I had a nice day out in Oxford. On the way home I thought I would stop in Kidlington for fish ’n’ chips. Then the fight started. Walking down the high street to the fish shop I noticed a larger than normal police presence. I passed one officer and asked “What is going on”, to which he replied, “nothing”. Two police vehicles and three officers is not nothing, well not in Kidlington. Anyway I took a picture of two police officers. They walked towards me and the girl asked me to delete the picture. I said “No” and that they “were not allowed to ask me to do that”. “Oh yes we can”, said she. “Well no you can’t and you cannot confiscate my camera either”.( I only read the rules last week) You didn't ask my permission”, she said .
“In truth I don’t have to”.
“Who are you”, said constable 1933. “Well”, said I, “given that I have committed no offence you have no right to ask me”.
I set the camera to video and pressed the on button. I told him that I was recording the conversation.
“You are a stranger in Kidlington and you are . . . . .”
“I am not a stranger in Kidlington I have been here two years.”
“Then tell me who you are I’ve never seen you before.”
“I’ve never seen you before I’ve been here two years”
“Who are you . . . . What’s your reason for being in Kidlington.”
“I came here to go to the fish and chip shop and I saw you and thought hello something is going on. I’ve only just seen him (PCSO) . . . “
“I’m not happy with that.”
“I’m not happy with your explanation.”
“I am not happy with your explanation for being here.”
“Well that’s entirely up to you. I’ve just come, been visiting a friend I thought I’ll have fish ‘n’ chips tonight and I saw you and I thought hello what’s going on here.”
“Have you got a car here.”
“I have a car here it belongs to my friend.”
“What’s the registration number?”
“I have no idea its not mine.”
“"So you could really be anybody couldn’t you?”
“You could be anybody you might not be a police officer.”
“Do you want to see my warrant card.”
“I haven’t asked you for it there’s not point asking you for it the same as there’s no point asking me for id.”
“Let’s have a look at what you have in your pockets I’m going to search you under section 1 of the Police and Criminal Eviden acts.”(SIC)
“No! Why? “
“Because I want to see some identification.”
“I’m sorry no!”
“If you don’t consent to this . . . .”
“Are you going to arrest me?”
At this point the officer manhandled me and switched off my camera, illegally. As he grabbed the camera and switched it off I pushed his hands away. He said, “That was assault”. I said, “you started it”.
I asked if he was threatening me.
“You have been taking photographs of police officers”, said he. “That is not illegal”, I reply. He asked me to turn out my pockets. I asked why? “I am searching you under section 42 of the terrorism act.” I said, “Your having a laugh”. I asked, “I hope you have the paperwork for this”. He said he would do the paperwork after the search. “OK” says I “and empty my pockets”. He took my name from my bank cards and radioed the office.
I said to the WPC “You don’t have to take my word for it but check it out at the station, you cannot ask me to delete my SD card or touch my camera. Taking pictures of PCs on the street is not an offence.
When the search was over Mr Pc went off to get the paperwork on his return he said he did not have the necessary forms, so I said I would follow them back to the police station to collect it. Which I duly did
At the police station he was as nice as pie even shook hands as I left. Mr PC said that the WPC worked in sensitive places and was unhappy about my taking her picture. I told him if I use it I will blot out her face.
In précis I was stopped for no legal reason. The police officers lied to me, in saying they could make me delete pictures from my SD card.
The wanted to search me under Section 1 the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of and later Section 42 of the Terrorism Act. I had committed no offence.The form they gave me was incorrectly filled out. The out come code was put down as two, that is to say, ‘Advised’ in truth I advised them on points of law that police officers do not normally know.