Janimal - that really scares me a lot. There are so many instances where people were able to videotape a situation with police and show what really happened. What is their rational behind not allowing people to film police? I suppose I could see if you filmed an undercover cop, you'd blow his cover. But public officials are *public* - you should be able to know who your cops are!
The relationship between photographers and police could worsen next month when new laws are introduced that allow for the arrest - and imprisonment - of anyone who takes pictures of officers 'likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'.
.... 'Who is to say that police officers won't abuse these powers,' asks freelance photographer Justin Tallis, who was threatened by an officer last week. ...."... you don't expect a police officer to try to pull your camera from your neck,' Tallis tells BJP.
Jilly - it's illegal to take photographs when you're going through customs. They do it so drug dealers can't target the customs officials, I believe. But I am 100% sure that is true.
I found a forum thread on the topic here -
"According to the British Journal of Photography, the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, which is set to become law on February 16, “allows for the arrest and imprisonment of anyone who takes pictures of officers ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.” The punishment for this offense is imprisonment for up to ten years and a fine."
"This is the exterior of the Siemens DMUs used on the North County Transit District's Sprinter light rail service. Transit photography gestapo alert: San Diego County Transit Police said it is illegal to photograph equipment without a permit. The officer saying this was as stupid as he was morbidly rotund. Seriously, it seems as though San Diego requires transit officers to have a minimum 45" waistline. So take the photos and run, as the transit fuzz would be physically incapable of catching you."
Loc: bude , cornwall
the fact that it is illegal to photograph police in the uk is extremely disturbing when coupled with the fact that we now have riot police without officer number and face shields who cannot be identified, and the ultimate police whitewash, the murder of de menezes.
this stuff genuinely scares me. the last police force i can easily recall with those kinds of powers in europe was the ss. and now the bnp is getting into power - where the hell's this train gonna stop?
That would really concern me a lot janimal - surely policemen should not be an unidentifiable faceless mob? They should most definitely have ID numbers on them so that a person with a complaint can identify the person they want to complain about.
What is interesting is that I always think of British police offers as being a quiet, tame version of US officers. In the US they carry guns and all the TV shows portray them as wild cowboys kicking in doors. The TV shows about British police have them sipping tea and talking with old ladies. I'm not even exaggerating much in that description. It does sound very much like the police over there are somehow going "past" us in unchecked power.