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Edited by Ed Rooney
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Ed, the OP is talking about the UK, and our police aren't armed.

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Edited by Ed Rooney

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Every time, obviously.

But of course the OP wasn't arguing with armed police.

When I visited the US I had to be reminded by my aunt to keep my hands on the wheel if pulled over by police. Here it's customary to turn off one's engine when stationary but apparently in CA I'd be in danger of being shot for turning the key.

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Unfortunately that pdf is out of date as it includes a reference to s44 of the terrorism Act. It has effectively been struck down after a European Court case. It may not be used against individuals without suspicion.

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In the UK you have more chance of being killed by a bee than in a terrorist attack. If the risk of terrorism is so high why on earth are the police wasting their time tracking down photographers in this way? Just my tuppence ha'penny.

Killed by a bee? Statistically that might be untrue, but feel free to provide a link to the proof.

 

They weren't tracking down a photographer, they were tracking down someone taking pictures of their station, who could be anybody.

 

BTW: The Officer did give me a wider reason why they were anxious which concerned an event which happened there previously, but it could have been BS.

 

Edited by mickfly

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The first thing any photographer should do before going anywhere near sensitive subjects is acquaint yourself with all relevant aspects of law.  It’s no good getting into a lather about your ‘rights’ if you don’t know what they are.

 

http://www.sirimo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ukphotographersrights-v2.pdf

 

The next thing is to obtain accreditation.  Anyone in the UK using the Alamy news feed ought to be able to join the NUJ.  In fact anyone supplying journals of any description, even via a stock house, can call themselves a ‘journalist’.  Do that and you can get a UK press card and an international one if you need it. 

 

With some sites - such as Sellafield, protected by armed police and which I have visited several times -  talk to the police or security officials first.  Having done that I prowled around to well after midnight undisturbed, and took pictures that have sold many times.   If I wanted to shoot a police station I would probably use a tripod and shoot at night.  Talking to someone at the desk would be a no brainer.

 

In other situations just make sure you don’t place your car in front of security cameras.  Keep it well out of the way and go on foot.

 

And if you are worried about the erosion of civil liberties in Western democracies, go and see Citizenfour and forget about British Bobbies

Accreditation was not asked for although I described myself to the Police as a 'freelance photographer' and they seemed happy with that.

I don't earn my full time living via photography, so I thought it may be difficult to get a press pass, even though I have had occasional articles  published over the years and I do supply to the Alamy News feed.

I know that another agency will furnish a pass after 20 stories have been supplied, but won't name them.

Shooting at night would have made the place look a lot better, and, even though it's the main Police station in Bradford it closes to the public during the night, so less people about to chase me down the street I suppose.

The Police probably were using my visit as an excuse to get out for a smoke, take a breather and go for a Maccy D's for an hour (only at my house 15mins).

 

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Thanks, I notice they also included hornets and wasps, so not quite accurate.

None the less I will wear my bee keeping regalia next time I shoot near a cops shop  :) .

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You are right there sir. We had two nests this year which both turned out to be wasps, one in a bush and one in the bedroom roof, with associated nightmares of them eating though the plaster board.  Hornets are the worst I hear but never been stung by one. 

Stu.

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I believe the latest ACPO guidance on this issue insofar as it relates to Police Forces in England & Wales (not the whole of the UK although Police Scotland and PSNI guidelines may be similar) is contained in the following document from 2010 - I don't think it has been updated since then. Sections 4.35 to 4.40 are probably most useful.

 

http://www.acpo.police.uk/documents/Communications/ACPO%20CAG%20guidance%202010%20Final.pdf

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I believe the latest ACPO guidance on this issue insofar as it relates to Police Forces in England & Wales (not the whole of the UK although Police Scotland and PSNI guidelines may be similar) is contained in the following document from 2010 - I don't think it has been updated since then. Sections 4.35 to 4.40 are probably most useful.

 

http://www.acpo.police.uk/documents/Communications/ACPO%20CAG%20guidance%202010%20Final.pdf

Thanks Gary, that will be worth printing off to educate the boys in blue, although I am looking for an update regarding the terrorism act.

thanks also to Robert for the Photographers Rights file, again worth printing out with the information about the 2000 terrorism act and photography in prohibited places. I note that it also contains the advice, to co-operate with the authorities.

Edited by mickfly

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There's a basic overview of current Met. Police advice here:http://content.met.police.uk/Site/photographyadvice

We're not covered by the Met up here, but I will read it thanks.

 

Now look what you've done Losdemas!

 

"The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) website is currently experiencing an increased level of traffic. We hope to restore normal service as soon as possible and would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."

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There's a basic overview of current Met. Police advice here:http://content.met.police.uk/Site/photographyadvice

We're not covered by the Met up here, but I will read it thanks.

