Are you a photographer hell-bent on striking terror into your community?
One of my very first posts here on DPS was called “I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist – How to Shoot in Public With Confidence“. Since the induction of Section 44 The Anti-Terrorism Act, photographers allover Britain have been treated like criminals by PCSOs and Police Officers.
There are loads of alarmist videos and blogs on the internet and I don’t get worked up about them all. But then this morning, there was this video from The Guardian of a man who filmed his own arrest under suspicion of anti-social behaviour. You can hear the officer claim that it was ‘the way in which he was holding his camera’ that caused the public and the officers to question his motives. When asked for his details, he denied them as a matter of principle and was then arrested.
This video has really shaken me up. It could happen to any of us. And did you see the little point and shoot he was using? Nothing close to the size of my 7D with 200mm lens! I don’t even own a point-and-shoot so I would certainly be questioned under this same suspicion. I was followed by three officers in Winchester last year while taking this photo of rhubarb. I doubt the fruits were feeling particularly terrified by my suspicious activity.
Please get in on this conversation and tell us: have your rights as a photographer ever been contravened?