This is another amateur photographer who was improperly stopped by the police. Anti-terror arrest
It is no surprise to me that this is happening all over the country. There are stories nearly every week of police officers overstepping the boundary. Most officers do not know the law relating to photographers and taking pictures in public, in short there isn’t one. Any photographer, professional or amateur, can take photographs in a public place. Common sense applies, Don’t stick your camera in someone’s face. If it is a close-up you want ask! A curt ‘NO’ is infinitely preferable to punch on the nose.
As for the use of section 42,43,44 of the anti-terrorist legislation it is simply farcical. Mis-use of this valuable legislation simply waters it down to an unusable diatribe of nil effect. Last year over 900 children under the age of ten were searched illegally under section 42. This has to stop!
Every time a policeman struts his stuff and uses inappropriate laws to ‘stop and search’ innocent civilians they demean the uniform they wear.
In my case had the police officer I spoke to originally told me when I asked that they were having a bit of a problem with yobs I would have looked for yobs to take pictures of not policemen. As it was I centred my camera on the ‘action’ I could see, the police officers.
This is now going to press later in the week giving our boys in blue some very adverse publicity.
Superintendant Howard Stone is aware of what happened because the Oxford Times has ask for a comment. Instead of, I dunno, maybe a ‘were are sorry and will brief our officers better on this point of law in the future’. He said “If the man, who was involved in this incident, was not happy with the police officer’s actions then we would advise him to submit an official complaint to Thames Valley Police”. Whatever I think of the police officers involved last week I think less of the Superintendant Stone for not taking the opportunity to sort this out himself. He could have come for a coffee we could have had a chat. I would have highlighted my thoughts for a better briefing we could then have shook hands and it would have been done and dusted, but no I have to make a formal complaint to ensure that the Police Chiefs make sure their officers are properly briefed in this area. The situation is a bit like hiring a professional gardener then going out and pulling weeds yourself. It’s not my job to tell police officers the law!