 

Now look what you've done Losdemas!

 

"The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) website is currently experiencing an increased level of traffic. We hope to restore normal service as soon as possible and would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."[/size]

 

 

Sorry - of course you're not.  :rolleyes: Difficult enough finding that page, so good luck with your search!  Oh God, the Met are on my tail now are they! :o:D

 

I just had a quick look at http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk. While I found some interesting files ( :ph34r:!) I found no information pertaining directly to this particular force, only links to the ACPO Media Advisory Group Guidelines previously mentioned here by Gary ['question answered'], plus a link to the interim update of that file, which is here: http://www.acpo.police.uk/documents/reports/2012/201204IntGuiMediaRels.pdf (only just skimmed it and not sure if there's anything immediately pertinent to this thread).

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There's a basic overview of current Met. Police advice here:http://content.met.police.uk/Site/photographyadvice

We're not covered by the Met up here, but I will read it thanks.

 

 

The law is the same.

From what you've said, what you were told was wrong. They had no power to take your camera unless they reasonably suspected you were  a terrorist. The blanket power to stop anyone they feel like no longer exists.

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I appreciate this is slightly off-topic but I have had more problems being stopped by private security (twice this year) and find there is a real intrusion of photographers rights caused by privatised public space. Probably better for discussion in a new topic though.

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There is a guide issued by the British Security Industry Association that you might find very useful (tried to paste the link here but it wouldn't work for some reason). Oddly their site now says it is only available to members but I downloaded it without problem a few months ago. It's called 'Photography and Hostile Reconnaissance - A guide for BSIA members' - just Googled it and available for download from other sites. Don't know why I can't link to it?

 

Basically security guards have no right to stop you taking photos or private buildings if you are taking them from a public area, they cannot obstruct you and cannot seize cameras, delete images etc. If you're on private property then in fairness that's obviously another question.

 

I think these days security staff have to be vetted by the police (criminal checks etc) so their organisations should stick to this guidance. It was also produced jointly with the Home Office. However, we all know the approach of security staff can vary!

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The problem is the vagaries, these days, of what constitutes public space.  Anna Minton has been writing about this for a while and having experienced the issue I rather see her point.

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There is a guide issued by the British Security Industry Association that you might find very useful (tried to paste the link here but it wouldn't work for some reason). Oddly their site now says it is only available to members but I downloaded it without problem a few months ago. It's called 'Photography and Hostile Reconnaissance - A guide for BSIA members' - just Googled it and available for download from other sites. Don't know why I can't link to it?

 

Basically security guards have no right to stop you taking photos or private buildings if you are taking them from a public area, they cannot obstruct you and cannot seize cameras, delete images etc. If you're on private property then in fairness that's obviously another question.

 

I think these days security staff have to be vetted by the police (criminal checks etc) so their organisations should stick to this guidance. It was also produced jointly with the Home Office. However, we all know the approach of security staff can vary!

Thanks Gary, it's 2011 but this is useful...

"The police have a number of powers relevant to the use of photography for terrorist purposes, however these

cannot be used to stop people legitimately taking photographs. It is not an offence for a member of the public
or journalist to take photographs/film of a public building. They do not need a permit to photograph or film in a
public place, and the police have no power to stop the photographing or filming of incidents or police personnel.
Additionally, police officers do not have powers under counter-terrorism legislation to delete pictures or destroy
film. Cameras, film and memory cards may only be seized when an officer reasonably suspects they are intended
to be used in connection with terrorism."
 
Let me just make it clear, I wasn't challenged at the scene, and when the police visited my house I was not threatened.

The officer said "We could have taken your camera", He didn't say "we would have", or "we will take it now."

His statement was wrong, as I told him, even in the context of terrorism legislation, UNLESS he had 

suspicions.

 

Thanks for all the input, now, on Robert Brooks suggestion I'll go watch Citizenfour.

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Thanks for clarifying that you put them right. In similar circumstances my complaint would be that the officers did not know the law.

You obviously do stick up for photographers' rights and I for one thank you for it.

Edited by spacecadet

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I was approached by a PC while photographing the payday loan shops in Barrow-in-Furness (along with the betting shops they’ve pretty much taken over the high street). He said the proprietors didn’t like me taking pictures. Instead of taking his orders from loansharks, I suggested he should just uphold the law. If I was doing something wrong, he could arrest me. If not, I’d carry on. That was the end of the conversation…

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Disgraceful.

Any PC worth his salt could have cooked up breach of the peace or obstruction out of that ;) .

Good for you but I would probably have taken a softer line, while making the same points. Problem is, in my limited experience, policemen don't always twig an indirect argument.

Edited by spacecadet

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