Well at least the Met look like they are going to reverse there stance over people photographing in London. Maybe they realise photography is quite a natural lifestyle thing to do and we may not be terrorist’s after all.
However if the Met Police are going to play this as “we weren’t aware of the issues of photographers” frankly they can get stuffed, the NUJ have been complaining to the Met for more years than I can remember over abuse to press photographers and reminding them of photographers rights. (see the ‘Resources for the Photographer’ box on the sidebar for downloadable photographer rights guides)
I have to say I have grave concerns over policing in this country when I got stopped and searched at the end of last year for “subject in possession of long lens Nikon camera” (it was in fact only a 24-120 mm zoom and in fact my G9 has a greater focal length range) even when I have a UK press Card. My concern is that an amateur photographer, unaware of their rights may not have faired so well, and could have even ended up being arrested!
I appreciate and understand the police and government have fears over terrorism, but who is actually calling the shots here? It’s clearly not a government initiative and terrorism, which is a concern to us all has to be kept in perspective like the BBC has pointed out here it is not a new threat to the UK and during the troubles with the IRA we had far more attacks and loss of life than 7/7. Cameras were around then too, and probably used for surveillance by the IRA but it wasn’t deemed necessary to accuse the citizens of being terrorists. It makes little sense to me to restrict the law abiding citizens to a point they are the prisoners and there rights taken way from them.
Well that enough of my rant, Amateur Photographer has a piece on them with links to the MP’s Launching a petition in the House of Commons and more…