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Public photography guidelines clarified by metropolitan police

Public photography guidelines clarified by metropolitan police - The metropolitan police have updated the public photography guidelines to say that “officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search”.

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Photography guidelinesThe public photography guidelines have been amended to give more clarity over what the metropolitan police can and can not do when they stop and search someone.

When using Section 44 and 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop and search a member of the public the guidelines now say: "Officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search. Deletion or destruction may only take place following seizure if there is a lawful power (such as a court order) that permits such deletion or destruction."

While Section 58A which potentially makes photographing a police officer an offence says: "It would ordinarily be unlawful to use section 58A to arrest people photographing police officers in the course of normal policing activities, including protests because there would not normally be grounds for suspecting that the photographs were being taken to provide assistance to a terrorist. An arrest would only be lawful if an arresting officer had a reasonable suspicion that the photographs were being taken in order to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism."

The guidelines go on to say: "There is nothing preventing officers asking questions of an individual who appears to be taking photographs of someone who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s Forces (HMF), Intelligence Services or a constable so long as this is being done for a lawful purpose and is not being done in a way that prevents, dissuades or inhibits the individual from doing something which is not unlawful."

You can find the full list of guidelines on the metropolitan police website.

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