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Photographing police in the UK may now be a crime

Posted 16 February, 2009 in Random

From today, anyone taking a photograph of a police officer could be deemed to have committed a criminal offence.

That is because of a new law – Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act – which has come into force.

It permits the arrest of anyone found “eliciting, publishing or communicating information” relating to members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers, which is “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.

That means anyone taking a picture of one of those people could face a fine or a prison sentence of up to 10 years, if a link to terrorism is proved.

The law has angered photographers, both professional and amateur, who fear it could exacerbate the harassment they already sometimes face.

Continue reading at BBC News


Via the GRINZ newsletter, whose editor had this to say:

I have two words for this: Rodney King. So the police in that situation could have arrested the photographer (videographer) and destroyed the evidence, and been well within their rights to do so…if it had been illegal to photograph police, what record would even EXIST of the Springbok Tour? Hmmm…worth considering. I’m certainly not saying police are out to get us all – just that documentary photography / photojournalism should be unfettered.

Right on.

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