

I think No 10 Downing St just passed it on to the Police.. couldn't be bothered really:rolleyes:
So much for a democratically elected Govt " serving " the People
No wonder the Police just smile and say " We dont make the law" when the powers for such loose interpretation have been given with no hint or desire to guidance from ministers:suicide:
 
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johnaalex

Distinguished Member
So the police can do what they want either through deliberate action or actions based on a lack of understanding and if you don't like it you can complain to their bosses :thumbsdow:mad:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
So it would seem. Not having a go at the Police, just appalled that the Govt is far to eager to simply leave civil liberties to thier "discretion" then protest when an MPs office gets raided:suicide:
 

bishbashboshdj

Prominent Member
We should start up another petition asking for clarification and clear guidelines regarding the physical law...... the law is too open to interpretation and is clearly abused by police and paps alike.
 

Dave

Distinguished Member
To be honest that's a very weak response by the government.

The chances of a photographer causing a breach of the peace or committing or inciting an offence under the public order act is well......laughable in the overwhelming majority of situations.

The major issue is the training given to Police Officers in respect to this, er none so simply fobbing photographers off and leaving it to the discretion of a copper who has received no training in the laws on photography in public is simply bad government.

A robust response would have been nice like "You have every right to take photos in public and we will defend your right to do so".

Oh well.:suicide:
 

hamd01

Established Member
I'd be interested to hear the comments from people who have actually been stopped by the police from taking a photograph. Suerly no photographer would object to a police officer asking a few questions to establish if you are a genuine photographer/hobbiest.... but have people actually been stopped from photographing?
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I'd be interested to hear the comments from people who have actually been stopped by the police from taking a photograph. Suerly no photographer would object to a police officer asking a few questions to establish if you are a genuine photographer/hobbiest.... but have people actually been stopped from photographing?

Yes
Or asked to delete it if they have taken it or even questioned to the point of annoyance as if they have an ulterior motive till proven otherwise ...
This is not a cop bashing thread and was not so much to rehash those experiences which have been the topic of past threads but to see if we have moved on from the days of " trigger happy" PCSs and sometimes Policemen who may be doing it either in ignorance or in thier own ( genuinly felt ) understanding that it is unlawful

The idea of the thread was just to show how unwilling the Govt is to be supportive of the Public, or to be a lot more helpful to Police and the Public alike with clearer guidelines:nono: .This was quoted from a very recent email to me
It seems a certain amount of climate of uncertainly or fear is convenient for the Govt
 
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baldrick

Prominent Member
Playing Devil's Advocate the petition is asking for the government to qualify/quantify where and when a camera can be used in public and the answer states that there are no specific laws, so how can they be specific or expand further?

Ultimately the petition is asking for the impossible because every scenario will be different and in order to 'clarify' they would have to write guidelines for every possible combination of factors...
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I think that regardless, the Govt. is ducking the question and being unhelpful to both the public and to the Police

None is asking for every possible scenario but leaving the potential legitimate and innocent photographer open to and subject to undesirable attention due to public photography is a big time cop out:eek:
 

baldrick

Prominent Member
I think that regardless, the Govt. is ducking the question and being unhelpful to both the public and to the Police

None is asking for every possible scenario but leaving the potential legitimate and innocent photographer open to and subject to undesirable attention due to public photography is a big time cop out:eek:

Still in Devil's Advocate role, what sort of response would you have liked to see?
 

loz

Distinguished Member
Senu, just on a 'point of order', did you get that email yesterday?

Just that I got it a couple of weeks ago.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Senu, just on a 'point of order', did you get that email yesterday?

Just that I got it a couple of weeks ago.

I got it last week but only opened it yesterday
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Still in Devil's Advocate role, what sort of response would you have liked to see?

A more considered and less bland and ,( to be honest) spineless reply I could have written myself.. just to politely say.. " Buzz off ",

I fully accept that in an era of Job losses and dismal economic outlook , the rights of any aspiring photographer in a public place are simply not on the agenda for attention but it is "minor discontentments" like this that often ultimately make folk form an opinion about their govt in its totality as one which does not give a toss..


If I were a Police officer seeking guidance to do the right thing I would be as equally irritated at such a reply as Joe public with his Camera
Need I say more..:rolleyes:
 

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