The Independent tells us that Police have been accused of misusing anti–terrorism powers by preventing professional photographers, train-spotters and tourists from taking innocent pictures of tourist destinations and landmarks.
In certain instances, those stopped were asked to delete their photographs in front of the police officers (something the police are not able to insist upon without a warrant).
The whole article is a good read, but the following section entitle Know Your Rights, could act as a handy ‘cut-out-and-keep’ guide for all budding photo-bloggers. Save it to your smart-phone, or shove a printed copy in your camera-bag just in case.
* If police stop and search you, the first thing you should ask is on what grounds they are conducting the search and under what powers.
* Police are able to conduct searches under a number of different pieces of legislation but they usually use either the Public Order Act, the Criminal Justice Act or under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
* Unless you are stopped while driving a car, you do NOT have to give your name or address.
* Police officers are obliged to ask for your given ethnicity. Once again, it is up to you whether you choose to answer or not.
* If police use Section 44 of the Terrorism Act they are entitled to view any images you have taken but they are NOT allowed to delete them. They can only do so with a court order.
* Under Section 58a of the Terrorism Act, police are only allowed to stop a photographer taking pictures of officers if they reasonably suspect the photos are intended to be used in connection with terrorism.
* Whether you are stopped and searched, or merely stopped and accounted for, the police officer should hand you a record of your stop.
Original Photo: George Chriss