Is it just the amateur snapper?

Yesterday John Naughton has posted to his online diary a short list of some of the ways in which officialdom is treating amateur snappers.

Here’s a partial list of relevant links about how officialdom is treating amateur snappers.

From The Register.

  Yes, you have rights • The Register Yes, you have rights — unless the police say you haven’t.

  You’re all al-Qaeda suspects now.

  So, what can you photograph?

  New terror guidelines on photography.

  Photocops: Home Office Concedes Concern.


Austin Mitchell’s Early Day Motion.

Text reads:

“That this house is concerned to encourage the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people’s art; deplores the apparent increase in the number of reported incidents in which police, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) or wardens attempt to stop street photography, and order the deletion of photographs or the confiscation of cards, cameras or film on various specious grounds such as claims that some public buildings are strategic or sensitive, that children and adults can only be photographed with their written permission, that photographs of police and PCSOs are illegal, or that photographs may be used by terrorists; points out that photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal; regrets all such efforts to stop, discourage or inhibit amateur photographers taking pictures in public places, many of which are in any case festooned with closed circuit television cameras; and urges the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers on the ground, setting out the public’s right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion.”

Guide to UK Photographers’ Rights (pdf download of a Guide by lawyer Linda Macpherson.)

Unlike John , I’m not – nor have I ever been – interested enough in photography think too much about what the photographer is allowed to do or not allowed to do. However, I have to say that there are some things John’s list that do disturb me, and that make me think that there are issues here that affect all of us us all and  just keen photographers amongst us.


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