Thursday, April 17, 2008

The ridiculous harassment of photographers

There is an interesting article on the BBC website about the harassment of photographers. Apparently in one case an amateur photographer was asked for "his licence" and pointing out he did not need one did not help. A police officer took him down a side street and made him wipe his camera.

This is all bizarre because you can, and are entitle to, take any picture you want of something in a public place (barring some defence establishments) including people. What is more that also extends to taking picture of things that can be seen from a public space, so if you are driving down the road and see an extraordinary garden, you can stop and photograph it from the road or pavement without requiring permission.

Mind you that is not the first time I have heard of over zealous police not knowing what the law is in a particular circumstance.

For example a police officer thought that a learner driver could drive on his own because he had a full class H licence. Another who demanded to see the MOT on a JCB, which does not require one so you can't get one and so on.

I like to take photographs, and if I were stopped, and told I could not, I would tell them where to get off.

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