UK Liberty

Why the ban on photographing police officers matters to ordinary people

Posted in law and order, relates to ordinary people by ukliberty on February 16, 2009

Think about events at which you might see one or more police officers: football, cricket, or rugby matches; county fairs; Notting Hill Carnival; Trooping the Colour; protests.

I mention the last in particular because they tend to turn up at protests in such numbers that anyone taking a photo of the protest cannot help but take a photo of a police officer, as Kate Belgrave at Liberal Conspiracy explains.

point is, the police will be stopping people taking photos at political events, and of a ‘political’ nature, whatever that might mean. …

The only conclusion you can draw is that this law is at least partly about eradicating evidence of political activity and protest from the public view.

And also we will lack evidence of unlawful actions committed by the police.

Do read this article by David Mery.

It’s important to note that technically this isn’t a ban. It’s rather more insidious, because it is legislation that has a chilling effect – the uncertainty about whether one will be arrested for taking a photograph is enough to prevent people from doing so.  And of course terrorists aren’t going to be bothered by the legislation – like so much other legislation, it only disadvantages, deters, and harms, the law-abiding.

Update

Also see this article by Chris Dillow and this by Septicisle.

Update 2

They insist on taking pictures of us.

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3 Responses

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  1. […] feel free to read more Here, here and […]

  2. Anomie said, on March 1, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I for one will be attending the impending G20 protest on March 28th with the sole intention of photographing police officers as the harrass and assault members of the public. I urge others to do the same.

  3. Hal said, on April 9, 2009 at 2:38 am

    “I for one will be attending the impending G20 protest on March 28th with the sole intention of photographing police officers as they harass and assault members of the public. I urge others to do the same.”
    Thank god you and others like you were at the protests. Otherwise what’s the betting all we’d ever have heard of Ian Tomlinson was that “a man collapsed and died in the City yesterday evening. A postmortem established the cause of death as a heart attack. Official sources stated that he was an alcoholic living in a hostel. [Authority-speak for ‘so no need to waste your pity on him, right?’]”


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