Photography on the Streets! It’s a contentious issue.
Yesterday, the Independant newspaper featured as it’s front page Photography! More specifically, photographers getting stopped taking photographs in public places. Even more specifically, this:
It ties in perfectly with a documentary I am going to be doing on photographers in public places being stopped when they shouldn’t be. Is it over zealous policing, is it a lack of knowledge of the law… or is it actually ok?
Jeff Overs is a photographer with the Andrew Marr show on BBC 1. He takes photographs on the set, and out and about with the reporters and various political heavyweights around the world. You can see examples of his work by clicking here.
In the interview with Andrew Marr, he quoted the police officer and her colleague as saying “well, we’ve stopped loads of people this afternoon… no one’s complained”. This was as he was taking pictures of St Pauls at Sunset, and he was quizzed under the section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. This states:
Section 44 of the terrorism act…
(2)An authorisation under this subsection authorises any constable in uniform to stop a pedestrian in an area or at a place specified in the authorisation and to search—
(b)anything carried by him.
(3)An authorisation under subsection (1) or (2) may be given only if the person giving it considers it expedient for the prevention of acts of terrorism.
Crown Copyright – Link
I was recently down in London to interview MP Austin Mitchell over this affair. I decided to interview him on the south bank of the Thames, opposite Parliament, just a bit to the right of this spot here:
I had to get a permit, and we had to wear a yellow jacket. I wasn’t stopped, but we had to carry a permit at all times.
If you have ever been stopped, or know of people who have, I would like to speak to you for a documentary I am doing. It’s looking at this issue, and features Austin Mitchell MP and News Editor of Amateur Photographer Magazine, Chris Cheeseman. Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.