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Review of street photography makes it to the House of Lords

Review of street photography makes it to the House of Lords - House of Lords takes the next step in trying to sort out the confusion and hysteria surrounding photography in public places.

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big benLord Bassam of Brighton has confirmed that Tony McNulty, the Home Office Minister for Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing, will shortly meet Mr Jeremy Dear, the general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, to discuss the problems. Lord Bassam made the announcement in the House of Lords last Wednesday after they began to discuss plans to review the rules on street photography.

The House also wishes to contact the Chief Police Officers and the National Policing Improvement Agency about the provision of national guidelines for use by police forces.

Lord Bassam said: "Police officers have the discretion to ask people not to take photographs for public safety or security reasons. However, the taking of photographs in a public place is not subject to any rules or statute."

His reply came after Lord Rosser aired his worries about photographers being challenged by police and private security guards when taking photographs in public places. He also raised the issue that photographers are sometimes even filmed, something Jeremy Dear of the National Union of Journalists has previously talked about. Sections of the letter he wrote to the Home Secretary raising concerns about the filming of photographers and reporters by the Forward Intelligence Team during demonstrations can be found on ePHOTOzine .

The private security industry was also discussed by the House as Lord Mawhinney said the private industry have a slightly more cavalier attitude than the police.

In response Lord Bassam said they may have a meeting to discuss the matter further as he believes there is an issue here.

Concerns regarding the hysteria surrounding the photographing of children were also raised by the Countess of Mer. She said: "All of us who have children or grandchildren like to photograph them. Is it not time that the hysteria that has built up was quelled?"

Her questions come after a father was prevented from taking a photograph of his children at a fairground due to a womens worries about her children appearing on the internet.

Lord Bassam agreed that something needs to be done to to keep a sense of proportion. He said: "By and large, most people do, but one does hear of these irritating cases."

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Comments


User_Removed 10 17.9k 8 Norway
23 Jul 2008 2:38PM

Quote: "...However, the taking of photographs in a public place is not subject to any rules or statute."

Oh dear... That does NOT bode well given this governments track-record when it comes to sucking up to the 'do-gooders'.

Legislation - here we come.

Sad

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Hoffy 9 212 16 England
23 Jul 2008 5:49PM
But where will they stop saying is a public place. Top of Snowdon is a public place.
Britman 8 1.7k England
23 Jul 2008 10:17PM
I'm with you Mike, it is good that the issue is being raised but alas it will bring in Legislation and possibly some sort of registration. Although that just wouldn't work when most mobiles have a camera now.

Simple answer is that the police, hobby bobbies and public should be made aware of the law as it stands. Mind you that ad that appeared in the London underground that made out anyone taking a photo was a potential terrorist doesn't help public awareness.

This won't end well for our freedom to take pictures in public.
24 Jul 2008 11:30AM
If any legislation is put in place to lawfully prevent me from useing my camera in public places i think i would emigrate! what on earth has happend in this country to civil liberties have these people not heard of the magna carta?!
woodrow 7 153 Scotland
26 Jul 2008 10:27PM
i fear photograhic licensing or some other scheme? I despair; the only good thing is that it would provide clear guidance (upto date) for the Police instead of a range of variable responses that we currently here about.

Paul

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